Digital transformation or change, is an ongoing process in every major healthcare organisation. Put simply, it’s the process of putting into place modern, digital systems and solutions to revolutionise and improve existing legacy systems and processes.
What is the Patient Journey?
The ‘patient journey’ is a term for the end-to-end patient experience from the initial booking through to prescriptions and follow-up appointments. By planning and executing a digital transformation strategy, you can improve and streamline every step of the patient journey, improving patient outcomes.
Examples and impact of adopting technology within the patient journey:
Stage 1 – Before Care: Benefits of App booking
The Patient Journey begins at home - when the patient decides to book an appointment for a consultation. By properly utilising digital systems, people can book appointments online or a dedicated app. Initial appointment can be performed digitally, over a smartphone or a computer.
Appointment reminder texts, emails and calls can also be scheduled to go out. A two-way appointment reminder system allows patients to confirm, rebook or cancel appointments, meaning appointment slots are much less likely to be wasted by no-shows or miscommunication errors.
Stage 2 – During Care: Benefits of EPR
The next major part of the patient journey starts when the patient arrives at the healthcare facility. This stage covers most of the healthcare process, from in-person consultations, tests, and further care.
This stage has the most potential to significantly affect your organisations digital transformation. During care the patient journey is the most complex and implementing an electronic patient record system (EPR) is really at the start of the roadmap to digitalisation. An EPR is a computer system that collects all the key patient and administration data centrally.
Implementing an EPR system is not a small change project, it is the start of a wider transformative journey. The benefits of an EPR system will only be realised by those organisations with the right mindset to embrace change, usually evidenced by their decision to invest in specialist project teams. Here's one such organisation, who reached out to us to expand their Cerner EPR system.
EPRs can increase efficiency, by automating processes and keeping all important documentation in one place. Your staff won’t have to do simpler tasks and can focus their attention on more complex work. EPRs can also communicate with companion EPR systems, at other sites, allowing easier transfer of files and information. This facilitates doctors sharing patient records between specialists with ease, improving the speed and accuracy of diagnoses.
Stage 3 – After Care: Benefits of e-Prescriptions
The final stage of the patient journey is after care. After a patient has been diagnosed and deemed fit to return home, this signifies the start of this stage. Whilst this stage may seem hands-off in regards to patient interaction, it is still a crucial element of the organisations digital strategy. For example E-prescriptions, or electronic prescriptions, can be sent to a patient’s local pharmacy immediately, with no chance of being lost, misplaced, or destroyed.
EPRs also work in tandem with e-prescriptions, with allergy information, past and current prescribed drugs, and existing health conditions all accessible centrally via the patients record prior to the prescription, making prescribing clearer and communication with pharmacies quicker, reducing the possibility of human error.
Transformation Requires a Dedicated Team
Investing in your organisations digital transformation is now the expectation upon healthcare organisations in 2023. With so many systems and technologies available, and new advancements been developed every day, it’s important to have a team in place that can manage your organisation’s technology needs and can lead the charge to digitalisation.
No matter where you are on your Digital Transformation plan, IT Works Health can connect you with the right digital professionals to support you wherever you are in the journey.