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Digital transformation and the smart hospital

The primary purpose of technology is always patient well-being
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Digital transformation and the smart hospital

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Smart digitisation creates real added value

The smart hospital concept is closely linked to healthcare system digitalisation. The hospital of the future is (digitally) networked. Within organisational boundaries, m different specialists, patients, committees, and devices communicate with each other, while upstream and downstream service providers, insurance companies, and numerous potential or former patients log onto the system. The amount of data is growing exponentially and offers infinite use possibilities. New and established providers offer digital solutions. At the same time, patients’ and employees’ demands are increasing. And rightly so, because digitisation is not an end in itself. Smart means that something becomes better for patients and staff: more efficiency, better treatment results, and less stress.

However, hospitals’ digital reality is characterised by organically grown systems, media interruptions, and workarounds. Analog processes are digitised but not rethought. Technologies themselves become workarounds for the actual problem. Digital tools are introduced but do not bring the hoped-for benefits. The result is additional effort without real added value, frustration, and lack of understanding among employees and patients.

While the need for action with regard to digitisation is undisputed by most players in the healthcare sector, practical implementation often falls short. It is not enough to digitise analog processes or make technology available. Rather, things must be rethought holistically. Only in this way can a digital hospital also become a smart hospital.

Digital transformation means organisational development

The potential added value of digital solutions often appears deceptively clear. If patients can check in for a consultation using their smartphones, the reception desk and, at best, the waiting room are no longer necessary. Thanks to artificial intelligence, X-ray images can be reliably assessed within seconds, and the results are available much faster. With a new hospital information system, data exchange between emergency departments and wards is much easier.

On closer inspection, it often becomes apparent that it is not that easy after all. If, after three hours of waiting, patients receive their X-ray images in a few seconds, they are still dissatisfied with the waiting time. The ward prefers to phone in an emergency, because during peak hours the HIS data is rarely up to date. This does not correspond to the target image of a smart hospital.

Digital transformation must be conceived from the patient’s point of view and designed with the patient in mind. The overriding purpose of technology is always patient well-being—directly or indirectly. Modern technology should therefore be developed in the healthcare system in interdisciplinary design teams, in accordance with processes and structures.

Design thinking brings people and technology together

We help hospitals to design their processes in a patient-oriented manner and to select or specify the appropriate technological support. In the same way, we take the opposite perspective and help technology providers to better understand their customers’ needs and reality and to successfully integrate new, promising technology into everyday medical practice.

Our prototype-based approach brings together medical, operational, and technical perspectives, ensures a high level of commitment from all those involved, and generates comprehensible and broadly supported results in a short time. Through design thinking, solutions that go beyond technology are created—solutions that are user-oriented, economically viable, and technologically feasible. This integrative approach already contributes significantly to organisational development and change management during the conception phase of new solutions. Employees’ learning begins with the joint design of new digital services and not just when a new technology is introduced. Thanks to their in-depth understanding of the digital solution, design team members become important ambassadors and multipliers when it comes to actual implementation and broad cultural change.

Our offerings

Specification/selection of suitable technologies and suppliers

We support our customers in questioning and sharpening their requirements for digital solutions from both a patient and a process perspective. Depending on customers’ needs, we create haptic and digital prototypes, evaluate different providers, and formulate tender documents or a requirements specification for the internal IT department.

Provision of challenging customer insights for technology providers

Thanks to our many years of experience in the healthcare sector, we can offer technology providers and start-ups an external perspective. We can contribute to a better understanding of the market and the needs of potential customers and establish targeted contacts where there is mutual interest.

Implementation of new technologies—process design and change management

Together with various stakeholders, we define the patient experience and formulate business models that create significant added value from the patient’s perspective.

Development of digital patient experiences and business models

Often it is about more than one technology and more than one sub-area. Often it is about the big picture. In close cooperation with our Strategy and M&A Competence Centre, we holistically design digital patient experiences, new business models, and long-term transformation strategies together with our clients.

Do you want to learn more?

Would you like to learn more about digital transformation and the smart hospital? We would be delighted to tell you more about our project work in an obligation-free conversation or answer any questions you may have. Our team is looking forward to hearing from you!

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