The US healthcare industry is grappling with several issues, from surging costs and inefficient management to declining levels of care. The United States spends twice as much per capita on healthcare, yet lags behind other developed nations in patient outcomes. The good news is that leveraging digital transformation in healthcare can help overcome these challenges, with a staggering 92% of healthcare providers convinced of its effectiveness, according to a recent Deloitte study.
One of the most exciting breakthroughs in this regard is the adoption of APIs. APIs empower healthcare providers to leverage real-time data, helping them streamline operations, securely share data, and boost patient outcomes. Today, we’ll dive deep into API-led digital transformation in healthcare and discover how APIs are revolutionizing healthcare, benefitting patients, providers, and payors alike.
What is Digital Transformation in Healthcare?
Healthcare digital transformation is the process of leveraging digital technologies to enhance patient care and engagement, optimize operational efficiency, and improve data connectivity. Providers must embrace new technologies to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
And this is where API-led healthcare transformation can help. API-led healthcare transformation allows providers to leverage data-driven strategies to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare services, ultimately benefiting all stakeholders involved.
Key Drivers of Digital Transformation in Healthcare
Sharing patient data has been a significant challenge for healthcare providers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers had to rely on manual methods such as phone calls, faxes, and emails to exchange patient information, which caused delays in diagnosis, treatment, and test results. Studies have shown that poor electronic health records (EHR) interoperability can also harm patients and increase healthcare costs.
Moreover, patients can have multiple healthcare providers, such as a primary care provider, a specialist, and a hospital. Each may use different EHR systems and store patient data in various formats. With 75% of hospitals having at least ten different EHRs on average, interoperability becomes significantly more challenging.
Evolving Patient Expectations
As digital healthcare technologies evolve, patient expectations shift towards greater control and personalization. Patients desire access to personal health data and the ability to communicate digitally with their healthcare providers. According to a recent survey by Statista, 70% of respondents are satisfied with using smartwatches to monitor their health.
Along with a desire for more control, patients also expect a more tailored and convenient healthcare experience. They demand specialized and flexible care, making telemedicine, virtual care, and flexible scheduling and appointment options essential for many.
The same survey found that 67% of patients were satisfied with their experience of telemedicine appointments. Telemedicine has also become the highest-funded health digital technology in the United States, indicating greater demand.
To meet these evolving patient expectations, healthcare providers must adopt a more comprehensive approach to managing patient preferences. Providers must consider a patient’s lifestyle, environment, and social determinants of health when delivering care.
Providers who leverage digital healthcare technologies can offer more personalized and effective care and engage with patients more effectively. As such, healthcare organizations must prioritize healthcare transformation initiatives to remain competitive.
Shift towards Value-Based Care
Healthcare has been under pressure to transform its operating model. Issues such as patient dissatisfaction and concerns about the accessibility, payment, and coverage of health insurance warrant a change. Payors have shifted towards value-based care to meet patient demands for greater transparency regarding prices and access to EHRs.
The transition has been a significant trend in healthcare, with new investments growing faster than capital expenditures on new hospital construction, according to McKinsey.
The US government also incentivizes this shift by rewarding healthcare organizations transitioning from the traditional fee-for-service model to value-based care. These new programs encourage patient outcomes and quality care rather than the volume of services.
Therefore, healthcare providers and payors must prioritize patient-centered care and leverage real-time data for better clinical outcomes. APIs are enabling shift towards value-based care, driving several digital transformation initiatives in healthcare.
Benefits of Digital Transformation in Healthcare
Payors can leverage API-led transformation to improve operations and enhance services. APIs can help payors streamline claims processing, enabling faster payments and reducing the risk of fraud.
APIs help integrate claims data from various providers, creating a standard interface for gathering and processing claims data. Likewise, payors can streamline claims processing by seamlessly exchanging data from practice management and billing software.
As a result, your staff has real-time access claim information from any device or location, reducing administrative costs. Similarly, APIs can automate claim submissions and reduce the need for manual data entry, improving operational efficiency.
Providers also leverage API-based apps to engage with customers. They offer members access to their claims data, benefits information, and provider directories through secure portals and mobile apps. With this information, members can search for providers, check benefits, and track claims, empowering them to manage their healthcare more actively.
APIs can also help payors comply with HIPAA regulations and improve governance by enabling secure data exchange and management. Securely transmitting claims data between different healthcare systems can ensure that data is protected and managed in compliance with regulations.
