Transform NOW
Transform NOW

Episode 137 · 9 months ago

137. Healthcare Digital Transformation


How Consumerism, Technology and Pandemic are Accelerating the Future


In this episode, Michael Marchuk talks with author Paddy Padmanabhan about his recent digital transformation book for healthcare providers.


Here’s what we talked with Paddy about:

* How healthcare providers can launch an enterprise-level digital transformation

* How can healthcare providers make sense of the rapidly changing technology landscape

* Where automation (RPA) is providing a positive impact within healthcare


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Welcome to transform now, the podcast brought to you by robotic process automation pioneer blue prism. Digital transformation has the potential or reshape the way companies service the customers, engage their employees and manage their operations. Whether you're looking to develop strategies, tactics and Best Practices to positively impact the future of work, or you're curious to learn how other companies have successfully navigated their digital transformation programs, then this podcast is for you. We're here to help you transform now. Hello everyone, this is your host, Michael March I can today on the transform now podcast, we were Special Guest Patty Pamataban, author the Book Healthcare Digital Transformation. How consumerism, technology and pandemic are accelerating the future. Welcome Patty. Thank you, my get. It's a pleasure to be here. I'm glad to have you on here. You are definitely an expert of the field that I'd like to go into that little bit more, because I think you do have quite a breadth of expertise in the digital transformation within healthcare specifically. So can tell us little bit more about yourself? Sure. So I started my phone debile consultating back in twenty four tee. Prior to that, had been in a couple of additt it's startups in the healthcare of space, and before that I work for one of the big for consultant from so over the last seven years we've built a business that's focused on helping healthcare organizations with their digital transformation journeys, and what that means is really that as health care moves more and more towards the virtual or a hybrid mourning of care, there's going to be a lot of decisions and choices to me as it relates to priorities, as it relates to technology choices, as it relates to partners, Simmec Shit and partner choices and one way governance of digital transformation programs to make sure that the enterprises are getting the value that they need. I realize that data and analytics was going to drive the digital health experience of the future and I also saw that healthcare was going to go war and war online and virtual. And it has turned out to be the case. And in fact, in the last couple of years, since the pandemic, the piece of acceleration has increased and I wrote two books about it. You refer to the second one, which is healthcare digital transformation, how consumerism, technology and pan in beer accelerating the future. The one prior to that, it's called the big unlock, which was about unlocking the value in data and unlocking it through insights that can drive the health care experience with the future. I would say you sertaly qualify as an expert in the field. So when we talk about digital transformation, it can mean a lot of different things to different people. So for healthcare providers, can you describe what that should look like? Yeah,...

...yeah, and you're absolutely right. My running joke is that digital is like democracy. You know it when you see it, but then different countries practice democracy in different ways. So it is with digital. Depending on who you talk to, the definitions will vary, especially if you talk to the technology provide a community, the definitions tend to be driven by what they offer or what they have developed as a product of a service, as a solution. But when you talk to healthcare executives today, when you talk about digital, they talk about a few big themes. They talk about tell a health they talk about remote care mornings, so our PM and so on. They talk about Digital Frontos, which is really a catch all term that refers to online engagement with their patients and their consumers. But we turn to take a fairly comprehensive approach to defining digital transformation. We like to look at digital transformation is something that looks not just at the front and but at the back end as well, through enabling technologies that can improve the healthcare experience for patients as well as for providers. It can improve operating efficiencies and it cares improve health care outcomes. So it's fairly comprehensive. In fact, we have a four stage maturity model that we've developed in the firm which, where the fourth stage is to the highest level of maturity, really defines digital in a very comprehensive way and within that we include a lot of themes like automation, data and analytics and a host of other things. So you mentioned automation in your book. You had several really good examples that you went through, but where do you see automation? Ur PA providing a positive IMPACT WITHIN HEALTHCARE? Or BEA has been around for a while and your company is one of the leaders of the space. We see that our be has made a significant amount of progress in what I call the administrative functions and healthcare. So what comes to mind when we talk about administrative functions is revenue cycle management as an example. We are also seeing automation in back and operations, such as it operations. We are beginning to see automation, specifically when we talk about our PA, slowly coming into the nonclinical aspects of access to care and care delivery, and what we are seeing more recently is that there's a lot of interested automation and that is driven in no small part by the acute shortage of healthcare workers and the shortest...

