2020: The Year of Digital Health for Providers

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By Justin Gernot, Vice President, Healthbox
Healthbox has been a part of HIMSS for almost two years now. We’ve presented at dozens of conferences and held thousands of conversations with leaders and caregivers all over the world. Our clients have included the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and a diverse set of providers across the U.S.

Increasingly, and in most conversations with provider executives, we hear variations on the following theme: “We’re trying to make sense of digital health, but no one seems to have it figured out.”

The urgency around adoption is palpable. In a world where we judge every business by the digital experience it delivers (even pizza chains have five-star apps), and companies with deep pockets are coming hard and fast to compete in healthcare delivery, providers and payers are getting serious about transforming the experience for patients and caregivers. Many organizations continue to add chief digital officers and other leaders as they realize the importance of consumerization and fully leveraging their data in a variety of ways.

As you consider how to approach digital adoption, I’d suggest the following:

Find Peers

You need a baseline, and it’s incredibly helpful to know what others have seen and done or are considering. It’s important to spend enough time, regularly, to learn from them. Treat these conversations like job interviews for top talent, and make sure you can speak to their experiences as if you’ve had them yourself. There’s no better wisdom than learning from the experience of others. But don’t spend too long in conversation; you need to take action, make some bets and iterate.

Find Partners

There’s more to digital than your EHR and your applications—much more. Your enterprise strategy, governance, personnel, training, culture, behaviors and more need to change to even begin becoming a digital organization. And if you’re going to transform anything, you need qualified partners to help you get there. Just as you wouldn’t attempt to summit a mountain or go deep sea fishing for the first time without expert guidance, digital health requires partners who can inform, lead, challenge, facilitate and help you deliver on a plan that’s uniquely tailored to your organization. I’m proud that Healthbox has delivered such engagements with net promoter scores above 95 over the past few years, and I expect that more of the upcoming research and offerings from HIMSS will only enhance our approach.

Find Your Path

By now, no one expects that any combination of books, articles, conferences or conversations will be enough to get it done. Rebuilding institutions into digital organizations is incredibly challenging and requires sustained, well-informed efforts by leaders up, down and across the organization.

And while many got into healthcare to help others, it’s time for provider leaders to focus on enabling their own organizations in new ways to deliver on the promise of digital health. There’s no one way, no preexisting set of solutions that works for everyone. Your path is as individual as your organization and as urgent as treating the patients who come to you every day for care.

If we at Healthbox and HIMSS can help you find peers, partners or your path to digital health, let us know. I wish all of you the best in 2020 and beyond.

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