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Future of Healthcare Q1 2024

Why the human aspect is a key component of digital health success

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Loretto Grogan

National Clinical Information Officer and Director of Nursing, HSE

Digital health can be transformative. Learn how information and communication technology innovations enhance healthcare delivery, focusing on people and efficient processes.

Digital health refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in health products, services and processes, combined with organisational change in healthcare systems and new skills to improve health, efficiency and productivity in healthcare delivery. It is about the digitalisation of health services and processes.

Key components of digital health integration

The integration of technology into health services is a multifaceted and complex process. It requires a wide range of considerations, including the scale of its impact, the areas involved and the intricate interactions between digital tools and healthcare provision.

There are several components that can be critical to a successful transformation, and these can generally be divided into the three main categories of people, process and technology in addition to a sound understanding of the two basic interacting components: ‘the health service’ and ‘the digital’ — at all these different levels.

People are at the very heart of our health service.
They drive change and make decisions.

People at the heart of health service transformation

We need to focus on people first as their motivation, skills and knowledge will directly impact the success of any process or technology. Neglecting the people aspect sets you up for failure.

People are at the very heart of our health service. They drive change and make decisions: people who use our health service (patients); people who work in our health service (our workforce); people who provide services for our health service (industry partners); people who provide education for our health service (our educators); and people who develop policies that change our health service (the Government).

Collaborative care delivery empowers digital health

Ultimately, digital health revolves around having accurate patient data readily available when and where it’s needed most, ensuring the safe and efficient delivery of care services. It offers a comprehensive perspective of the patient’s health journey, whether they’re receiving diagnosis, treatment or monitoring, regardless of their location.

Having a clear vision and strategy and enabling close collaboration with open and effective communication between all of ‘the people’ in the digital health ecosystem is critical to making this happen.

By addressing the human aspect of digital health and adopting an approach that leaves no one behind, we can better navigate the changes ahead and foster a supportive, collaborative environment for all involved. Digital health is a team sport, and we are always better together.

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