...that is going to persist and continue into the future. So that's what we see as the landscape for ARPA. But when you talk about automation, we are really talking about the competitive landscape in terms of a number of other technologies and platform choices, and we could talk about that a little bit more. Yeah, actually I'd like to continue with that thought, because we've seen our PA as the base level of automation, but now we're moving towards intelligent automation which gives you much broader view of how our mission can drive value. Can you talk about that a little bit more? Yeah, I'm happy to dive into that. My firm does a lot of research on the key emerging technologies that are wing a drive healthcare and automation is one of them and we actually have a proprietary database that tracks the digital health initiatives of the largest healthcare organizations in the country and we also track about four hundred technology vendors who are enabling the digital transformation of healthcare. And when we look up the platform and we look at the use cases for automation across health systems and health plans, we're seeing or PA being applied in the context of or CN, as I men should. We are seeing it being applied to the context of patient flu management, so it could be at the point of access, it could be at the point of discharge. We are looking we are seeing or PA being applied in it support lot of operations, I. Operations that are routine in nature or being automated through our PA tools. is seeing it in contract manner, to be seeing it a specific aspects and healthcare operations like prior authorizations, claim processing. Were beginning to see that in patient outreach. So we tend to hear about terms like intelligent automation and desktop automation and process automation. These are all various flavors of the broad theme of Arpad, but I have a lots of point out that when we hear automationhip and when we look at the competitive landscape, we are on looking at just or PA, because I believe that Urpa providers and not just competing with other RPA providers, they're competing with other technology options, and a couple of examples of those that are playing out in the market today would be voice recognition technology, which is which is gained ground, especially in the context of doctor patient encounters and transcribing the encounters into the electronic healthcare goud system. We're sitting the growing use of Chat Bots, for instance, and that has actually grown dramatically over the last year, especially with the covid nineteen screening as a prominent use case. So there are other technologies...

...and LPA, so there are other technologies that we consider to be part of the overall automation lands kid. URPA is one of them, definitely an important one. For sure. It's good to give ground and the use cases for URPA or mostly today the administrative space. I agree, but we're seeing more adoption as we couple these technologies like chat pots and Willp and ai with Ourpa to create intelligent automation. Of course, just getting started tends to be one of the most difficult things for any organization looking at transformation. So so what approach could you recommend as healthcare providers launch and enterprise level digital transformation program we have a broad framework that we use. It's a six stage framework for launching and executing a digital transformation strategy and it's all in my book. But more specifically when enterprises are looking to get started. A lot of the leading health systems and healthcare organizations have launched digital transformation programs. They've gotten along in their journey through in plementation of some key technologies and key programs and securing board level commitment at board level, multi year budget allocations and all of that good stuff. But a lot of health systems, especially the mid to your health systems, are still in very early stages and what we recommend to them is to start by doing that digital maturity assessment. It's based on a four stage maturity morning that we've developed in my firm that also has an online assessment to that health systems get take advantage. You can go and take the assessment and what we provide them is a benchmark of their maturity levels around six different dimensions and digital front doors in patient care management, enterprise technologies, it a couple of others, and we give them the benchmark data to let them know where they stand in the market and based on the benchmarkt based on their maturity assessment, they can make strategic choices about what their priorities need to be. In typically, as part of the work that we do with health system we also have something look at what their internal stakeholders value. It's one thing to benchmark yourself against your market place, is another thing to really understand what is important for your patient population and for your internal stakeholder groups. So we always ask that you validate the digital maturity of the bench marking with that internal assessment and then prioritize it investment, because at the end of the day, you're all going to be able to do everything on day one. You're going to have to prioritize, you're going to have to commit yourself and you're going to have to set aside the funds, the internal resources and a number of other things to...

