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The dawn of the digital era within South Africa’s healthcare sector has arrived

23 Aug, 2019

In the current rapidly evolving digital world, industry sectors are increasingly moving towards implementing digital strategies to enhance operational agility and promote a seamless and efficient customer experience.

This is particularly the case within the local private healthcare sector, where digital technologies are now commonly regarded as a necessity, rather than an advantage. Here, the influx of middle-class consumers bolstered by medical aid have been driven to consider private healthcare options, resulting in an expanding and robust health care sector.

As a result, healthcare service providers continue to rethink their digital strategies as they seek to enhance operational efficiencies and reduce costs, while still delivering on the promise of superior customer experience.

And while the key benefits of digitalization continue to be realised across organisations and sectors alike, adoption within the local healthcare sector has been understandably slower. This is because of the prevalence of customised systems and processes which hamper integration in what can be currently considered a largely disparate healthcare technology ecosystem.

Here, a haphazard digital adoption rate, coupled with lack of standardisation and system interoperability, means that service providers and customers remain constrained by widespread on-premise limitations.

Patients and service providers must still contend with largely manual admissions and administrative processes.  The lack of systems integration within the sector means it cannot fully leverage the benefits of enhanced communication, “anytime, anywhere” access and the power of data analytics. In the future, embracing all that digitalization can do for the industry should drastically improve efficiencies and potentially ensure better health outcomes.

Increased agility now possible through digital technology

 

Although digitalization has remained a hot topic within the healthcare sector for the past two decades, it is only now that both technology and business models have evolved sufficiently allow the digital vision for sector stakeholders to become a tangible reality.

Going forward, healthcare providers and their customers will be able to tap into the benefits of an integrated digital technology ecosystem that has the capacity to drastically transform the sector through:

  • Increased efficiency through streamlined administration processes resulting in reduced patient waiting times.
  • Enhanced communication providing employees with secure anytime, anywhere access to clinical and operational data.
  • Real-time monitoring of medical equipment to ensure continuous functionality as well as minimising damage or loss.
  • Enhanced procurement processes through increased stock visibility for items such as medication and hospital disposables.
  • Seamless system integration of diagnostic test results and images.
  • Improved clinical outcomes through increased access to, and enhanced management of, patient medical history and records.
  • Wireless connectivity access for patients, visitors, and medical staff for improved efficiency and satisfaction.
  • Potential new revenue streams through the implementation of additional digital platforms such as signage and navigation.
  • Data analytics for improved data quality and extraction for reporting purposes.

The increased agility now possible through digital technology means that digital transformation in the sector is now at a turning point. Organisations are making the all-important move towards becoming part of a digital health platform that successfully integrates stakeholders across the health value chain, to drive efficiencies and progress in healthcare.

Moving forward with digital transformation

At BCX, we understand that technology has a direct impact on how people live, learn, and work. We create solutions that combine our technologies, the vast knowledge of our experts, and a process-focused approach that enable our clients to enhance their operational efficiencies, and ultimately meet their business objectives.

Digital transformation is achieved by placing next-generation technology at the core of your organisation to enable new digital-first business models. We regard software-defined networks as a major milestone for clients embarking on their digital transformation journey.

And while technology may change, one thing remains the same. We’ll put your business right where your customers are. Because at BCX our most important customer, is yours.

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