The management of patient flow, staffing, timetabling, and supply chain management presents the greatest challenge to hospital administrators, but digital technology will serve as their greatest guide in this endeavor. As a consequence of this, it has the potential to lead to an improvement in the quality and efficiency of the provision of treatment, in addition to expanding access to care for patients.
When discussing digital transformation in the healthcare industry, most individuals tend to center their attention on the idea of enhancing clinical decision-making through the application of analytics. Nevertheless, placing an exclusive emphasis on the utilization of digital transformation to improve clinical decision-making would be a mistake. According to current studies on how hospitals are utilizing data and technology, we have reason to believe that digital transformation has a significant impact on optimizing the operational decision-making of hospitals. This, in turn, can lead to an improvement in the quality of care provided, the efficiency with which it is provided, and the access that patients have to medical services.
A hospital’s ability to make decisions in four crucial areas—patient flow, personnel allocation, schedule organization, and inventory control—can all benefit from digital transformation.
When discussing the movement of patients, There is an effort in healthcare facilities to ensure that the right patient receives the right treatment at the right time. To achieve this goal, healthcare providers must accurately identify patient needs and efficiently manage available hospital resources. Despite clinicians’ familiarity with the former, the latter presents a significant challenge due to a lack of training and the resulting strain on hospital resources as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
These classification, admission, and discharge decisions can be supported by data from analytical decision-assistance systems at the healthcare facility. When a patient comes in and the doctor isn’t sure whether to send them to the intensive care unit or the usual ward, a decision-support technique can offer guidance based on the benefits of admitting them to the ICU.
Digital solutions might be helpful when it comes to managing capacity, or staffing. Consider the significant cost that is nurses and other medical professionals. Analytics can help charge nurses and hospital supervisors make better decisions in real time, rather than relying on phone calls, SMS, and worksheets.
Algorithms can predict nurse absence and the number of float nurses needed. Even amid uncertain demand, emergency department management research has shown that both can be reproduced. These technologies can anticipate and react quickly, making shift plans for nurses more reliable and predictable. Hospitals and other healthcare providers should emphasize this. Many medical facilities use digital technology to collect and handle patient documents, but resource scheduling is typically done manually. This includes scheduling surgery rooms, radiology suites, and others. Digital technology can improve this area by anticipating resource needs, correcting for unplanned changes and cancellations, and optimizing plans based on current facts.
However, many hospitals prioritize patient care over supply chain management and inventory control. Quality care requires sufficient materials. Digitizing supply chains reduces fees by 50% and boosts revenue by 20%, as hospitals have shown. Hospitals can cut supply chain and inventory management expenses by automating information, acquiring, balancing, and paying for medical, surgical, and pharmaceutical items. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital executives are seeking ways to use information and technology to gain insights into their stock, prices, delivery times, and demand trends.
Current supply tracking uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and internet-connected trackers. Consolidating and synchronizing supply across medical center divisions can significantly reduce stock needed to meet service levels. Information centralization, which may be done with a digitized supply-chain-management system, may be adequate to achieve this.