Measuring Success: How to Assess the Efficacy of Your DX Efforts for Your Healthcare Organization

In this third installment of our series on leveraging digital technologies in healthcare for optimal patient care and organizational ROI, we take a closer look at the measurable processes and outcomes for healthcare organizations. We’ll explore the meaning of DX success, the metrics involved, noteworthy examples in the industry, and the changes healthcare organizations can apply toward optimizing their digital transformation.

DX has become a rule rather than an exception in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. However, the process warrants meticulous care, especially for the healthcare sector at the forefront of this unprecedented global crisis whose aftermath is still unfolding. Medical facilities need to detect and troubleshoot their DX practices to take advantage of rapidly developing tech trends.

How do healthcare organizations ensure that their DX efforts are succeeding in improving service accessibility, medical cost savings, and patient outcomes? The process begins with evaluating the most tangible DX KPIs presentable to stakeholders, patients, and healthcare partners.

Operational Efficiency

Every DX effort should ultimately aim for operational improvements such as expediting billing processes or managing high frequencies of telemedicine consultations. Nacho De Marco, a member of the Forbes Tech Council, identifies operational improvement as the number of processes that run on new software and its effect on productivity (the volume or value of outputs relative to the resources investment).

Specifically, optimized operations with DX require a reevaluation of the industry’s value proposition, capture, and delivery. The digital healthcare infrastructure comprises multiple interconnected components that drive the collective DX machine.

Data Collection/Protection

While DX solutions via telemedicine bring newfound convenience, they also pose data concerns. Malicious actors continue to target healthcare facilities with insidious attacks such as ransomware, which causes long-term reputational and financial setbacks. Therefore, a successful DX initiative should feature high data security standards.

Aside from facility-based patient databases, healthcare organizations may face security lapses on the mobile front. According to Consumer Report’s recent study on 24 of the top medical apps, 79% shared user data in ways that might compromise privacy. Poor data management functions like a leaky barrel — negating the flow of useful DX features and offerings within the most robust healthcare solutions.

Healthcare providers must continue to maintain the highest level of integrity and compliance in safeguarding patient data confidentiality. Possible measures include close collaboration with specialized managed services for routine database sweeps (real-time threat detection) and frequent system updates that minimize the risk of data exploitation.

Healthcare companies may implement methods of assessing user trust, such as surveys geared at internet-security issues. The assessment should feature a statistical quality framework highlighting key online contexts. Also, healthcare facilities should constantly refine survey methodology with collected data to elicit improved user responses.

Market Intermediaries

Healthcare organizations need to work with suitable tech talent to ensure the smoothest experience in every stage of their digital journey. The practice should originate from C-suite/top-level management and involve a diagnostic approach. According to McKinsey Digital, “In the early stages, organizations will want to  focus more on having enough senior architects and entrepreneurial builders.

Organizations need to shift their priorities as DX scales to seek the most relevant specialists to nurture the growth of existing systems. Ultimately, healthcare organizations should aim to go beyond mere system maintenance and constantly strive for improvement.

The digital world empowers newfound initiatives between healthcare and non-healthcare sectors. For example, the Health & Housing Consortium involving organizations from the healthcare, housing, and social services industries, organized virtual town hall meetings to discuss overlapping concerns regarding the impact of the pandemic.

Such virtual collaborations enable healthcare organizations to share their DX insights, exchange data, and learn from other industries via cross-sector communication. The resources and knowledge gleaned from the sessions may serve as effective benchmarks in assessing DX efforts.

Evaluate Patient Experiences vs. Cost

According to Deloitte, there is a  strong correlation between patient experience and financial performance. Digital technologies in healthcare should always place the well-being of patients at center stage. Therefore, healthcare providers should ultimately base the value of their DX efforts on healthcare outcomes (from the patient’s perspective) divided by the cost of delivering those outcomes.

DX transforms the patient experience in many newfound ways, such as achieving CAT scans in record time via AI and deep learning or streamlining medical consultations, but for a gauge of efficacy, it is also necessary to identify the price and effort involved in adopting the technology.

Closing Thoughts

DX will remain a priority for healthcare organizations, with Global Market Insights predicting the telemedicine market to exceed $130.5 billion by 2025. Scores of healthcare companies may seek to jump onto the DX innovation bandwagon in anticipation of ongoing trends, but efforts need to be continually evaluated in order to ensure a real impact to quality of care and ROI.

Through a systematic and testable approach, healthcare organizations can understand the true value of their invested technology and confidently proceed with subsequent developments. Here is where innovative healthcare should apply KPIs in living form, shifting according to factors such as:

  • Goals of the DX program, determined by quantifiable metrics.
  • Type of technology adopted (which carries its unique digital metrics, such as user activity).
  • External circumstances that affect the efficiency of DX programs (e.g., pandemic or industry standards).

DX is no longer a distant concept but an integral piece of healthcare’s complex reality that will only thrive under metrics rooted in practicality. With a set of reliable digital transformation KPIs, healthcare experts can improve their performance (reflected in overall company KPIs) and progress toward their digital vision.

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