The idea of deploying current and emerging technologies to transform the patient experience inside healthcare facilities – from the waiting room to the patient room to the operating room – is now a priority for most healthcare organizations, according to a new survey from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and AT&T.
The survey, The Digital Hospital: How Technology is Transforming the Patient Experience, reveals healthcare organizations are readying their IT backbones to deliver enhanced patient care and the kind of overall experience today’s connected consumers expect.
Early adopters report implementing technology to improve the overall guest experience, from simplifying the patient check-in process to offering Wi-Fi connectivity to patients and visitors. Others are advancing more slowly: they are still weighing solutions or are hindered by resource shortages.
“The results of this survey are definitely encouraging,” said Maria Lensing, VP of Healthcare Solutions at AT&T. “Patients today have demands similar to other consumers. They have high expectations for what their healthcare experience should be. While there is still more work to be done, many providers are taking tangible steps toward deploying edge-to-edge digital technologies, so that consumer expectations are exceeded. It’s exciting.”
"Providers will find it increasingly difficult to remain competitive without fully embracing edge-to-edge technology throughout the continuum of care.”
HIMSS conducted the survey on behalf of AT&T in June 2018 to better understand how hospitals and integrated delivery networks (IDNs) are transforming the patient experience inside their facilities through technology, thus changing how they operate and deliver patient value.
Of the 101 qualified respondents who completed the survey:
The majority of hospitals are actively involved in digitally transforming the patient experience, but it’s still early and progress is slow:
Hospitals are deploying a growing number of technologies to enhance the patient experience, particularly in large systems:
Wireless connectivity, self-service solutions, and entertainment/education top the list of tech deployments already in place, but emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are on the horizon:
Larger hospitals and systems are more likely to embrace emerging technologies:
Hospitals are reporting success at using technology to advance key goals. But effectiveness lags on many key objectives, primarily because of a lack of resources and vision:
AT&T provides edge-to-edge technologies that help healthcare organizations orchestrate the transformation from healthcare to human care.
“Providers are facing competition from a range of consumer-oriented digital entrants that have strong online presences, are steeped in a culture of analytics, and offer cloud-based services,” says Lensing. “These emerging potential competitors have expertise in relationship management strategies and incentivizing wellness/fitness programs. They are totally disrupting the industry and providing healthcare consumers with more choices than ever more. Providers will find it increasingly difficult to remain competitive without fully embracing edge-to-edge technology throughout the continuum of care.”
Regardless of a healthcare organization’s digital maturity, the HIMSS survey indicates momentum for modernization is building across the healthcare sector, with larger health systems leading the way. These organizations are priming their IT infrastructures to provide ubiquitous wireless connectivity, so solutions work without disruptions, which is paramount in a healthcare setting. If all goes as planned, patients and clinicians will benefit from improved care delivery and operational efficiency made possible by today’s—and tomorrow’s—technological advances.
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