Driving Digital Transformation in Healthcare

No matter where healthcare systems operate, their mission remains the same – provide the best of care to the patients they serve. Unfortunately, systems across the world currently face a similar set of challenges.

  • Kieran-H-BWHealthcare systems must do more with less, fighting for every precious resource and bit of funding to keep operations running as efficiently as possible as costs only continue to rise.
  • Populations are aging, placing growing pressure on systems to take care of more people and their complex and varied health needs.
  • Workforce shortages plague the industry. There are fewer healthcare workers to serve the needs of a growing number of patients, while finding adequate healthcare worker alternatives has proven more difficult.

Across the globe, fundamentally there's a drive toward the new way of managing patients at-scale across populations. Digital transformation is a key enabler, while integrated care is the goal. Within the digital transformation journey, healthcare leaders must consider digital strategy, solution implementation, and data-driven insight adoption.

In our experience, success in this area stems from genuine partnership from planning, through implementation, support and optimization. It requires working closely with clients to understand their specific needs, remaining attentive to their concerns, and advising and consulting throughout the project. This ensures they can maximize the return on their technology investment and better serve their patients.

Here are three recent examples that demonstrate how Nordic has helped healthcare systems meet their digital transformation goals despite the challenges.

Digital strategy: Migrating to the cloud

Finding a partner that can both produce digital strategies and act as an advisor to see it through is ideal. They can best help with ongoing issues after providing the initial recommendation to ensure a smoother implementation and long-term success.

Our clients have found it’s better to have a strategic partner with deep experience in healthcare and electronic medical records to guide them on the digital transformation journey – where in many ways implementation is only the first step.

Seek a partner with cloud migration experience and bandwidth to complete the work. It should have a proven understanding of the cloud, solid measurable results from prior cloud migration efforts, a relationship with a notable cloud service provider, diverse and talented team members, and deep domain expertise within healthcare data.

Further, a good partner will help the healthcare organization develop sound strategies for its cloud architecture, data warehouse migration, building an enterprise data lake, and setting the foundation for predictive model and machine learning. 

Implementation services: Focus on training

Healthcare systems invest significantly in their EMR solutions expecting to reap the rewards of the digital transformation, but they may later run into obstacles if they discover they can’t get the most out of the newly implemented technology. If organizations neglect pre-implementation work, which focuses on configuration, to get things up and running, they might gloss over vital training and ongoing advisory services.

When Alberta Health Services (AHS) in Canada needed Epic implementation to serve its more than 4.3 million population, it recognized it needed a partner go beyond the build. Nordic’s Canadian team stepped in for the full implementation, which happens over nine launches from 2019 to 2024.

To date, Nordic has provided AHS 68 resources, all of which played critical roles in the build, testing and deployment of the Epic applications, and development and delivery of training. This includes:

  • Since 2018, rounds of testing and preparation for each deployment, supporting AHS with the initial build and training curriculum design. Nordic’s team members have supported required testing and activation efforts with each subsequent launch in the province.
  • In 2019, Nordic placed a key strategic resource with AHS to support ongoing oversight and advisory services to the AHS training team. The resource remained with AHS for three years as it navigated the first few launches.
  • In 2021, Nordic was selected as the preferred vendor for the provision of credentialed trainers to provide all pre-launch training and support one month post-launch.
  • Nordic’s senior training advisor provided Epic training expertise, particularly in establishing the Master Training Project Training Environment, provided guidance and assistance with the tasks needed to complete the Master Training Project Build Plan, and advised on the development of Epic training course materials.
  • Since 2021, Nordic provided AHS with supplemental credentialed training resources to support ongoing launches across the province.

With Nordic, AHS had a partner from the beginning that could ensure proper implementation and training, so it and its people could get the most out of Epic.

Population health management: Leveraging data and analytics

Healthcare systems taking the first steps of their digital transformation should rightfully focus on digital strategy and implementation services. But for the more mature system that has already embraced a digital strategy and gone through implementation, the focus moves toward getting return on that investment and fine-tuning care.

In the UK, the Yorkshire and Humber Care Record (YHCR) is one of five national exemplars revolutionizing how practitioners, patients, and clinicians work together by harnessing new technologies. Nordic’s experts managed two complex pieces of work for the YHCR:

  • a new population health management capability
  • deployment of shared care records to Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care System

For each of these, the scope, plan, and delivery model were fully developed, using complex project portfolio management techniques and experience to manage a range of suppliers and stakeholders and achieve successful outcomes. Proportionate governance and reporting were put in place along with sophisticated commercial management to allow delivery to a budget.

And in delivering the population health management solution, the full lifecycle of design was covered to bring onboard supplier consortium, build, deploy and run. This highly innovative, Cloud-based solution is unique in the NHS and provides key new capabilities to analyze and tackle diseases.

Success through partnership

Any system would be hard-pressed to achieve all this without an experienced partner to help accelerate digital transformation and ensure it is sustainable with training and knowledge sharing during and after implementation. The unrelenting pressure of strained resources, aging populations, and workforce shortages only add to the complexities and challenges of providing optimum care. With the right partner, digital transformation can ease the burden.

Topics: featured, digital health

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