API-led transformation empowers patients to access their health data from anywhere, anytime, and via any device, enabling them to take a more active role in their care.
API-led transformation gives patients better access to their medical information through patient portals, mobile apps, or other online platforms. With greater patient engagement, patients can track their health status, set goals, and receive reminders for appointments and medication refills.
Health organizations can leverage the power of APIs to provide personalized care and improve patient outcomes. Ultimately, APIs empower patients by helping them take control of their health.
API-led digital transformation offers a range of benefits for healthcare providers. APIs improve data sharing and interoperability between healthcare systems, enabling providers to integrate various EHR systems. As a result, providers have a holistic view of patient health and even gain real-time insights, helping them improve outcomes.
With remote monitoring and patient wearable devices, healthcare providers gain access to real-time patient data. This can help them keep track of vital health metrics remotely, enabling timely interventions.
With APIs, providers can also leverage real-time data to improve workflows. They can automate tasks like staff and appointment scheduling, improving efficiency, reducing costs and freeing staff time to improve care quality.
Challenges in Implementing API-Led Transformation in the Healthcare Industry
API-led transformation has revolutionized digital healthcare, offering benefits like greater interoperability, improved care quality and outcomes, increased efficiency, and cost reduction. However, as with any significant change, healthcare organizations must address certain challenges to successfully execute API-driven transformation.
Technical complexity in API design and integration can become a barrier for digital transformation in healthcare. Healthcare organizations often have complex IT infrastructures and legacy systems, which can make it challenging to design and integrate APIs.
Developing APIs requires expertise in various technologies, such as REST, SOAP, and GraphQL. Additionally, ensuring that APIs work well with different systems and data sources can be time-consuming and require significant planning and coordination.
Healthcare data is sensitive, and APIs that expose patient data to unauthorized parties can pose significant risks. API security is crucial to prevent data breaches, and healthcare organizations must ensure that API access is secure and that patient data is protected.
Scalability and Maintenance
Embarking on an API-led digital health transformation journey requires significant investment. Financial costs aside, providers must hire skilled professionals who understand the nuances of healthcare IT.
The process of scaling and maintaining APIs can be complex and time-consuming, and healthcare organizations must have a clear strategy for managing their APIs to ensure that they remain scalable, maintainable, and up-to-date.
Healthcare is a highly regulated industry, and APIs must comply with various regulations, such as HIPAA and GDPR, to ensure that patient data is handled appropriately. Therefore, healthcare organizations must ensure that their APIs comply with relevant regulations to avoid legal consequences.
These challenges underscore the importance of adopting a comprehensive strategy for implementing API-led digital transformations in healthcare. Healthcare organizations must prioritize API security, compliance, scalability, and maintenance to ensure the success of their digital transformation initiatives.
Accelerate Healthcare Digital Transformation with No-Code API Management
Astera offers a no-code API management solution that accelerates the pace of API-led transformation in healthcare, making it easier for healthcare organizations to seamlessly share data with internal and external stakeholders and launch new initiatives faster.
Astera offers a unified solution to complete API lifecycle management and integrations. simplifies the process of designing, deploying, and managing APIs.
Here are some capabilities of Astera API Management solution that facilitate digital transformation in healthcare:
- The tool comes with a no-code visual interface that allows you to make complex API flows within minutes. Astera’s user-friendly interface can help providers connect patient wearable devices to EHRs within minutes, enabling physicians to leverage real-time data to make timely interventions.
- You can use inbuilt assets such as connectors, transformations and functions to expose your ETL flows and integrations as APIs. Health organizations can leverage these inbuilt transformations and functions to automate business processes such as claims processing and appointment scheduling.
- With Astera you can easily test and deploy any API synchronously or asynchronously within a few clicks. By deploying APIs quickly, healthcare organizations can accelerate time to market for new products and services, encourage innovation and help providers deliver new treatments and services efficiently.
- Astera helps securely expose sensitive patient data through APIs through its powerful inbuilt security framework, including features such as role-based access control, encryption, and bearer tokenization.
- Astera’s no-code platform ensures regulatory compliance by providing compliance features that enable healthcare organizations to comply with various regulations, such as HIPAA and GDPR.
- Once you have deployed your APIs, you can monitor key API metrics including API usage through a live dashboard.
Are you ready to transform your healthcare organization with APIs? Get started with Astera’s no-code API management platform today and experience the benefits of simplified API design and seamless integration.
Sign up for a free trial now and see how Astera can accelerate your API-led transformation journey!