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Leading digital healthcare experts swapped practical advice about pushing digital transformation forward at the evening keynote session ‘Widening our Perspective on Digital Maturity’.

The panel consisted of Anne Snowdon, Chief Scientific Research Officer, HIMSS, can i start and stop testosterone replacement therapy  Canada, Amy Trainor, VP Clinical Systems, Ochsner Hospital Group, US, and Shez Partovi, Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, Philips Communications, Netherlands and the discussion was moderated by Dr Charles Alessi, Chief Clinical Officer at HIMSS.


The pandemic has emphasised how important it is for health systems around the world to widen their perspective on digital maturity to improve clinical and financial outcomes, to build resilience and to increase capacity.


Snowdon said: “There’s really emerging evidence that digital maturity matters. It matters to safety and health, and experiences of our patient first and foremost. It will matter but it’s profoundly underdeveloped with our workforce outcomes and indicators.

We don’t have those automated interoperable digital tools at our fingertips that can immediately identify, how is the health and safety of our workforce? Do we have a sustainable workforce? Are they becoming infected with COVID, and where, and how can we prevent that to keep them safe?

Most global systems just do not have the digital infrastructure that can flow that data right to the hands of the decision-maker as it is unfolding to inform very important decisions. Really, I see this as the post-pandemic future of healthcare.”

The panel agreed there was a need for strong change management strategies to step up digital transformation. Philips’ Partovi made the point that change management could be incredibly hard but moved forward when it was aligned with a mission and “when it improved experience”.

He urged healthcare organisations to focus on the bright spots, rather than the problems, when implementing change: “When you want transformational change and need transformational leadership, there’s a greater ability to create momentum when you find the things that are working, and you focus, and try to expand those, [rather] than constantly beat on the things that aren’t.”

Trainor said there were better outcomes when patients were put at the centre of the care team: “Traditionally nurses, doctors, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, all these folks, have all this information about you, the patient, which isn’t always shared in a transparent fashion. What we have seen over the last year, through the success of our digital medicine programmes, is that being transparent in real-time with patients, gives better outcomes.”

She urged others to accelerate their change management programmes to improve outcomes: “Keep pushing forward…It will be hard; it will be a big change. It will give people anxiety but move forward and you will see success.”

Snowdon suggested that organisations should start from a position of strength and build on those strengths to accelerate faster, and remember to “measure, measure, measure”.

Partovi agreed that competent measuring and focusing on outcomes was important.  He advised everyone to take small steps forward: “Shrink the change, experiment, if you are trying to leap the void in too big a gap, it just is difficult. Transformation is a process of agile, iterative experimentation. Shrinking the change and then constantly. It’s not a state, it’s a process.”    

Access the ‘Widening our Perspective on Digital Maturity’ session from the HIMSS European Digital Conference 2021 ‘On Demand’ here.


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