As the world emerges from the worst of the pandemic, healthcare providers see digital transformation as not just a buzzword but key to the future of patient care.

A new survey completed in June 2021 of 91 clinical and operational C-suite leaders in healthcare institutions reveals that digital transformation is high on today’s agenda and will become increasingly so in the future. 88% of respondents say that digital transformation is moderately or very important over the next 12 months, and 93% say that it will be during the next three years.

The focus on returning to volume and growing top-line revenue is clear, but as the importance of digital transformation rises, healthcare leaders see it as a way to deliver better proactive, end-to-end experiences for patients and make more efficient and effective use of care teams.

Overwhelmingly, leaders feel that the patient’s needs should be at the center of a coordinated approach, with patient access the key focus of digital transformation and recognition that better care coordination is vital to improving patient experience.

While current siloed technology solutions stifle transformation efforts, providers agree that having a single real-time view of each patient’s location on their care journey is critical to success, with simplicity and ease of use key to a good experience and improved patient adoption.

A banner showing the future of digital transformation in healthcare report

Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

Quality of care concerns will push digital transformation in the near term. 43% of providers say that improving care quality is a top 3 business priority over the next 12 months. Many are apprehensive about the hybrid care — some online, some in-person — patients have depended on for the last year-plus. They wonder about its quality, and they question whether patients are getting an appropriate care experience. Returning to volume in healthcare — clearly a financial imperative — must be achieved safely and sustainably.

Patient access is a popular entry point for digital transformation. Improving patient access is the top digital transformation goal for 59% of providers questioned in the survey. This goes beyond the first point of contact — it’s about ensuring that patients can access all the resources they need for care throughout their journey in the healthcare system. For successful patient access, coordination of care with the clinical teams is essential. It’s all about connecting the entire journey, from the administrative to the clinical.

Good patient experience depends on the coordination of care. Digital transformation is about building a valuable digital experience for both patients and care teams. One that is convenient, timely, and enables the patient to engage in a personalized, proactive care journey. On this, there’s widespread agreement, with 98% of survey respondents saying that care coordination is a top priority for providers’ immediate digital transformation strategy, and 96% that building patient engagement capabilities is a top priority too.

Improved experience from digital transformation is for the care team too. Good patient experience depends not only on the coordination of their care but also on the experience and coordination of the care team: 94% of survey respondents say that optimally coordinating the care team around each patient’s needs is critical for successful digital transformation. Care providers need to be brought into the patient experience at the right time to employ their skills. They need digital tools that make their jobs easier, reduce the administrative burden, and focus their efforts on caring for patients.

While growing top-line revenue heads the list of healthcare leaders’ longer-term priorities, the short-term picture is one of ensuring that the care they’re providing patients is high quality, well-coordinated, and enables good access and experience. Avoiding the “duct tape and rubber bands” approach to digital transformation is vital. Sustainable transformation that connects, coordinates, and automates care operations, streamlines the clinical journey, and transforms the care experience for patients and care teams alike is certainly the way the industry is going. Lumeon’s care journey orchestration platform is focused on achieving just that.

Read the full survey report to learn more about the digital transformation priorities and challenges for U.S. healthcare providers here.