Digital Transformation in the Healthcare Industry

The COVID crisis has hit many if not all industries around the world, and healthcare is among the most affected. 

However, big challenges are pushing big progress, and medical institutions are evolving big time, adapting their tech approaches to meet the new realities. Digital transformation plays a key part in this process, helping the industry approach its goals and bring care services to the next level. 

What are some of the main achievements in the field so far? And what digital obstacles are still there for medical institutions to overcome? 

Read on to find out. 

Digital healthcare trends and opportunities

First of all, let’s talk about the main trends and opportunities we see in digital healthcare right now.

1. Administration and facility management

Hospital workflow processes

There are nearly a billion doctor visits a year in the US alone. So, effectively managing medical operations is difficult to overestimate.

Clinicians have to manage things like staff scheduling, patient flow, rooms and procedures, stock supplies, billing, claims processing, etc. And given the automation technologies available today, along with the pressure on the global healthcare systems – wasting staff time on routine processes is nearly criminal negligence.

The solution? 

Integrate an ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) software. It can free a ton of your employee’s time, allowing them to focus on more human-dependent tasks and direct patient care.

Online medical appointment scheduling

We’ve already talked about the number of doctor visits in the US ad benefits of automated scheduling from the perspective of institutions. On the client’s side, this means a convenient way to make and manage appointments. In fact, only 7% of first-case medical appointments in the UK were conducted in person this year.

In this regard, an online medical appointment portal or app like the one we’ve built recently is an essential component of an effective care cycle and a convenient tool for clients and patients.  

Personal electronic medical records

Another area of care where automation yields positive results is the unification of Electronic Medical Records.

EMRs are already rather widely applied across the industry. However, institutions often use multiple solutions that lack interoperability features. Unsurprisingly, a study found that most EMR users consider their solution F-grade usability-wise. Which is pretty much as bad as it gets.  

Automated software can boost the EMR user experience and improve interoperability between departments and institutions by effectively gathering information from multiple sources.

Clinical documentation software

Documentation is another big part of the healthcare activities in medical institutions. It occupies a lot of the admin time and a quarter of the doctors’ active working hours.

As paperwork becomes obsolete, electronic documentation is a practical way to manage vital legal and medical information. Accessible round the clock and globe, e-papers are super convenient and securely protected. So, having a reliable digital solution for documentation and reporting is quite important.

2. Care cycle

Medical science and research

Modern healthcare practices are developing and diversifying exponentially. Consequently, it is increasingly challenging for clinicians to keep track of all the latest research and discoveries in the medical world, let alone systemize them into a practical treatment approach. That causes a substantial gap between current scientific progress and actual implementation of the knowledge on-sight.  

BigData analysis can help systemize lab data and effectively apply these findings in the real world, potentially saving countless lives.  

Diagnosis and predictive care

Using AI to analyze health records allows to increase diagnosis accuracy and develop an effective treatment approach.

More so, algorithms can foresee potential health risks for groups and individuals and prevent them by suggesting predictive care strategies.  

Finally, monitoring patients through the Internet of Medical Things can help to gather accurate real-time data on their well-being, detect medical hazards, and assist in emergencies.  

Contact tracing solutions

Contact tracing solutions have been another major focus of the global healthcare industry.

A bunch of Exposure Notification Systems (ENS) have emerged to help monitor and contain the spread of COVID by alerting those at risk of contracting the virus. 

Developed by both state and private companies, these tools are estimated to not only help but effectively stop the pandemic at an 80% adoption rate. Whereas, the apps will already have a positive effect essentially from zero and up usage. 

3. Finances, billing, and privacy

Insurance claims processing software

Insurance and claims processing is also a big deal in the healthcare sector. With up to 400 million insurance fraud cases a year in the US alone – accurately accessing insurance claims is extremely important.

At that, effectively processing such a scope of information by hand is barely realistic. Meanwhile, AI algorithms can easily crack such tasks and enable instant claims evaluation & response.

Medical billing software systems

One more finance-related healthcare activity to improve through automation is billing.

