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Management Opportunities and Challenges After Achieving Widespread Health System Digitization

aUniversity of Minnesota, USA
bUniversity of California, USA

Responding to the Grand Challenges in Health Care via Organizational Innovation

ISBN: 978-1-80382-320-1, eISBN: 978-1-80382-319-5

Publication date: 12 December 2022

Abstract

The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and digitization of health data over the past decade is ushering in the next generation of digital health tools that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to improve varied aspects of health system performance. The decade ahead is therefore shaping up to be one in which digital health becomes even more at the forefront of health care delivery – demanding the time, attention, and resources of health care leaders and frontline staff, and becoming inextricably linked with all dimensions of health care delivery. In this chapter, we look back and look ahead. There are substantive lessons learned from the first era of large-scale adoption of enterprise EHRs and ongoing challenges that organizations are wrestling with – particularly related to the tension between standardization and flexibility/customization of EHR systems and the processes they support. Managing this tension during efforts to implement and optimize enterprise systems is perhaps the core challenge of the past decade, and one that has impeded consistent realization of value from initial EHR investments. We describe these challenges, how they manifest, and organizational strategies to address them, with a specific focus on alignment with broader value-based care transformation. We then look ahead to the AI wave – the massive number of applications of AI to health care delivery, the expected benefits, the risks and challenges, and approaches that health systems can consider to realize the benefits while avoiding the risks.

Keywords

Citation

Cross, D.A., Adler-Milstein, J. and Holmgren, A.J. (2022), "Management Opportunities and Challenges After Achieving Widespread Health System Digitization", Shortell, S.M., Burns, L.R. and Hefner, J.L. (Ed.) Responding to the Grand Challenges in Health Care via Organizational Innovation (Advances in Health Care Management, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 67-87. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1474-823120220000021004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Dori A. Cross, Julia Adler-Milstein and A. Jay Holmgren. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited