The HCI Group was pleased to welcome back Paddy Padmanabhan, CEO of Damo Consulting. Paddy joined Ed Marx, HCI’s Chief Digital Officer and former Cleveland Clinic CIO to take part in HCI’s live interactive webinar series, Digital Unplugged. During the 30-minute session, Paddy Padmanabhan provided the audience with information on how to transform digitally with ongoing issues of underinvestment and technical debt—including the importance of strong foundations and best practices within healthcare IT.
Foundational Weaknesses in the State of Healthcare
The COVID-19 crisis and the sudden shift towards a virtualized care model exposed some key foundational issues with healthcare’s traditional model. According to Paddy, “These issues were apparent in their core infrastructure and level of preparedness for this level of change.” These weaknesses were only exasperated by the cumulative level of technical debt incurred because of problems with underinvestment in health systems’ IT infrastructure.
“Over the years, there has been underinvestment in infrastructure layers, proliferation of applications, network transformation, as well as the multi-channel communication infrastructure put in place to engage with patients. These aspects continue to expose the need for investment in core infrastructure and applications to effectively support the new digital health paradigm.”
Fortunately, Paddy believes that healthcare institutions are still agile enough to step back, review their choices, identify gaps, and make changes for the future.
Enabling Foundations for the Future: The Digital Front Door and Access to TeleHealth
Paddy notes that health systems have already begun to identify some key areas of technology that will require healthy investment to ensure that foundational issues within the healthcare space are resolved. These key areas include access within telehealth and digital front doors.
“Due to the recent circumstances we have seen the access to care has changed. Access is not as seamless as we want it to be, therefore, it’s important for health systems to put in place a virtual care infrastructure that enables patients to access the care at a time and location of their choosing. Closely related in the second component, care management. Many patients are unable to come into healthcare facilities for a variety of reasons. To ensure that the populations remain healthy, remote care and remote monitoring tools must continue preventative care and chronic condition management.”
For more information on the journey towards digital transformation in healthcare, please check out Ed and Paddy’s latest joint publication, “Healthcare Digital Transformation”, which addresses how consumerism, technology and the pandemic are accelerating the future.