It’s no surprise that 2020 was a year of rapid digital transformation in healthcare. Faced with a worldwide pandemic, many healthcare organizations were forced to rethink their digitization strategies and priorities.

In 2021, organizations were able to shift from survival mode into more proactive planning. This year set the stage for reimagining how processes, systems, and technology work, from creating better patient experiences to improving data practices.

So what digital transformations are coming to healthcare in 2022? Below we dig into three ways healthcare will continue to evolve through digital transformation.

Virtual Care Will Continue to Boom

Although virtual healthcare exploded due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, research shows that a majority of patients will continue to prefer virtual and at-home healthcare options.

From telehealth visits to in-home testing options, patient preferences are changing and evolving due to the recent boom in virtual healthcare. According to research by PwC’s Health Research Institute, 85% of consumers said they’d be willing to have a DIY strep test, flu test, or remote monitoring. In 2022, it’s important for healthcare organizations to broaden virtual and in-home testing to keep up with patient preferences and expectations.

For busy parents, working professionals, and college students, access to virtual healthcare is a game-changer. Many patients now expect virtual options when looking for services. In 2022, healthcare providers should prioritize developing excellent virtual experiences and securing technology that expands virtual care options.

Paper Will Diminish as Data Processes Evolve

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve digitally, paper will become a thing of the past. Electronic health records and digital workflows will become must-haves as the healthcare industry finally begins to phase out the usage of paper forms and documentation.

Collecting patient data electronically is shown to reduce costs, minimize data errors, and improve patient satisfaction. Digitizing all data collection and workflows across patients, doctors and back-office staff often produces:

  • More efficient processes
  • Stronger data security
  • Higher patient satisfaction
  • Better patient retention
  • Improved data accuracy

Experts believe 2022 will be the year healthcare facilities finally begin to shift to completely digitized data collection. According to the Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision 2021 report, 66% of healthcare executives say they will be in the cloud within the next year and 96% say this will happen within three years.

With paper processes becoming a thing of the past, it’s important to invest in secure, HIPAA-compliant technology that can support a paperless approach. There are many IT solutions that can help your organization improve data processing, from HIPAA compliant server hosting to authentication services. Facilities must focus on identifying and implementing the right technology and processes in 2022 to facilitate a paperless experience.

Transparency Becomes Key to Retaining Patients

Patients are demanding more transparency from their healthcare providers, which will push organizations into different realms of digital transformation. The new regulations released on price transparency across the healthcare industry have created a domino effect. Patients now expect transparency across every touchpoint.

This includes communications, pricing, data policies, information sharing, and more. In the digital age, patients have become highly educated healthcare consumers and expect the organizations that serve them to be transparent throughout all interactions.

How does technology play into this? Investing in the right technology can help your organization ensure transparency across departments, locations, and employees. With the right workflows, processes, and tech in place, patients can do things like book appointments, easily access test results, find accurate pricing, and quickly communicate with providers.

The Digitization of Healthcare Continues

The changes happening within the healthcare landscape are exciting. The rapid digitization of the industry is improving patient care, accelerating growth, and expanding access to care. When healthcare organizations truly embrace digital transformation, great goals can be achieved.

If you’re looking for more information on how to execute a successful digital transformation at your organization, check out Formstack’s Digital-First Healthcare Delivery: A Digital Transformation Checklist.

About the Author: Lindsay McGuire is the Content Marketing Manager at Formstack, where she oversees the creation of blog content, guides, and Formstack’s Ripple Effect podcast.

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