Posted on: 02/09/2022
The past two years brought forth an unprecedented strain on healthcare systems, highlighting the desperate need for technological innovation across the industry. Despite efforts to bolster the tech that healthcare workers use for patient care, facility management, and other systems involved in delivering the best experience possible for both themselves and patients, the red tape of compliance, lack of data ownership, and operational inefficiencies consistently stifle the speed of digital transformation of the industry.
Fortunately, overcoming these challenges is very much within reach for many organizations as there are digital solutions that solve these most common issues. Namely, they must invest in solutions that can accommodate the complex compliance regulations of the industry, provide them will full access to their data, and enable access to new and innovative technology, such as conversational AI, that delivers more efficient processes and better experience for both patients and healthcare providers.
Maneuvering Compliance in Healthcare With Data Ownership
While strict compliance regulations are needed for the protection of sensitive data such as patient information, organizations can maneuver these requirements by choosing tech that works with the specific compliance restraints of the industry rather than against them. This includes solutions that enable organizations with the tools they need to adhere to security and privacy requirements when handling patient medical history, contact information, and other sensitive operational data, such as the compensation of employees. Choosing solutions that can accommodate these compliance challenges will ultimately result in better, more efficient, and potentially life-saving improvements to healthcare tech for organizations everywhere while data remains just as secure.
More specifically, healthcare organizations must consider investing in solutions that provide them with full ownership and control of their data. Whether it is communication with customers, internal communications within management teams, or any other data an organization generates that can lead to insights that enable better decision making, it is critical that the solutions they choose during their digital transformation do not gatekeep access to that data or create data silos, but instead, empower them to extract, analyze, and act on the valuable insights the data provides, whilst adhering to obligations or policies around data localization requirements for example.
This ensures that organizations are not stifled by solution providers that may charge additional fees for access to their data, which would leave many potentially valuable insights unknown for occurrences such as long wait times, scheduling inefficiencies, and other processes. Data ownership ensures that healthcare organizations can fully utilize their information to address such challenges, which ultimately helps them reach their end goal of better patient care.
Having access to this valuable data also allows healthcare organizations to deliver a more personalized experience to patients than current legacy systems can provide. When organizations have a more holistic picture of the patient’s information, healthcare providers are able to make more informed, proactive recommendations around preventative care such as diet or medications that would ultimately better serve a patient’s health. This also benefits insurance companies as doctors can easily make recommendations that coincide with a patient’s coverage plan making it an easier, more streamlined process for the patient, doctor, and insurance provider.
Improving Organization Efficiency
Once healthcare organizations select solutions that give them ownership and access to their data’s insights, they can begin to utilize and analyze that data to adopt new, more efficient strategies of operation. This allows organizations to work toward optimizing various branches of everyday systems such as management, financial services, patient services, cross-team communication, and others.
For example, according to the 2021 False Claims Act Settlements produced by the U.S. Department of Justice, healthcare-related fraud accounted for $5 billion of the total $5.6 billion in settlements and judgments in 2021. Much of this fraud is due to the fact that as much as 80% of global healthcare organizations use unstructured data, which leaves their information vulnerable to risk or potentially compromising sensitive data. This presents a huge opportunity for compliance initiatives empowered by digital transformation solutions such as voice and speech analytics, as these AI-powered analytics can help reduce fraud via the automation of burdensome, ineffective processes. Reduction in fraud frees up funding that can be allocated elsewhere, which in turn means more resources available to improve the quality of care.
Also, through the combined power of voice and speech analytics, everyday patient experiences such as calls made to healthcare service providers are automatically exposed to analysis that flags risk factors, which helps healthcare workers prioritize reviews and ensure patients receive the urgent help they need while minimizing fraudulent cases. This replaces manual actions such as call sampling and leads to a reduction in fraud, which again unlocks funding that can be allocated toward investments in digital transformation rather than the unfortunate cases of fraud that many organizations experience.
Furthermore, with instant access to properly protected patient data, healthcare systems can utilize this valuable interoperable information to enhance the patient and agent experience by integrating both the provider’s and patient’s information through secure and open APIs. Doing so would ultimately make the manual and time-consuming processes of actions such as booking appointments more efficient for patients as a secure API would allow them to easily check for information such as their provider’s availability, which providers specialize in the kind of care they are looking for, and similar actions that would make the patient’s experience of getting care more efficient and streamlined. Similarly, on the agent side, using APIs with interoperable patient data would make the process of pairing patient preferences, availabilities, individual needs, history, and other information significantly more efficient than traditional legacy systems, saving agents time while simultaneously creating a more personalized experience for the patients themselves.
Though the digital transformation of the healthcare industry is not without its challenges, the benefits of investing in solutions that allow for data ownership and ease the burden of healthcare workers ultimately push organizations forward by enabling better and more efficient processes. By investing in solutions that increase efficiency, reduce risks for events such as fraud, and automate various processes while adhering to the strict compliance restraints of the industry, the digital transformation of healthcare organizations everywhere will allow them to focus more on the bottom line – delivering excellent patient care.
Richard Stevenson, CEO, Red Box.