Outside the box: Innovative Perspectives on Digital Transformation

Connex Staff |

On October 19, Connex Healthcare members met for a fascinating Think Tank discussion on the topic of digital transformation. Covid has put significant pressure on providers to adopt new technologies and that upward trend has been accelerated by labor shortages. 

From automation to telehealth, our senior executives enjoyed a rich conversation about the future of healthcare - here we’ve summarized some key highlights: 

  • AI and Automation have become marketing buzzwords. Our attendees discussed how the language of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation is being overused and applied to even the most basic claim statusing tools. This results in a lot of noise around these subjects, making it difficult to identify genuinely innovative services and optimal ways to spend limited automation budgets.
  • The decision to ‘build or buy’ automation platforms is critical. When an automation opportunity is identified, the decision to build in-house or buy an external system must be carefully considered. Attendees suggested that the more unique a function is, the more likely it will be best served internally. Whereas buying third-party tools is preferable for automating highly repeatable processes that are broadly similar across organizations.
  • Gamification can drive adoption and performance. An example was given of a healthcare organization which is taking a pioneering approach to embedding automation processes. The company has fully-gamified their billing and follow-up work, with employees competing for spaces on leaderboards and associated prizes. This creative engagement has paid off commercially, with the business reporting dramatic performance improvements. Now their employees try to dissuade management from filling staff vacancies so they can improve their personal volumes.
  • Staff involvement is key. All our attendees agreed that, regardless of the route taken to develop and embed automation platforms, staff must be consulted. As the day-to-day users, they are the system experts. Involving staff in AI and automation initiatives is critical to their success.   
  • Explore ways to enhance the digital patient experience. The digital transformation discussion turned to telehealth and creating ‘digital front doors’ for patients. Our attendees referenced the importance of improving portal and PHI access, as well as creating intuitive mobile-based pre-registration processes to improve front-end tasks like eligibility verification.
  • The future of healthcare is telehealth and remote monitoring. The defining discussion at our Digital Transformation Think Tank was on the topic of expanding telehealth and remote patient monitoring into more sophisticated hospital-at-home programs. Attendees agreed on the many benefits of these digital practices - from improving patients’ access to care to dramatically maximizing throughput and patient volumes. It was noted that, in some cases, healthcare providers have the potential to double their patient volumes without significant facility expansion. While a clear best practice is yet to emerge, our attendees were excited at the enormous potential of these services which they see as a natural evolution of existing home health care. 


Connex Think Tanks are a series of highly interactive, practical discussions designed to stimulate innovative thinking and tackle the most pressing challenges faced by healthcare professionals. 

Our members will have exclusive access to the following upcoming Think Tank sessions: 

  • Strategic Leadership, Innovation and Organizational Excellence - December 7
  • Top Considerations for Sustainable Service - December 14 


Interested in becoming a Connex member? 

Connex is an executive network of business leaders. As befitting a community of this caliber, membership is by invite-only. We believe c-suite professionals deserve a truly peer-to-peer experience, which is meticulously vetted for quality and seniority.

Find out more about becoming a Connex member