The healthcare industry has faced unprecedented challenges over the course of the past year and a half. Healthcare organizations need to contend with supply chain shortages, burnout, changing patient expectations, and numerous other factors. To address these challenges, we are seeing many healthcare digital transformation trends being accelerated as timelines for modernization are moved up.
In 2020, healthcare organizations scrambled to react to the onset of a global pandemic. In 2021, they had adjusted to “the new normal.” Looking forward to 2022, we anticipate that many in the healthcare industry will double down on their modernization efforts, especially in a few key areas.
Below are some of the biggest healthcare digital transformation trends for 2022.
Healthcare Digital Transformation Trends to Watch
1. Cloud adoption will continue to play a large role in organizations’ modernization efforts.
For years, much of healthcare digital transformation revolved around moving legacy systems to the cloud. Today, however, about 78% of healthcare organizations have adopted at least some cloud solutions, according to a 2021 study by BDO. Despite this progress, we will most likely continue to see a large push to move more healthcare organizations’ technology stacks to the cloud, thanks in no small part to the rise of telehealth and the need to be able to access critical information anywhere.
During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth sessions jumped up by 150%, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More healthcare organizations are adopting hybrid work models as well, allowing staff to work remotely when possible. The increase in both telehealth and hybrid work necessitates cloud-based systems, which can be easily accessed from home.
2. Healthcare organizations need to turn data into positive outcomes.
For healthcare providers that are further along on their journey to the cloud, the question becomes “how do we leverage all of this data?” About 30% of all of the data in the world is healthcare-related, according to research by Capital Markets. While the cloud makes it easy to store and access this data, turning it into actionable insights is a different matter.
Many organizations are looking for new ways to leverage cloud-based systems to better utilize their data, such as by developing real-time dashboards or using tools like Workday Adaptive Planning to quickly create financial forecasts. Analytics and planning technologies have the potential to be highly transformative, giving Healthcare finance teams, for example, access to better, more current data so that they can identify opportunities and provide insights. As many healthcare facilities struggle with staffing and supply chain shortages, as well as other challenges brought on by the global pandemic, being able to find new opportunities to cut costs and improve efficiency becomes vital.
3. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is on the rise.
According to the BDO study, 64% of healthcare respondents said that they intend to implement RPA over the course of the next year. This is unsurprising given that RPA allows healthcare organizations to eliminate many basic manual processes, freeing up staff’s time so that they can focus on other critical tasks. This is especially important given the shortage of nurses, as well as other healthcare workers, which is forcing healthcare facilities to find ways to do more with less. RPA technology can help mitigate some of the pressure created by the staffing crises and create organizational agility. Robotic Process Automation solutions, such as Automation Anywhere, can be applied to different parts of a healthcare organization’s technology stack, helping with inventory management, claims processing, managing health records, and more.
4. Healthcare organizations will look for new ways to optimize supply chains.
Supply chain disruptions have increased costs and made it difficult to get critical resources. This has led to the need for a more agile procurement process, one that combines automation, real-time inventory data, and improved transparency. Adopting a solution like Workday Supply Chain Management for Healthcare allows organizations to operate more nimbly and make smarter, more informed purchasing decisions while reducing the number of off-catalog purchases. By upgrading to a modern, cloud-based supply chain management solution, healthcare organizations are also able to plan with greater accuracy, helping to minimize disruption.
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