Healthcare has changed forever. Now, health organizations must rise to meet the new normal by evolving stopgap measures into long-term solutions. But building a digital strategy requires time, energy, and money which are quickly wasted when solutions don’t work, or strategies fail. Whether you’re building an inpatient strategy or looking to further develop the reach of your telehealth platform, we’ve collected some critical tips to keep in mind. Read on below.

Start Small

It is better to implement a small change to your entire process than to add elaborate processes piecemeal. Consistency helps with buy-in and culture change, both of which are crucial when implementing new strategies. It also enables your departments to pivot as needed, like in the case of a sudden pandemic. Build a foundation for yourself to grow on.

Update Rather Than Replace

Implementing new technology leads to processes change. Changing processes takes time and energy. But technology should be making day-to-day tasks easier, not more arduous. To simplify onboarding, training, culture shifts, and process updates, implement technology that integrates with your existing systems rather than replacing them. Only update what isn’t working and keep what does. A digital strategy can utilize multiple different platforms that work well together to create a system for your unique needs.

Focus on the User Experience

With the surge in telehealth, we must now consider how to deliver care to the patient, rather than expecting them to come to us. While this can lend itself to accessibility (see our next tip) it also means we need to re-frame how we provide care. Digital care is changing to treat patients as consumers. Especially as state boundaries may fade away with digital access, patients have more options and will consider the digital experience when choosing a provider.

A superior digital solution doesn’t solely focus on provider experience or patient experience, but instead on the user experience. Both patients and providers need to be able to easily navigate the platforms and processes so that they can focus on what’s really important – the point of care. Look for processes that integrate with your existing systems to make provider onboarding easier, but don’t shy away from patient experience options that may seem superfluous at first blush. Small resources can make the world of difference in patient experience, and empowering patients to be involved in their care leads to better outcomes.

Put Accessibility First

Oftentimes, accessibility comes as an afterthought or an add on, leading to underdeveloped systems that don’t serve the populations they were designed for. Your strategy should be designed with your patient population in mind. How many of your patients don’t have access to reliable internet connections or struggle with digital literacy? Digital strategy shouldn’t only include cutting edge technology but also solutions that work for the users. Make sure there are solutions for all your patients such as phone lines, easy to navigate websites, and community outreach to educate the population.

Language access is not only a must for comprehensive care, it’s also required by law. Explore how to incorporate resources for Limited English Proficient (LEP), Deaf, and hard of hearing patients everywhere you provide care. Medical interpretation can be easily integrated with digital platforms. Read more about Martti integrations to learn how to add an interpreter to virtual care with the touch of a button.

Know How to Measure Success

To implement a strategy, you need to know how you’ll measure its success ahead of time. Technology isn’t inherently useful just because its digital. Know what pain points you need to solve and where you want to improve. By designating Key Performance Indicators (KPI), you can more easily evaluate the success of your program and be prepared to build upon the foundation you create.

Suggested KPIs: 

  • Patient experience and satisfaction (HCAHPS scores) 
  • Length of stay 
  • Discharge readiness 
  • Care team satisfaction 
  • Readmissions 
  • Adherence to care plan (post-discharge) 
  • Outcomes 

Whether you’re starting from scratch or building onto your existing digital strategy it’s important to keep these tips in mind. Interested in learning more? Read our white paper on Inpatient Virtual Care or check out our infographic.