...make sure you get in winds, and so that's all. We like to get them started. Then, once you've got some of these things under way, we recommend very strongly that they put a governance mechanism in a structure and place so that they can keep score and keep track of the progress they're making, keep all the relevance takeholders in war, make sure that progress is being reported and tracked and any course, corrections that need to be made or being made in making the right technology of partner choices and where you often you may have to make changes to the direction you're head at, either with the technology selection, the partner selection or even with the priorities that you have started with. So governance with them very important. Certainly there are many ways to assess the maturity if an organization and their readiness for digital transformation, which you've had quite a lot of experience with the assessments that you've done. Obviously, having the technologies to support the vision is critical, but how often is that the limiting factor rather other factors like personnel, leadership or cultural aspects that of fact a digital transformation journey? It's a great question, Michael. I would say that the technology by itself is not the solution, that the technology is a strategic enabler for the transformation, but at the end of the day it's about changing processes, changing mindsets, changing behaviors, and that is really where, at the heart of it, digital transformation programs succeed or fail. It's so we see today that when we talk to our clients, and we did our annual survey of healthcare executives see, I. I was achieved digital officers, and ask them what they thought were the big priorities were the coming year, maybe twenty and twenty two, and we father that one of the biggest challenges were them is to make sure that the technology investments that they've made so far are being leverage property or being adopted and are being used in the way they were meant to. What we've seen in the way of the Panama it is that a lot of healthy organizations have gone and put it technology tools and solutions and now they're left with the fragmented landscape of technology platforms that don't necessarily talk to one another or to core back and systems like they use our platforms. And if that situation persists, the users, namely the consumers of health care, and also your internal stakeholders like carrier as a providers, albody see that the lack of seamless NUSS in the technology platforms is getting in the way of their doing their jobs or getting in the way of getting the kind of access to care and and the treatments that they need, and so they'll stop using it. And this is a bit challenged today, and improving the user experience... really at the core of the priorities for health their organizations. So short answer to your question is technology is important and it is the foundation and and the strategic enablood, but that's that's only half the story. So technology is an enabler. But within the technology landscape, the ecosystem is so large and growing, with new players entering the market. How can a healthcare provider make sense of this rapidly changing landscape? That's a great question. Today, I believe there's more than Fivezero digital health startups out there. At last year we saw something like thirty billion dollars go into digital health startups and when I look at the landscape and I talk to my clients, the first thing they mentioned is that they very confused by the landscape. They don't know how to really assess and evaluate many of these stardoms. They seem to have innovative solution, they seem to have great ideas, but they just don't know how to assess and evaluate them in the context of on boarding some of these tools and platforms as part of their digital transformation programs, because there are several risks in world. The platforms may not be mature, they went not be ready. They the financial condition of the startup may not be stable. They maybe have raised some we see money, but we don't know whether that's going to continue and what happens it in months from now if they're not able to gain the kind of traction that the vcs are looking for. They are very often many of these startups comment work without a clear understanding or what it takes to succeed in healthcare. They either have expectations around sales cycles that are misplaced or they lose sight of some of the core aspects of technology solutions and healthcare, such as data privacy, security and other compliance related issues. And so when you look at this landscape, all of these facts are contributed to a confusing scenario for healthcare organizations. What we like to tell them, our healthcare clients, is to really understand the attributes of the different technology providers out there and by understanding their core attributes, determining where they fit within your landscape. So we have a model to do it's called the ice a model where the ice stands for innovators, see stands for custodians, e stands for enablers and he stands for the symbloms, the custodians or your big transaction platforms like the HR systems, epiot. They have the data, they have the workflow. Every single digital... tool or platform that comes into the environment needs to necessarily interoperable, interoperate with the back in each our system for the data. The innovators are the startups that I talked about. There's thousands of them out there and they all specialize in solving for one problem and try to do it really well, and so that creates a fragmented experience. The platform players, like the Microsoft, the sales forces of the world. They are trying to solve for that by creating a fully integrated platform that can be configured and customized and interoperate with your electronic concercut systems. But to do that you need the assemblers, where the big consulting form the systems integrators will come and take all of these different platforms and stitch them all together, and very often they bring the capabilities to design the user experiences in order to make its iamness as work. So for healthcare executive it's important to understand what the core attributes of a particular technology provider or and, based on those attributes, you engage with them for the appropriate solution. That's easier said than done, because a lot of the players want to appear to be more than what they really are, and electronic healter good vendors, for instance. They want to be everything. They want to be your digital front or they want to be your digital platform of the future. But we know that HR platforms are not your first go to. If you want to let's say, selective, see or platform as an example, or, for that matter, Uhl platforms are not best in class at everything that they do and there is a number of standard ode companies, startups in particular, that have developed standalone best in class tools for specific functionalities that increasingly healthcare organizations are turning to. None of these product companies has a big professional services group anyway. So if you need a systems are degraded to come in and do the work. You don't go to a product or a platform when there you go to an aside partner. So you need to understand another sid partners. Some of them are building products, so they were acquiring products, so they are coming over into other spaces, but you really need to understand what their core attributes are and engage with them appropriated it. Otherwise you'll end up picking the wrong wnder for the wrong solution and setting up yourself, as well as your partner, for failure. Building the SAMLESS Experi. medials for the user is what is going to drive all of your platform choices and your partner selection choices. If you don't, if you can or achieve that end goal, then all of the investments, I'm basically not going to come to fruition. Yeah, well, I can certainly understand that. So we've talked through a lot and I want to find out from you what takeaways would you recommend for healthcare providers that are currently engaged in a digital transformation journey right now? I...

