The delivery of healthcare is changing to provide greater access to care, improved access to patient information and connected records for all users, leading to greater health equity and safer care.
Emerging and future models of care will have a greater emphasis on digital and have the potential to improve access to care, and improve the experience and outcomes for clinicians and patients.
Underpinning every successful digital transformation is strong change management to support clinicians and users to increase digital literacy, to embrace the digitisation, access key in-context information, and robust security to ensure a clinically safe and reliable ecosystem.
Embracing a digital mindset
In today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, developing a digital mindset is essential for both individuals and organisations. With digital transformation affecting many aspects of our professional and personal lives, understanding technology is no longer optional.
To foster a culture of collaboration and effective decision-making as part of a digital transformation, it's important to build digital literacy across the organisation, regardless of role. This means learning the "language" of data, artificial intelligence, algorithms and models.
To truly succeed in this new world, a digital mindset requires a combination of humility and curiosity. We must be willing to ask questions, continuously learn new skills, and effectively apply them in our work.
By embracing this mindset, we can tap into the collective power of our expertise and maximise the benefits of digital transformation for healthcare organisations, clinicians, and patients and carers.
Overcoming the fear of irrelevance
In the modern workplace, fear of becoming irrelevant can be a major trigger for many staff. This fear can drive disconnection with the digital transformation, in turn making irrelevance a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Digitisation provides evolving change and learning opportunities for users over time requiring sustained work with users in the short, medium and long term to continually build digital literacy and associated competencies, rather than one-off training sessions which can leave users feeling vulnerable and oppositional to change.
As leaders, it's important to not inadvertently discourage the adoption of new technology by failing to clearly explain the desired benefits.
It's also important to communicate how the brain power that is freed-up from automation can be leveraged to improve patient care and other objectives.
Having leaders and organisations create space for the learning and shift in mindset required by contributors is critical
A safe and reliable connected care ecosystem
Digital solutions that connect clinical and administrative systems, population health solutions and information exchange platforms enable the seamless flow of information across the continuum of care, helping deliver timely care, empowering consumers and enabling healthcare professionals to deliver better patient outcomes.
Digitisation benefits for governments, private and public healthcare providers:
- Connecting systems and ways of working to help provide safe and efficient care.
- Providing visibility of a patient’s clinical history including through integrated platforms, enabling quality patient experiences, and empowering patients to advocate and manage their care.
- Meeting the needs of specific areas of care such as urgent, inpatient, long-term, palliative and ambulatory care across regions enabling the flow of information.
- Improving clinician and patient awareness of services and resources, reducing care fragmentation and enabling higher value care to be delivered sooner.
- Improving decision-making support through the use of data, analytics and artificial intelligence.
- Timely data and insights by reducing manual entry or human error.
- Meeting patient expectations for consistent diagnosis, planning, decision making, treatment, monitoring and care management.
- The ability to provide precision medicine from rich and comprehensive sources of information.
- A safe, consistent, and reliable service that meets quality and safety standards.
Digitisation benefits for clinicians:
- All providers have access to the same patient information simultaneously, enabling improved decision-making and visibility of patient flow.
- Modern technologies that are intuitive, easy to use and integrated make clinicians’ jobs easier.
- Access to the same clinical assets and resources for patients regardless of location can lead to equity of care, improved patient experiences and outcomes .
- Access to information and data can inform ongoing feedback loops and continuous improvement.
- Real time intuitive access to the latest ‘mobile first’ information including how to use systems, follow protocols, undertake procedures and processes leads to enhanced user experiences, with reduced risk for clinicians and patients. This supports ongoing change management and adoption of important systems.
Digitisation benefits for patients:
- An improved health care experience regardless of which part of the healthcare sector they’re engaging with.
- A secure shared record of their care across mental, public and private health providers. This means patients no longer bear the burden of remembering key information or need to repeat their story.
- Care can be delivered closer to home taking into consideration patients’ social needs when determining where, when (or if) a patient must present in-person for an appointment .
- Empowerment by having more autonomy in managing health issues or chronic conditions through the use of health monitoring devices.
Security, integrity and privacy of clinical data
Digital transformations require in-depth consideration of the security, integrity and privacy of clinical data and must be surrounded by stringent policies and practices.
The cybersecurity threat landscape is ever-changing and seeking vulnerability. However modern and proactive security practices, driven by a culture of security and privacy rigor throughout the enterprise are the best defense against threat actors. Maintaining strong operational security and best practice privacy governance is a continual requirement.
In many cases clinical systems as managed services by a trusted partner delivers modern best practice and responsiveness for privacy and security, freeing up healthcare providers to focus on the delivery of care.
As part of Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Telstra Health has the innovation, technology, cyber security expertise, data governance, national infrastructure and financial sustainability to provide a safe and reliable ecosystem for our customers, backed by the Telstra Security Operations Centre which decreases the likelihood of side-channel access to data.
Fostering a sustainable culture to harness the transformation
In digital healthcare it is often the art of addressing the unmet, unarticulated needs of healthcare professionals which leads to the most successful outcomes.
Telstra Health works with customers to carefully evolve solutions to solve current high value problems, remove barriers to adoption and ongoing uptake, all the while seeking reduced and sustainable cost to deliver.
Partnering to design new ways of working enabled by technology – from service planning, redesigning models of care and managing change, to clinical engagement – leads to better outcomes for patients, workforces and organisations.
When desired, a co-design approach to digital transformation ensures end users are actively engaged and achieve high adoption of digital health solutions.
Implementing the transformation requires hands-on, clinically-informed experience from across the healthcare continuum throughout all phases, from design through to implementation, optimisation and evaluation.
A footprint across the continuum of care
Telstra Health is powering the drive to connected healthcare and helping create the future of digital healthcare both in Australia and internationally. This includes solutions for whole of population programs such as Australia’s bowel and cervical screening programs delivered on behalf of the federal government, as well as digital solutions for general practices, hospitals, pharmacies, aged and disability service providers, and First Nations health care services.
Digital connectivity across care settings is key to enhancing the patient and clinician experience, returning time to care, and delivering better care outcomes.
To find out more about how we’ve supported healthcare providers including the Tasmanian Government, Mackay Hospital and Health Service, Royal Hobart Hospital and more, visit www.telstrahealth.com/ConnectedHealthAcrossAustralia