Medical Device News Magazine

Friday, March 31, 2023

Six Questions to Ask When Assessing Your Organization’s Digital Maturity Chris Byers, CEO of Formstack

Is your organization digitally mature? If you’re in the healthcare industry, likely not. According to Formstack’s 2022 State of Digital Maturity report, only 2% of healthcare organizations are at the pinnacle of digital maturity, referred to as “optimized.” These “optimized” organizations are completely digitized but still open to identifying new technology that can improve their processes through streamlining and automation. Further, they have efficient interdepartmental communication where employees frequently share learnings and ideas and corporate cultures that embrace ingenuity and change.

Unfortunately, most healthcare organizations are far from this pinnacle of digital maturity. In fact, the majority (62%) are only at the second -to-last level of the four-tiered Digital Maturity Framework. Considered “invested,” these organizations typically digitize some documents but fall behind in adding automated workflows or digitizing signatures. Their limited tech stacks consist of old and new technologies that don’t integrate and tend to slow down projects. Employees at these organizations often feel a need for increased data tracking to improve efficiencies. Departmental communication is also minimal, with colleagues only sometimes sharing ideas, most frequently via email. In other words, “limited” organizations have likely made some progress on their digital initiatives, but they have a long way to go before optimizing their workplace.

How can the healthcare industry start enhancing its digital maturity? First, in the spirit of “the truth will set you free,” organizations must assess where they rank on the Digital Maturity Framework. Then, as patients’ (and employees’) expectations for streamlined, digitized experiences increase, these organizations must double down on their digital competencies.

Ask yourself these six questions to assess your organization’s digital maturity, taking note of any “nos” along the way: 

1. Are you focused on improving patient experience with streamlined, digitized experiences?

Virtual health appointments that gained popularity during pandemic lockdowns are here to stay, and healthcare must respond. While patients once accepted piecemeal solutions fast-tracked by the sudden shutdown, their expectations have changed and are becoming increasingly sophisticated. According to a McKinsey study, 63% of patients are interested in more extensive digital health solutions like virtual visits and online scheduling opportunities.

Most (86%) “optimized” organizations (in all industries) make the customers’ experience a high priority. Consequently, these high digital maturity organizations find meeting customer expectations easier than organizations that are not “optimized.” That’s likely because “optimized” organizations use data to measure the efficiency of technologies, workflows, and make data-backed decisions to keep up with consumer sentiment.

2. Do you encourage employee innovation?

Digital maturity isn’t all about technology—it’s also reliant on forward-thinking workplace cultures that value out-of-the-box thinking and novel solutions. In fact, “optimized” organizations are more likely to encourage employee innovation than organizations at other levels of digital maturity. And, as a result, a vast majority (83%) of “optimized” employees feel encouraged to try new things.

Many organizations, however, take an “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach to workplace issues. And that’s how they end up with manual, paper-based processes and an abundance of legacy technology that doesn’t meet modern needs.

3. Have you considered what processes you can automate?

With an estimated 20% loss of healthcare workers over the last two years, the Great Resignation has hit this industry particularly hard. As a result, healthcare leaders must find proactive ways to prevent burnout and employee churn. Compared to their less digitally mature counterparts, digitally “optimized” organizations are in a much better position to deal with staffing shortages and employee attrition. One-third of “optimized” organizations don’t find employee retention difficult.

What are these “optimized” organizations doing right? For one, they are replacing tedious and time-consuming manual tasks—universally despised paperwork—with automated, digitized, and streamlined workflows. By focusing on value-driven tasks, employees are more fulfilled and less likely to burn out or quit entirely. “Optimized” organizations are also constantly seeking artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)-enabled improvements that decrease turnover and build a more satisfied team.

4. Is your organization poised to go paperless?

“Optimized” organizations have a nearly paperless environment—73% have digitized all forms and documents, and 97% have initiatives aimed at eliminating paper entirely. Why is a paperless office critical in modern work environments? Going paperless not only improves the employee and customer experience, but also boosts security and reduces human error.

Still, the healthcare industry struggles to digitize documents like healthcare records that still require a wet signature. To avoid inefficiencies and errors, healthcare administrators should embrace electronic health records with digitized signatures and other digital tools.

5. Do you have a tech stack rich with integrated resources?

An “optimized” organization’s tech stack is nearly void of legacy technologies and overlapping functions. Instead, the tech stack comprises integrated digital tools that automate, streamline, and solve multiple problems. Employees in “optimized” organizations will find it much easier to get new technologies approved than in organizations that are not optimized. As a result of constant technology audits and experimentation, they will see the regular expansion and contraction of their organizations’ tech stacks.

6. Are you implementing no-code tools?

Forward-looking organizations adopt tools proactively rather than reactively and generally opt for no-code solutions that allow non-IT professionals to customize tools. These no-code tools empower immediate customization, alleviate scarce IT resources, and avoid project delays due to IT bottlenecks.

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then it’s time to reevaluate your organization’s processes. After all, your patients and employees have changed. To remain relevant in our rapidly changing digital economy, you must change too.

Editor’s Note:  Chris Byers is CEO of Formstack, a secure workplace productivity platform, where he has helped scale the company to more than 25,000 customers and more than 300 employees worldwide. Before joining Formstack, Byers led investor relations and financing for a regional healthcare firm, where he raised more than $100M annually to fund operations, construction, and the purchase of medical equipment. Byers is currently involved in several nonprofit organizations focused on poverty relief, environmental restoration, education, and race and gender equality.

 

 

 

 

 

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