...think what health their organizations need to do is really, firstly, have a good pulse of what is going on within their pure community of other healthcare organizations or what kind of programs have other organizations implemented? What have been the successes and, importantly, would have been the challenges and failures as well? And through that interaction, and you aither get that directly through your network or you use a firm like ours that can actually dead it with some of that information to you. What are the means maybe it? Once you're familiar with what is going on in the rest of the landscape, then you can align your priority. Is that the goals appropriately then understand you know, what are the best practices and and the challenges and constant today, as I mentioned earlier this conversation, that is a huge challenge shortage today. So leading from that, I would urge healthcare executives to look at where they can deploy automation technologies to alleviate their talent shortage problem. I was really in a report, I think it was by the Mercer Group, which talked about the emerging talent crisis in that category of worker which is at the front lines, not necessarily at executive level, but the front lines of care. Is what ten million workers in that we talking nursissistance, home health care workers in that space, and I was reading that that reported. It said that about five million of them are going to leave the workforce in the next five years and it's got to create a huge short world because those rules are not going to be filled up anytime. So a lot of people are wanting to really leaving healthcare because of the burnout and the workloads and everything, especially since the pandemics. Is Unfortunate but true. So you have to necessarily turn to technology in that solutions to alleviate the problem, and one of those is automation. So I would urge healthcare executives to look at technology a strategic enablers to set yourself up for a future of digital health where a lot of the work is going to be done through automation, but not taking away from the highly personal experience of a healthcare of hell care of services. Wow, patty, this has been extremely informative. I am going to leave a link to your book again. The title is healthcare digital transformation. How consumerism, technology and pandemic are accelerating the future. It's in the show notes of the podcast that folks who are looking to get this can go on Amazon and pick up throwne copy. There is so much more information in this book. It's amazing, so I highly recommend if you're involved in healthcare digital transformation. Patty's book is very comprehensive and he does a great job of outlining the issues as well as some of the solutions around us. So, Patty, thank you so much for joining us today. Thank... so much mykes video to share your comments and I look forward to following your work as well and the work of your company and on the way. Best. Thank you. Thanks for tuning in too transform now, for more insightful discussions on digital transformation and more, check out our podcast channel, where you'll find all of our previous episodes. To make sure you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast player and, if you like what you heard, please leave us a review. For more information about digital transformation and the future of work, check out bloopersmcom to learn how blooprisms digital workforce is enabling enterprise transformation. Now.

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