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5 Central Levers of a Value Generation Model for Digitization in Hospitals

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Updated April 20, 2021 5 minute read

With the use of key paragraphs from the study “How can a digital operating room bring value into the complex hospital setting?”, we outline the five actions hospitals can take to generate more value through healthcare digitalization. These levers are data integration, digitally delivered care, digitized operations, digitally enhanced O.R. teamwork, and digitally improved patient journey.

“How can a digital operating room bring value into the complex hospital setting?” That is the question posed in a whitepaper carried out in collaboration with SKC Consulting. This paper investigated how a digital O.R. could impact the economic and medical performance of hospitals’ operating rooms as well as which prerequisites and success factors enable hospitals to explore promised digitization potential.

Below we’ve highlighted some key information from each of the five central principles of a value generation model for hospital digitalization that the study identifies. To read the in depth analysis, download the whitepaper about generating value with hospital digitization.

Download the free whitepaper “How can a digital operating room bring value into the complex hospital setting?”

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1. Integrate data to generate value for your hospital

Data integration as the first value generation lever enables hospitals to enhance flexibility, interoperability, scalability, and productivity for seamless workflows by consistently capturing, storing, securing, sharing, and merging all patient relevant data.

“As explored by studies on the U.S. and German healthcare markets, up to $23 billion and €16 billion in savings could be realized by hospitals through digitization, especially by optimizing supply chain operations and process flows, i.e. with a structured data transfer, remote monitoring of patients, dashboards accessing uniform databases, digitally enhanced staff communication and data-driven patient flows.”

“But this integrated use of data will only happen if the data is systematically available. Hence, the first value generation lever that supports to attain higher productivity and financial savings in hospitals is the complete integration and management of data, influencing all processes and spanning the other value generation levers.”

2. Deliver care digitally through data integration

Data integration, as outlined above, paves the way for the second value generation lever: more and more digitally delivered medical care, enabling medicine to become more predictive, personalized, and precise through novel targeted care support, such as AI and Big Data.

“With an ever-increasing amount of data being produced in a hospital, it is important to be able to structure, analyze and access the data in a systematic way to improve the treatment of patients and realize financial savings.”

“Recent studies suggest that up to one fifth of healthcare expenditures are spent on duplicate and uncoordinated medical care delivery. In this regard, patients are facing dispensable bureaucracy with 60 percent of them repeatedly taking the same medical tests, and 74 percent providing the same medical information to several healthcare professionals – an issue that can be streamlined through digitally coordinated data.”

3. Digitize your surgeries to tap into efficiency

The third lever in this hospital digitization value generation model is to digitize surgeries. This can be seen as an opportunity to exploit untapped efficiency potential, especially by simplifying burdensome supporting processes and integrating data into one digital operating room system. We go into depth about boosting efficiency in our Brainlab Journal article Using Technology to Increase Surgical Efficiency.

“In order to ensure high efficiency in the operating room, it is important to optimally coordinate the four dimensions of space, time, personnel and material. A digital O.R. is estimated to reduce the personnel expenditures between 10 to 38 percent compared to the traditional O.R.”

“An integrated O.R. with a digital checklist provides the capability of reducing device related RSEs by 65 percent. Other studies indicate that the cutting-suture time can be reduced by a digitized O.R. due to less time efforts in manual positioning, device setup and synchronization of the systems. Easily accessible in the operating room, the instant availability of imaging data can serve as a guidance for the surgeon during the procedure for increased patient safety. Administrative costs, including high documentation efforts, internationally account for 12 to 25 percent of total hospitals’ expenditures, problematic particularly against the background of an escalating personnel shortage and increasing workload.”

For more on what kind of digital technologies are making an impact in today’s operating rooms, please read our Brainlab Journal article 5 Big Trends in O.R. Digitalization.

4. Digitally enhance your O.R. teamwork

The fourth level focuses on O.R. personnel and how digitization can enhance the way they work together. Digitization allows for the optimizing of O.R. teamwork and knowledge sharing by facilitated collaboration and learning possibilities through the power of digital software tools and remote consultations.

“The advantages of digital remote technology especially become evident when the outside environment changes in exponential speed as a consequence of sudden shifts in the market. Digitally well positioned and thus flexible organizations face less restrictions due to modern possibilities of remote servicing, remote consultation and remote teamwork with streaming and video conferencing.”

“Digitized O.R. systems can solve these problems by providing integrated solutions and dedicated digital tools, e.g. checklists for team-timeout with full team visibility, to ease some of the major surgical stressors.”

To read more about how to bring O.R. staff up to speed on the latest technology, please read our Brainlab Journal article How to Ensure You Get the Most out of Your O.R. Technology.

5. Digitally improve the overall patient journey

The fifth and final lever addresses those who benefit most from more efficient hospitals: The patient. By digitizing the entire patient journey, the overall experience is enhanced, allowing clinicians to adapt to the highly individual needs of each patient.

“When unstructured data such as pathology, blood tests and images, available from the hospital’s pre-, intra- and post-surgical processes, is brought together to be structured, analyzed and centrally stored over time in the patient’s EHR, a digital twin, or a virtual model, of the patient can be created. This data twin allows for the streamlining and further digitization of workflow processes throughout the entire patient journey as well as being able to guide medical professionals in their decision making to ultimately provide the patient with the best treatment possible and improve patient satisfaction holistically.”

For more on the impact of digitalization on patient interactions, read our Brainlab Journal article How Digitalization Both Helps and Hinders Patient Communication.

With these five value drivers, hospitals can begin mapping out their own path to creating greater value for themselves and their patients. Here we’ve outlined just a few key paragraphs of the study. To read more, please download the whole white paper “How can a digital operating room bring value into the complex hospital setting?”.

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