Oct 16, 2019 | Weingarten

Digital transformation in healthcare – from hype to reality.

• Investment backlog remains the biggest hurdle to digitalization
• Customer Experience Day enables dialog between key players
• Information and education increase the acceptance of e-health and AI in healthcare
• CHG-MERIDIAN’s latest white paper presents investment options for the digital age

General hospitals in Germany require annual investment of €9.3 billion to complete their digital transformation over the next four years.1 In Baden-Württemberg, for example, this equates to €2,800 per bed per year.2 Only just over two-thirds of this sum is actually available to invest, as one in three hospitals remains underfinanced – and the number is rising. In its white paper ‘Digital transformation in healthcare. From hype to reality.’ CHG-MERIDIAN explains how to overcome the challenges of financial constraints while deploying intelligent IT.

Keeping pace with rapid digital change in the healthcare sector and competing for patients and skilled personnel requires performance-oriented and forward-looking investment. According to the 2018 Roland Berger Hospital Study, 33 percent of hospitals surveyed have already increased their efficiency through digitalization measures – and the percentage is rising. The estimated investment needed in cutting-edge digitalization models in healthcare and IT infrastructure is around €46.4 billion for the period 2019 to 2023. But only 44 percent of this is covered by public money, risking an ever-increasing investment backlog. 

Human meets technology – theory meets practice: Customer Experience Days

The key questions to answer when it comes to digitalization in healthcare go beyond financing and procuring new technology. Approaches need to consider areas beyond investment. That is why CHG-MERIDIAN regularly meets citizens, healthcare providers, policymakers, and digitalization enablers – most recently at the 2019 Customer Experience Day in Berlin – in order to engage with the latest topics of discussion.

“We always ask ourselves: What does the person need, and how can technology help?” explains Peter Krause, Head of Healthcare Sector Sales at CHG-MERIDIAN AG. “We believe our customers are the experts when it comes to questions, opportunities, and challenges relating to digitalization in their own company. We develop and adapt solutions based on their understanding of the situation in order to support the work of individual employees and of the hospital as a business. Our regular Customer Experience Days provide an opportunity to explore other points of view and to discuss the latest questions and challenges. Over the course of the dialog it becomes clear where the greatest need for information is, how others manage digital change, and what the intermediate steps and solutions are on the path to digitalization. This allows for knowledge to be shared and expanded, and theory to be put into practice.”

A change of perspective: the digital patient?

New digital applications, including robot-assisted surgery and other AI-assisted therapies, offer hospitals many benefits beyond greater efficiency. Other factors, such as a hospital’s ability to attract suitably qualified personnel or offer patients greater comfort and convenience, play a role in digital transformation.

The ‘Digital transformation in healthcare. From hype to reality’ white paper provides an insight into how far the digital revolution has come. It also examines the patient’s perspective of digital applications such as wearables and AI-assisted operations and highlights how far there is still to go in Germany. Considering that 44 percent of patients do not want to use e-health applications now or in the future, telemedicine is very much in its infancy in Germany. But it is possible to increase the acceptance of e-health and AI in healthcare by providing information and education.

From hype to reality: facing the digital future with fully integrated solutions

These figures at least hint at a positive trend toward change, and even if Germany is lagging behind in many areas, the foundations for digital transformation have been laid. A healthcare service equipped for the future can now be implemented step by step thanks to intelligent solutions. CHG-MERIDIAN’s latest white paper explains how to overcome the challenges of financial constraints while deploying intelligent IT.

The focus is on considering the whole picture from the commercial, technological, and human perspective. “The first step is to make the most of existing IT and technology. For example, by standardizing the portfolio of devices in a hospital,” says Krause. “This frees up time and financial resources, which can be used to invest in the new technologies that are needed. Customized business concepts form the basis of our approach, which involves understanding the overall situation of our customers and working with them to develop complete solutions incorporating a tailor-made financing and charging model. This paves the way to the digital future and allows it to be implemented in stages.”


The ‘Digital transformation in healthcare. From hype to reality.’ white paper is available here: CHG-MERIDIAN Whitepaper Healthcare 2019

1) Deutsches Krankenhausinstitut e.V.: Krankenhaus Barometer Umfrage 2018, 2018.
2) KPMG: Die Geschäftsführung spricht Klartext. Krankenhäuser in Süddeutschland: Eine Bestandsaufnahme in Baden-Württemberg und Bayern, 2019 edition.


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