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10+ years for healthcare services to be fully digital, survey claims

Jun 26
Tags: Deloitte
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Two-thirds of senior healthcare leaders believe it will take at least a decade for their organisations to be paperless and fully digital, according to new research from Deloitte.

In a survey of 1,500 UK clinical staff, Deloitte discovered widespread pessimism regarding the sector’s ability to reach universal adoption of digital technology in the near future.

Funding was highlighted as a major barrier to uptake, with 56 per cent of respondents stressing that cost is preventing their organisation from investing more heavily in digital.

However, the report revealed that finance is only one factor. A tenth of those surveyed claimed that healthcare organisations struggle to find the right technologies, while the same proportion argued that the complexity of technology is hampering adoption.

The research also identified widespread concern about the ability of healthcare staff to take advantage of new technology.

Just over half (55 per cent) said they feel adequately trained on technology, with only seven per cent describing themselves as “tech experts”.

Furthermore, fewer than two in five respondents feel informed about their organisation’s digital strategy.

Despite the negativity, at least one tech service has already enjoyed high levels of adoption: electronic health records are currently being used by 91 per cent of staff.

But little progress has been displayed on what Deloitte describes as “more innovative technologies”. Just seven per cent of healthcare professionals currently use robotics, while only three per cent are making use of virtual reality or AI.

“In 2019, digital transformation lags well behind where it needs to be if healthcare is to remain sustainable and affordable,” said Sara Siegel, partner and head of healthcare at Deloitte.

“Accelerating digital transformation will require a radical shift in the culture and mind-set of healthcare leaders. The variable state of IT infrastructure and difference in rates of adoption of technologies requires more sustained management and investment to accelerate and improve the uptake of technologies.”

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