Clinical Blog
Published: December 15, 2022

ROI on Your Mind? 5 Must-Ask Questions Before You Seal a Digital Health Deal

More than 90,000 new digital health solutions entered the market in 2020,1 and annual growth is expected to increase 27% over the next 8 years.2 For health systems, this creates an unprecedented opportunity to leverage digital solutions, especially considering: expanded reimbursement opportunities for remote monitoring, soaring patient engagement, and increased physician demand.

With so many digital options available, comprehensive partner evaluations are critical for identifying solutions with staying power, ensuring successful implementation, and developing the necessary infrastructure to support integration at scale. If health systems aren’t asking the right questions during their value assessments, they won’t see a return on their investments.

These are the top 5 questions health systems must consider before heading into their digital partner evaluations: 

1. Of all the challenges we’re currently facing, which pain point is our biggest?

There is no singular solution that can address every challenge all at once, so prioritizing which outcomes matter most to you – and which outcomes will generate the greatest return – is essential. Whether it’s mitigating clinician burnout or better engaging patients with chronic conditions, identifying your primary issues will help you narrow your preliminary research, saving time and money right off the bat.

By the end of this inward reflection, health systems should be able to rank order which digital health solutions will best address their priorities, and should have heavily weighed the risks and benefits of implementing a pilot digital health program versus a commercial program. 

2. How much risk are we willing to take?

Risk management is an imperative for health systems. If you’re going to invest in a digital health solution, you’ll want to be assured of a long-term return. Prospective partners should have the financial backing needed to continually improve their technology and infrastructure to make your investment worthwhile. Be sure to consider each prospective partner’s business longevity, experience implementing complex clinical integrations, and familiarity with navigating vendor technical evaluations and security risk assessments.

3. Has this solution been battle-tested clinically and commercially? 

Promises are never as compelling as evidence, and in healthcare, repeatability is the gold standard. Health systems depend on life-changing and life-saving solutions every day to treat their patients, so it’s crucial that these solutions have demonstrated both clinical and real-world outcomes time after time. When evaluating a digital health partner, you’ll want to ask about their quantity of partnerships and breadth of experience working with health systems. Have they served similar patient populations as your target population, and most importantly, were they consistently successful? 

If your health system is looking to eventually scale its digital integrations system-wide, you will also want to ask prospective partners about their experience working with other large healthcare organizations. This will help you gauge their ability to scale solutions across expansive health networks.

4. How can we avoid implementation pitfalls?

Your organization’s goals, workflows, and requirements are unique, so you’ll want to understand a prospective digital partner’s implementation framework as early as possible. During your initial discovery, be sure to discuss timelines, essential internal and external stakeholders, and any pre-qualifications that will expedite an EHR integration (e.g. Cerner® CODE validation). 

Think back to the prioritized challenges you want to address – are there any aspects of their implementation process that contradict your goals? For example, if you’re looking to reduce clinician burnout, an implementation process requiring extensive training will not be effective.

Overall, the ideal implementation process should seamlessly merge with your health system’s existing workflows to minimize disruption to clinicians, and ultimately improve clinical and operational efficiencies. 

5. Will this be the right decision a year from now?

Implementing a digital solution is not a stand-alone job, but rather a true partnership between a health system and a digital health company. There’s a lot at stake: your patients will associate the digital solution with your health system for a long time and in some cases, the solution will function as an extension of your care teams. The right partner will understand what a high-performing partnership entails and can identify the most meaningful metrics for success early on to help both parties stay on track to meet your goals.

Start having discussions around their approach to onboarding and engaging patients, how they’ve done this in the past, and which strategies and systems they have in place for long-term patient engagement. 

It’s time to get serious about the changes digital health platforms will bring to your health system. Email to learn more. 

1  IQVIA, Digital Health Trends 2021
2 Grandview Research, U.S. Digital Health Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report, 2022-2030

You Might Also Like

Pharma’s Biggest Takeaways From the 2023 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

At J.P. Morgan’s 41st annual healthcare conference, there was no shortage of innovative discussions. We’ve rounded up some of the biggest themes from this year’s conference:

Connected drug delivery devices are gaining traction among top pharma companies

As medication non-adherence continues to plague the global life sciences industry – more than $600 billion in annual revenue is lost1 – many pharmaceutical companies are evaluating new approaches to improving patient engagement, including embedded sensors that capture data through drug delivery devices. One of the biggest selling points for organizations is that connected drug delivery devices can play a huge role in boosting adherence and compliance. Devices that can detect and capture data around patient-administered therapy, such as dose timing, volume, and technique, have become an increasingly popular choice among leading organizations. Patients are more likely to refill and take their medications on time, and correctly, if they can be prompted to do so and have a record of dosing history. 

In Value We Trust: How Health Systems Can Drive Population Health With Digital Solutions

With perpetually rising healthcare costs, soaring operating expenses, and plummeting profit margins, health systems are pressured to re-evaluate their care delivery models and shift their focus to value.

Implementing the right tools to enhance decision making and build care management capabilities for population health, risk stratification, and site-of-care optimization will be vital for navigating this actively evolving landscape. Digital health solutions are critical enablers of success, especially having demonstrated clinical and real-world outcomes in all reimbursement settings. 

In an outcomes-based payment model, health systems can leverage digital solutions to:

Raising the Volume: How Health Systems Can Overcome Economic Turmoil With Digital Solutions

A staggering 97% of medical practices experienced a negative financial impact at the beginning of the pandemic, including a 60% decrease in patient volume and a 55% decline in revenue.1 Nearly three years later, more than half of hospitals are still experiencing negative margins.2 

To ensure success in this actively evolving landscape, health systems must equip themselves with the right tools to enhance decision making and reduce administrative burden through frictionless clinician experiences. Digital health solutions are critical enablers of success, especially having demonstrated clinical and real-world outcomes in all reimbursement settings. 

In a traditional payment model, digital solutions can help health systems: