This has been one tough year for healthcare, and like other parts of life, progress isn’t always linear. What we find more valuable than simply acknowledging the outcome of progress is in recognizing the value of the experience itself. And this applies well to digital technology.
We Embraced Digital Technology
We made great strides in digital health. We began thinking differently, and as we adapted to the constraints of the pandemic we realized that the transformative initiatives we were merely contemplating needed to be pushed forward faster. People began expanding their willingness to change, which made a huge difference in the outcomes of digital transformation initiatives. By implementing automation, we lessened the impact of disruption, removing or improving functional burdens in a necessity to connect data across disparate systems. The culture of the IT department has changed. We’ve gone from “that fix is scheduled in the next iteration” to “we have to fix the issue now.”
We Realized the Benefit of Telehealth
COVID-19 created the need to expand healthcare delivery with telehealth. Health systems and provider organizations developed automated workflows that refer high-risk patients to nurse triage lines and permit most patients to schedule video or audio visits with on-demand providers. We have taken a small step back in terms of reimbursement rules and regulations. We need new rules on payment parity. We also need to expand not just the delivery of healthcare via telehealth but also the access to healthcare. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many additional directives we can take to enlarge the present capabilities, including efforts like improved care coordination, remote patient monitoring, mental health services, and a more team-based approach to chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and COPD. Telehealth provided us with a delivery mechanism, not a destination. But the road is open to possibilities, we merely have to map out and follow the next steps.
We Saw Vaccines Developed with Unprecedented Speed
We saw drug trials that usually take years, ramp up in weeks or months, and global relationships developed to accelerate existing vaccine strategies. Lynlee Burton, head of center for vaccines and emerging infectious diseases at PRA Health Sciences, stated to Healthline, “governments and companies put resources toward prioritizing COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.” Early on during the pandemic, RPA supported the efforts of hospitals and health systems to quickly adapt to changing conditions. Boston Software Systems’ RPA solution, Boston WorkStation, allowed providers to ramp up order processing and result reporting by creating a digital workforce that could step in quickly to process and transmit lab results, bed counts, and case counts, sending reports to state and regulatory agencies on a daily basis. These automations were implemented in less than one week, alleviating a manual administrative burden on an already overwhelmed healthcare system.
COVID-19 pushed the pace of digital transformation over the “technology tipping point,” according to McKinsey. “When respondents were asked why their organizations didn’t implement these changes before the crisis, just over half said that they weren’t a top business priority.” As we continue along this trajectory, it’s important to realize that the world has fundamentally shifted, which is why many of the initiatives we rushed to market when the pandemic first hit are now being re-evaluated for continued value in a post-pandemic world.
Why Boston Software Systems?
It’s important to tie in digitization efforts to existing workflows and process constraints to realize long-term benefits. That’s why experience matters. We’ve been involved in digital transformation efforts for 30 years. That’s important, because when the path isn’t clear, you want a team you can trust to lead the way.
We’re happy to share our success stories with you. With most solutions implemented in < 30 days, savings in time and efficiency are right around the corner!