“A lot of times it’s better to think about (digital transformation) in retrospect after you’ve gotten something done, but the digital platform is essential in helping you achieve your business objectives, and that’s really what it boils down to,” says AMA Chief Experience Officer Todd Unger. “Even though my purview here is mostly communicating between us and physicians, ultimately, I’m there to help them in what they care the most about, which is patient care. There is no aspect of healthcare right now that is not being transformed digitally.”
Todd Unger, Chief Experience Officer for the American Medical Association, discusses how digital transformation is ultimately about improving patient care in a video interview (watch below) with industry analyst Michael Krigsman on CXOTALK:
I Don’t Start Anything That I Do With Digital Blinders On
I don’t start anything that I do with digital blinders on. The first thing is to figure out what the job that you’re trying to get done is. Inevitably, of course, these days, if you’re trying to meet people where they are, that does involve digital platforms. We are, in essence, like any other subscription business in that we have something that we’re trying to get people to belong to. If you’re going to communicate with people and build a subscription business, you do need to have that platform in place.
I think, basically, today, most organizations or businesses, they have to act in three ways. They’ve got to have the consumer product focus of a company like Proctor & Gamble. They need to have the publishing experience and content management experience of a New York Times or Washington Post, and they need to have the data and analytics platform and skillset of like an Amazon. That’s a tough organization to build these days. But if you’re going to succeed in creating a member experience and really interacting with people, you’ve got to be able to do all three things.
There Is No Aspect of Healthcare That Is Not Being Transformed Digitally
I think digital transformation is a bizarre and scary term. I don’t walk in the door saying, “We need to have a digital transformation,” because that is really kind of meaningless to people. A lot of times I would say it’s better to think about that in retrospect after you’ve gotten something done, but the digital platform is essential in helping you achieve your business objectives, and that’s really what it boils down to.
Even though my purview here is mostly communicating between us and physicians, ultimately, I’m there to help them in what they care the most about, which is patient care. There is no aspect of healthcare right now that is not being transformed digitally. One of the most exciting places, and I think it probably has more relevance on the long-term care side, is remote patient monitoring. You look around at most systems and they’re equipping themselves to have people not come to the hospital, not come into the office, but to provide people with the technology to be able to do what they need to do from home and to be able to communicate with them from a remote place and have their progress monitored.
Driving The Future of Medicine
I’d say the final way that we (are an ally in patient care) is through something I don’t think a lot of people know about, which is driving the future of medicine. We are facilitating the changes that are happening in medicine right now. I talked about remote patient monitoring, but telemedicine is something that’s increasing in usage and all of the infrastructure that underlies that needs to get put into place to make sure that doctors have what they need to be able to do that and, from a technology payment standpoint, all of that kind of stuff.
The other thing and this is affecting every aspect of business out there is data. One of the key things about data right now in healthcare is, it’s not necessarily hooked up in a way that can connect the input when a patient comes in the door and the outcomes. There are different systems that underly that data input and the portability of that. We are putting in place an infrastructure and what we would call an innovation ecosystem to facilitate the flow of that data so that it can actually deliver better patient care in the end.