We have a lot of doctors, nurses, clinicians, and other medical and hospital personnel to thank for working on the frontlines these last couple of years. Caregivers across the world had to manage incredibly stressful working environments, with overflowing ERs and ICUs. More than ever, it became paramount to find ways to make their jobs easier, their workflows streamlined, and their access to data fast and easy. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to evolve and improve work and care—and data will be a huge catalyst. 

The healthcare industry has undergone a dramatic evolution of its own. This evolution will be a significant catalyst to improving the quality and efficacy of care, the patient experience, and overall outcomes. 

That evolution is all about data and digital transformation—here’s how. 

The Pandemic Will Eventually Subside, but Being Digital-First as a Result of it Will Not

COVID-19 greatly accelerated most healthcare organizations’ digital transformation journey. One article reports that since the pandemic began and many people were forced to shelter in place, U.S. telehealth visits increased by 400% and digital engagements between healthcare organizations and pharma reps increased by 2,000%. This article also states that the use of artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics, and other digital technologies has increased as well, often as tools to enable remote care for non-urgent patients. 

Even after the pandemic has passed, healthcare organizations will remain forever altered by the need for digital services and capabilities. Going forward, healthcare as usual will continue to include enhanced digital services, from virtual doctor visits to increased home-care scenarios. 

A study by Deloitte recently found that a vast majority (92%) of healthcare organizations consider digital transformation—and digital capabilities—key to creating a better patient experience. 

Data is critical to a digital-first strategy. As healthcare organizations enable digital applications and connected infrastructure and systems, caregivers and administrators gain access to a wealth of data. This data can help them make smarter decisions, identify and eliminate process bottlenecks, diagnose conditions sooner, personalize treatment plans to align with a patient’s individual needs, and lead to improved outcomes. 

Data Enables Anticipatory and Preventive Healthcare

Beyond the digital-first viewpoint, another way data is improving the patient experience is by making anticipatory and preventive healthcare possible. Rather than simply reacting to illness and disease with a responsive healthcare approach, anticipatory and preventive healthcare is a strategy that looks to the future with aims to head off potential health problems. It also looks at desired health outcomes and takes steps to achieve those goals over time. 

Anticipatory and preventive care require complete and accurate patient data so caregivers can get a realistic picture of what the patient is dealing with now and how to treat it and help enable improved health in the future. 

Seeing Patients as Consumers Helps Personalize Care

With remote monitoring, virtual healthcare, and other emerging care strategies, healthcare organizations are beginning to treat patients more like consumers. Organizations deliver personalized and cost-effective care and empower patients to manage their own progress and choices. All of this relies heavily on data, which provides continuity and the basis for treatment plans.  

That data must be accurate and quickly accessible at the point of care. Fragmented (siloed), inaccurate, or inaccessible data can result in improper care, which can lead to injuries, increased costs, delayed diagnoses, or worse. Centralized data storage and management will be critical to keeping information integrated, accurate, and accessible. It allows data to flow quickly and ensures reporting will be accurate and reliable. 

Another angle on this point is that patients will have differing levels of digital literacy. Healthcare organizations will need to devise strategies to engage patients and deliver care that responds to all literacy levels without incurring more risk.

Learn how to evaluate your technology from a patient-first perspective >>

Accurate, Accessible Data Could Make Work Easier for Caregivers

As healthcare workers struggled to treat people through the pandemic, their need for fast, accurate, and reliable data grew. When caregivers have more complete and accurate data with greater interoperability, they can deliver better care—and achieve even better outcomes. 

You can begin to imagine what care transformed might look like:

  • Better hospital admits and discharges – not only improving these processes, but helping to identify individuals with rising risks of admission in order to prevent hospital visits altogether or find care alternatives
  • Streamlined daily tasks — for example, medical documentation and improved test results systems
  • Improved prescription recommendations – including managing prescription regimens, monitoring adherence to regimens, and gauging efficacy
  • Ultimately, the ability to close gaps in care, based on data—identifying individuals with rising risk/predictive care

It’s about being able to accomplish more with less effort and less time, yes, but also delivering better care—both proactively and in times of illness.

Data-Driven Capabilities Could Fuel an Entirely New Business Model for Providers

As data makes healthcare organizations smarter, it can also make them more transparent. Data can drive price transparency and accessibility of information to make it easier for people to find providers and services via open platforms and marketplaces. This model represents a major business disruption. While it’s a new world for providers, it’s a familiar world for patients who already have this level of accessibility and on-demand convenience as consumers of other retail products and services. Learn how Pure Storage can help you deliver a better experience to your patients and providers.