Black Box Thinking and Digital Transformation in Healthcare
In his book, ‘Black Box Thinking’, Matthew Syed writes about the importance of an indestructible black box that is equipped in every passenger aircraft in the world. Whenever there is any sort of mishap or accident, the box is opened, data analyzed and the reason for such an accident expertly analyzed so a similar issue does not happen again. It is due to this process that the aviation industry has created an astonishingly good safety record. It is this progressive attitude to failure that has resulted in a successful change to how we enact a whole safety procedure within the Aviation industry. So why is this not similar to Healthcare?
Healthcare organizations are under huge pressure due to the high level of risk that goes with treating thousands and thousands of people daily. Huge faith is positioned within the system due to organizations having expertly trained and highly skilled professionals within the line of work to deal with patient’s requests. However, this trust of organizations is leading to many accidents and easily avoidable deaths every year. If a patient is miss treated there is a reluctance to investigate such a failure. There is a perceived infallibility of surgeons and, therefore, no reaction to the failure, no breakdown of why or how the accident occurred. The ‘Black box’ in the aviation industry, however, documents every angle finite detail. It assesses a large amount of data and each accident is analyzed so that similar accidents do not occur. By applying this method, the industry has created astonishingly good safety records.
The implementation of similar technology can only help the Healthcare sector. A CRM like Microsoft Dynamics 365 would register every instance of pre-care interactions per prospective patent, through consultations and examinations, to keep up uninterrupted, systematic records. This information could be then used to alert the relevant medical personnel to alarming gaps in scheduled visits or to notify them about a prospective patient’s intention to resume cooperation in a said period.
What digital transformation can help with is the pressure and ambiguity of the Healthcare profession being reduced. A Cloud-based CRM system unites doctors, nurse, home care providers, family members, and the patient into a cohesive care team with a unified treatment vision, thereby reducing errors and ambiguity.
Today we see too many organizations stuck in failure which impedes progress and halts innovation. One of the reasons for this stalling is a lack of trust in the technology that could transform how we treat patients.
Placing faith in technology is a daunting thing. To trust a computer is a modern view but one we must embrace if we are to learn from failures. The right use of such technology will allow us to make strides on how we enact and serve patients throughout the Healthcare cycle. If technology will take the burden off surgeons and the Healthcare industry then the margin for error will decrease to a minimum level and this conversation will cease to exist. Solutions are not far away and one that AlfaPeople have implemented is the Virtual Fracture Clinic. Working alongside Lucy Cassidy, AlfaPeople have designed a solution that empowers patients through post-operative rehab mobile application. People can now access care from the comfort of their own homes, with a face-to-face appointment booked over the device if required. This causes a reduction of costs and time, allowing healthcare organizations to allocate resource and specialists more effectively. In 2018-2019, 26% plan to start offering virtual care and it is something we should embrace. It will help with hospital queues and transform the patient experience into one that is efficient and streamlined. Gartner believes that “harnessing digital technologies for consumer, member and patient engagement is essential for healthcare organizations to improving experience and outcomes and reducing costs” (Gartner, 24 January 2018)
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are now being used by numerous Healthcare Organisations and show a clear step in the right way to the future of how we document patient information. If the next step is to place these large databases on blockchain technology then we should be looking at how and why this could benefit the bigger picture. With each technological solution there comes trepidation and distrust born out of a fear of failure. However, the current rejection of real failure is halting this change and steps must be made if we are to transform the industry.