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The Healthcare Sector's Journey from Established Practices to Digital Transformation

The healthcare sector finds itself at a pivotal moment, navigating between established practices and the promising horizon of digital transformation. Organizations in healthcare grapple with narrow margins and high labor costs. Leaders and executives surveyed by IDC InfoBrief*, sponsored by Workday, from the US and Canada demonstrate a strong willingness to adopt new changes. They emphasize that healthcare organizations must adapt, innovate, and refine their operations to survive and thrive amidst the swiftly evolving landscape.

Here are three themes that healthcare organizations face from the report. 

Theme 1: The Drive Towards Operational Efficiency

Healthcare organizations actively pursue operational efficiency to tackle current challenges and seize opportunities. Similar challenges in implementing changes in finance and planning functions confront healthcare providers, underscoring the necessity of addressing organizational readiness, technology infrastructure, and skill development for successful change implementation.

Organizations are leveraging cloud-based ERP and finance systems as powerful tools to unlock data and drive transformative changes. This shift toward operational excellence transcends cost savings, aiming to enhance care quality through better data access and accuracy.

Theme 2: Embracing AI and ML Technologies

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are revolutionizing healthcare operations from the bottom up. These technologies automate routine tasks, allowing healthcare providers to concentrate more on patient care and less on administrative tasks. The survey shows a rising adoption of AI and ML in touchless ordering, inventory management, and anomaly detection, marking the industry's move toward more intelligent and efficient operations.

AI and ML have impacted all sectors this year. Joe Wilson, global chief technology officer at Workday, said, "AI applied ethically and responsibly can change lives." At Workday, our core value of integrity guides the ethical application of AI and ML to support customers. Wilson, addressing Workday customers at last year's Healthcare Summit, said, "We're treating your data—yours, not ours—with the utmost respect. We're doing so ethically so that we can give you the co-pilot you deserve to move faster and be better."

Theme 3: Overcoming Barriers to Innovation

Digital transformation in healthcare covers a wide range, from modernizing IT infrastructure to adopting new operational models. The IDC research emphasizes investing in technology to improve business and clinical operations. Yet, achieving successful transformation extends beyond technological enhancements; it requires organizations to undergo a cultural shift, creating an environment that actively encourages change and innovation.

Healthcare organizations must embrace change and sustain innovation to unlock possibilities. By proactively exploiting new opportunities through digital and technological investments, they can catapult themselves into better performance, competitiveness, and future readiness.

In conclusion, the future of healthcare depends on providers' abilities to embrace innovation and actively evolve their operations. This path demands a unified effort to adopt new technologies, enhance operational efficiency, and tackle digital transformation barriers. As the healthcare industry moves through these transitions, the organizations that adapt and innovate will lead in providing superior patient care and achieving operational excellence.

For more information on how organizations accelerate value with solutions made for healthcare from workday, visit

*IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Workday, Harnessing Innovation to Evolve Operations for the Future of Health, IDC #US51013623, August 2023





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