Medical services imply a ton of bills, money transfers, insurance claims, etc. Meanwhile, a recent study found that nearly half of all medical claims have billing mistakes and errors. That’s a lot of money wasted in the form of false client charges and reimbursements. 

Automated billing solutions can drastically reduce such issues and save tons of money for medical institutions and their clients.

Medical data protection

One more significant concern in the healthcare world is data privacy.

Medical institutions keep a lot of sensitive personal information like medical records, contacts, addresses, and financial data. Unfortunately, it’s not always used properly.

Digital solutions help to effectively manage personal data and ensure it is used correctly through introducing role-based access. Like that, a doctor would access the client’s medical record, while the administrator only sees relevant billing information, and so on.

Current healthcare challenges

Regardless of the global urge and efforts towards quicker industry transformation, obstacles are still present on our way to fulfilling it according to the design. 

From preparing medical staff to meet the new challenges in the digital realm and polishing the technological component behind the initiative, to getting the general public on track with the new healthcare direction – there’s still a good way to go before the transformation happens. 

– Medical staff training

Before anything else, a lack of appropriate staff training represents a major obstacle to successful and quick industry transformation. The new ways of conducting medical activities require medical personnel to adapt rapidly in order to successfully meet emerging challenges. And this adaptation concerns the medical specialists’ skills and resources, as well as the general procedure.  

The problem is that the hospitals’ MDs and GPs that are on the frontlines of implementing telemedicine are not technology experts themselves. Whereas healthcare transformation requires both a clear understanding of the traditional industry processes and the technical savviness just as much. This is, although minor, but still a contributing factor to slowing down digital healthcare adoption.  

Technology imperfection

That said, the human factor is far not the only obstacle for the industry. The very technological component on which the entire process of digital transformation rests has to evolve in order for the industry to cope with the day-to-day challenges that are emerging right now. 

In order for the system to work, it has to remain coherent on many levels. From primary and secondary care to provision and so on. At that, the interoperability inside and between healthcare branches is still insufficient. 

More so, there are rather unexpected issues medical institutions come across. Things like mailbox storage getting filled up from the flood of emails up to a point where new ones aren’t received. Or difficulties with accessing clinical applications for providing medical assistance. Various compatibility issues… There’s a new one every day. All of these problems have to be resolved, and there is no way of predicting them beforehand.  

Privacy concerns

The digitization of healthcare records and activities is putting sensitive patients’ (privacy) data in a vulnerable position. On one hand, this creates a need for additional regulations in the industry. On the other – a need for appropriate digital solutions that will grant people’s privacy.

A lot of people are not ready to share their medical data with a digital third party fearing it would be disclosed. Which, although improbable, does not come without precedents. Like that, the lack of trust from the public creates resistance to the adoption of the new medicare approach.

This brings us to another telemedicine problem…

Consumer preparedness

Truly, the primary beneficiaries of telehealthcare are those that are most vulnerable in times of a health crisis. However, many of them are not ready to switch to the new approach because of ideology, habits, or available technology. 

First of all, the elderly are used to the old ways of doing things. Having grown up in the pre-digital era, they often struggle to comb through the complexities of various online systems. At the same time, a big chunk of the global population experience a far less favorable socio-economic situation than required for healthcare digitalization. They simply do not have access to the new tech provided. And then there are conspiracy theorists and ultra-conservatives that do not fancy the new tech’s overwhelming expansion for their own reasons…

So, consumer preparedness is another obstacle in the way of establishing coherent and effective digital healthcare systems. 

Final word

Business process automation is a vital topic in healthcare. 

The pandemic has pushed medical institutions into the digital realm, and global healthcare transformation is deploying at an unparalleled pace, with businesses looking for various IT solutions to improve workflows and stay competitive. 

While there are still a lot of challenges to overcome on this path, it is clear that an agile approach in technology integration, as well as proactive action on daily “management” issues, are two main things the industry should focus on to successfully achieve its goals. 

We ourselves have recently developed an online medical appointment service, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help with your digital healthcare endeavors!

Top Digital Transformation Trends: Business Workflow Automation

Continuing to discuss evolutionary processes in business, let’s look at a crucial driver of enterprise progress like workflow automation.

