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What is the role of a consultant in the digital healthcare era?

Executive Summary

Consulting partners can guide laboratories, hospitals and healthcare institutions to deliver faster, more reliable results, which ultimately benefits physicians and patients.

Roche Healthcare Consulting teams empower their customers to be the trustworthy experts that physicians need, by delivering personalized advice at every step – from first assessment, through implementation and beyond for continuous improvements.

Building on our proud heritage of clinical analyzers, Roche Diagnostics leverages expert teams to meet the evolving needs of laboratories, hospitals and healthcare institutions as a reliable partner, supporting its customers in executing change and “doing now what patients need next.”

The troubled gestation of digitization in healthcare

Laboratories and healthcare institutions are still learning how best to make sense of all the data that this new era of diagnostic digitalization is producing.

Electronic lab notebooks, laboratory information management systems, business analytics and clinical decision support solutions have all contributed to a surge in the digital information output of laboratories, creating new complexities around data management.

“As organizations continue to further their digitization efforts, it is clear that finding ways to most efficiently leverage the data and knowledge generated internally is a strong driving force,” a recent article in Lab Manager stated. “As some barriers to data access are removed through solutions such as data lakes, others are unwittingly erected, with siloed access to organizational analytics data and dashboards.”¹

So, there are opportunities here for digitalliterate consultants to help laboratories make the most of their advanced analytics tools, generate insights and support in data interpretation. However, healthcare remains notorious for its comparatively slow uptake of new technology.

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There are opportunities here for digital-literate consultants to help laboratories make the most of their advanced analytics tools, generate insights and support in data interpretation.
The change needs to start small; it starts as a cultural change, a change in mindset.
Consultants at work

In the digital era, healthcare consultants need to be multidisciplinary

“This misuse of digital solutions is in some cases increasing the workloads of laboratories and clinics rather than reducing them.3 At Roche Healthcare Consulting we understand this problem and we have the skills and expertise to keep your organisation’s transition to digital on track.”

Many laboratories and clinics have not yet transitioned to paperless working, yet they feel under pressure to immediately implement the latest technology to reap the perceived benefits as soon as possible. Under current economic  pressures, this rush to embrace the latest technology is understandable, but failure to implement a solid data strategy from the foundations up could cause the project to backfire altogether.

When managing a transition to a digitallyfocused way of working, Roche Healthcare Consultants tailor the fundamentals to customer needs. Above everything, we are pragmatic and want to nurture our customers through each step of the process, so the organisations we work with and their staff do not feel left behind. The change needs to start small; it starts as a cultural change, a change in mindset.

For consultants to add value to the work our customers do in the digital era, they need to be multidisciplinary, creative - experts in everything from wireless communication to systems engineering and big data. Importantly, the consultants must be experienced in engaging healthcare institutions and working as part of a global network, strong on communication and possess a solution-oriented mindset to complement the skills and expertise of the laboratories they work with.

And as well as being an expert in digital healthcare transformation, a diagnostics consultant must also provide guidance on how to change ways of thinking in organizations to get the best use of digital solutions.

Conclusion

We approach working with our customers as a genuine partnership, with an equal investment from both parties in working toward a common goal. Because Roche Diagnostics supplies the infrastructure for diagnostics laboratories as well as managing transformation and ensuring that our customers make the most of their digital solutions, we are committed to long-lasting relationships that can grow and endure for decades.

These continuous relationships allow Roche to define key performance indicators (KPIs), set milestones and short-, medium-, long-term goals, monitor progress and interpret the results for our customers.

In these working relationships, Lean is an ongoing process that can be delivered as part of Roche’s long-term toolkit to help identify waste and increase efficiency, including help with staffing.

The digital consultancy services provided by Roche Healthcare Consulting are led by science, not hyperbole. Our consultants never overpromise. Our philosophy as a company is to be humble and dedicated, and to never attempt to sell anything that we cannot provide. That integrity contributes to building a trusting relationship between consultant and customer, where the customer can feel confident that their best interests are being taken care of.

We meet our customers on their journey where they are. To succeed at this, consultants in the digital healthcare era must be empathetic and open-minded, we must be innovative and brave, and we must help our customers to be brave too.8

Author

Judy Han

Judy Han

International Projects Consultant at Roche Healthcare Consulting

  1. Hayward S (2017). Digital data in the lab – what now? Available at http://www.labmanager.com/
    laboratory-technology/2017/10/digital-data-in-the-lab-what-now-#.Wwbl1-4vyUl [Accessed June
    2018].
  2. Ramsey L (2017). How the internet is improving healthcare. Available at https://www.weforum.org/
    agenda/2017/01/ technology-is-changing-the-way-we-view-our-health-this-is-how [Accessed
    June 2018].
  3. PwC (2017). EHRs in the new health economy. Available at https://www.pwc.com/us/en/healthindustries/
    health- research-institute/publications/pdf/pwc-hri-ehrs-in-the-new-health-economy.
    pdf [Accessed June 2018].