Reimagining the Work: How Does the Healthcare Sector Embrace Digitization
The Different Phases of the Digitization Process
Dr. Wachter believes that the digitization of healthcare has finally reached a point of “optimism.” Our progress toward digitization will be determined by what he refers to as “reimagining the work.”
After examining the digitization process in other industries, Doctor Robert Wachter, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, classified digitization as four phases in the healthcare sector.
- Digitizing the record is the phase we are at right now, albeit a little later than we would prefer.
- Integrating primary care providers to hospitals
- Connecting hospitals to hospitals, and
- Linking the complete digital ecosystem
- Extracting insights from the data
- Transforming insights as initiatives that deliver value
Stage two has already started, but phases three and four will require a paradigm shift in how we conceive digital data.
IT’s Productivity Paradox: The Work Transformation
Medicine is engaged in the “IT productivity paradox,” defined by Stanford economist and technology specialist Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD. Healthcare is strictly regulated by nature may take another few years to reap the benefits from the onset of the EHR conversion.
When technology evolves, industries gain the benefits of digitalization. The main challenge, though, is to “reimagining the work.” Doctor Wachter explains that if we were to construct an electronic note from scratch today, it would resemble a Facebook or Twitter feed, which incorporates both audio and video components. It would facilitate collaboration with space for comments from nurses, social workers, and others.
The primary reason for the IT productivity paradox is that humans have a tough time coming up with innovative ideas.
How Does the Success Story of Digitization Look Like
Diabetologist Robert Rushakoff directs the UCSF Inpatient Glucose Management Service. Each morning, Doctor Rushakoff analyzes and evaluates data from patients hospitalized at UCSF Medical Center who match specific parameters using a custom-built dashboard.
“According to Doctor Wachter, this approach has reduced hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia by around 40 percent each.”
With the power of digitization, this dashboard enables Doctor Rushakoff to enhance population health in an inpatient environment.
Doctor Wachter presents the healthy perspective that we are now, thankfully, genuinely entering the post-EHR era. Let us reap the benefits by embracing digitized technologies and innovative thinking to redefine the healthcare value as we embark on stage two in our goal of full interoperability.