In general, it is a set of practices aimed at streamlining routine activities to improve business efficiency. The approach is implemented through various digital solutions and is considered essential across most industries and business domains.

Want to learn more about workflow automation?

Scroll down to get all the answers!

Why automate business processes?

Ever since industrialization, abandoning manual work in favor of streamlined production has helped to boost outputs, cut shift hours, and improve working conditions. Today, we are in the digital era, but automation is even more relevant to businesses of all shapes and forms.

business workflow automation history - from industrial to digital revolution

Robotization of business processes aims at essential business goals like increased service qualitywider audience reach, and reduced spendings. And with over 45% of paid activities worldwide suitable for automation, this is a trillion-dollar question. 

I know what you’re thinking, but don’t rush to hire an IT development team just yet! First of all, you must understand the key advantages of business process automation and things it can improve. 

Advantages of business process automation

If you’ve never dealt with workflow automation, it may sound like yet another thing you didn’t want to do in the first place. Or, you may have heard that it’s expensive or troublesome to implement. 

In both cases, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

When it comes to complexity, automating business functions is not nearly as cumbersome as executing all of it in the “good old” manual way. Moreso, the average cost of automation systems is nothing compared to the monetary equivalent of the time, effort, and risks associated with abstaining from them. 

Digging deeper into the topic, there are 5 main reasons why you should automate business processes:

Cost reduction

You don’t need expert analysis to see how performing routine tasks quicker and better can positively impact your company’s budget.

Automation can save a fortune in the form of paid working hours and salaries, improved customer relationships, better order processing and inventory management, higher operational transparency, and much more. So, it’s no wonder that businesses spend a whopping $20 billion a year on automation.

Optimization of human resources

Delegating the grunt work to algorithms, you allow your employees to focus on purely human-related issues. We’re talking about direct customer assistance and carecreative business challenges, and the entire range of non-computer-related activities.

In most cases, these tasks also bring the highest value to the company.    

Employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is yet another thing automation can improve. Very few of us genuinely enjoy the menial tasks usually taken over by algorithms. At that, alleviating these responsibilities from your workers’ shoulders can boost their work satisfaction and loyalty, which is a key driver of business growth

Increased accuracy

Regardless of how brilliant, attentive, and responsible your staff is, we are all just human beings. Even if a team’s workflow is smooth like Swiss clockwork, something will go south now and then. Whether it’s a scheduling mishap, a missed customer’s question, or a misdirected email – you can never predict the human factor. 

On the other hand, machines have no bad days, never distract, and have nowhere to rush on a Friday evening. This makes one a poor buddy, but a perfect assistant to sort through the multitude of daily tasks.   

Better performance

Last but not least, a natural outcome of the four automation benefits mentioned above is better overall business performance.

Carefully tuned processes that empower your workers, bolster back-office operation and ultimately satisfy the clients – inevitably boost business performance. If that’s not your main goal at the moment – you can skip business workflow automation. Otherwise – think twice.

Business Workflow Automation Pitfalls

Naturally, nothing is perfect in the business world, and there are several nuances to workflow automation, just as well. So, if you do decide to streamline your company processes, try to avoid the following traps:

Wrong goals

While it may seem that more automation is always better, it’s important to carefully choose which business functions you improve. Some of your company activities may suffer from excess robotization (see next paragraph) or aren’t worth the investment.

To avoid this, ask yourself the following questions:

What are the most complex processes I can automate? Which of them is most time-consuming? And finally, which of them will have the greatest business impact?

These would be the processes you should automate first.


Streamlining all of the processes can dehumanize your services, which is not nearly the goal of automation. Conversely, automation takes care of tasks to free the staff’s time, ultimately making your business even more humane.

Similar to a car, it’s not there to take walking away, but rather to take us to the best place to walk at.

Team resistance

Just like any innovation, automating business workflows can meet resistance from both executives and staff. The first may not see the point of additional investments in software, while employees may fear losing their jobs.

Overcoming such obstacles, you need to dispel people’s fears. Describe your goals and clarify how automation is beneficial for all parties involved – the owners, the clients, and the workers.


Last but not least, expenses are a valid thing to consider whatever business initiative you undertake.

This goes in line with the aforementioned point about setting the right automation goals. Even if your budget allows streamlining virtually all of your company’s processes, it does not mean you should do it. Focus on essential, and go from there.

Business Process Automation Solutions

Now that we’ve covered the curses and blessings of workflow automation, let’s go over the processes that can be improved via algorithms.

As already mentioned, automation can aid almost half of the global paid activities, potentially saving $2 trillion in wages.

global business proccess automation potential

At that, there are 4 main types of business processes where automation can play a key role: 

Executive management

Automation can simplify managing large teams with multiple departments and decision-makers.

It allows you to track, manage, and supervise operational activities, see task progress, issues, and deadlines – all in one place. The decision-making process becomes much more simple, transparent, and quick, too. With automated approval from managers on each executive level, your business won’t stall whenever important questions arise. 

Time is money so you can waste none in the business world.        

Team communication

Those who have worked in teams without task management and communication tools will recognize the following picture: responsibilities mixed up, tasks fulfilled incompletely, deadlines missed, and an overall mess in the production process. Team communication established through Skype… 

Sounds familiar, huh?

We’ve all been there. Forget about efficiency, just having the tasks done is already a challenge under such conditions. 

A far better idea is to automate these processes with tech solutions like Slack or Trello. Such software allows teams and departments to stay on the same page when fulfilling complex tasks and continuous objectives. Plus, it ensures overall transparency of the working process.

Customer relationship

Customer relationship is crucial to businesses in the digital realm. It can be a win or lose strategy for your business by affecting your client’s loyalty big time.

Now, the more customers – the harder it is to address all the requests and issues manually. And while keeping your prospects on hold is a questionable option, relying on CRM solutions might do wonders.

These systems aggregate consumer data, analyze their behavior, and ensure smooth interaction. They help to resolve customer issues, meet their desires and needs, and generate beneficial deals and upsells. Like that you can acquire, convert, and retain more customers.

As for direct customer support, chatbots not only cover the gap in employee resources but even outperform people in resolving client issues. 

Inventory management

Speaking about efficiency, automation can improve inventory management, too.

If you are an active vendor or a retail store owner (or a drop shipping company) – a lot is going on in the warehouse. You’ve got to stock, sell, and monitor your inventories daily. This is a rather complicated task for a human being, especially for big marketplaces and product hubs.

Automation can help with inventory management. These systems keep track of stocked goods, update availability information, evaluate consumption, and remind about ending products. So, you never run out of or oversupply items.

Document turnover 

Very often, paperwork takes the time and attention it really shouldn’t. 

A smart document management solution like the one built by our team can save both your time and nerve cells. It enables you to view, share, and sign documents on the go, effortlessly, and without delays. 

Such tools are especially useful when dealing with extensive documentation to be shared or signed by multiple parties. Great for employee onboarding, budget approvals, contracting, legal issues – you name it. 

Social media

Last but not least – the automation of social media marketing activities. 

While you can hire a dedicated SMM specialist, sometimes there are better ways to invest a few thousand a year. That said, spending your employees’ precious time on posting to Facebook, Linked In, and Instagram may turn out even more costly.  

In this case, an SMM automation tool like Buffer seems more than legit. Kt allows scheduling and posting to all of your social media marketing channels simultaneously and hassle-free. 

Digital Transformation Across Industries

Business process automation solutions are a means to the wider notion of digital transformation. And although it is quite similar across industries, there still are distinctive features with each one.

For specific digital transformation insight, explore our niche-dedicated articles:

The bigger picture 

The points covered in the article are mere landmarks to navigate your digitization strategy.

Very probably, you’ll find it possible to automate most of your business’s specific processes. The rule of thumb here is that anything that’s recurrent and requires predictable actions – can be automated to your benefit. In any case, it will probably fit in with the bigger strategy of your business’s management or improvement. 

Need help automating your business activities? Our team is always here to help! 

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