Impediments in Healthcare Digital Transformation

Impediments in Healthcare Digital Transformation

Robert Furda (Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Management, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia) and Michal Gregus (Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Management, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJARPHM.2019010102


This article is addressing the specific impediments that appear in the process of healthcare digital transformation. Enterprise architecture provides the framework for investigating the behavioral and active structural aspects that apply to business and application layers. This includes an analysis of, including inherent relationship between, selected scopes such as strategy, business, and education to standard elements such as process, service, and function of an application. The presented classification and assignment of individual impediments indicate to healthcare managers where they may potentially struggle during different stages of digital transformation. Among others, they facilitate strategic planning and managerial decisions during implementation of the emerging information technologies and techniques. In addition, the idea is to contribute to the successful implementation of healthcare digital transformation, thereby delivering business value within healthcare sector, and consequently to a better quality of life.
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The business processes during digital transformation have increasingly significant impact on organizations' operations where ISs play strategic role. Within context of business and IT Arvidsson et al. described three critical dimensions (Figure 1) to consider successful implementation of IS strategy (Arvidsson, Holmström, & Lyytinen, 2014). In healthcare, the proper adoption, and effective use, of strategic IS can be the key component of business strategy within HDT in achieving a competitive advantage in patient’s care (Bharadwaj, El Sawy, Pavlou, & Venkatraman, 2013; Chesney, 2003).

Figure 1.

Three critical dimensions within IS strategy implementation [source: (Arvidsson et al., 2014)].


In providing the real-time decision support during process of digital transformation the businesses should rely on business ISs. In healthcare the composites of many applications, functions, technology, and people (both developing and using) include Electronic Health Record (EHR) in order to ensure clinical, and financial, information functions (HIMSS Enterprise Information Systems Steering Committee, 2007; Møller, 2006). The business ISs (Figure 2) on one side support an organization’s day-to-day business activities and on other side they support managerial decision making (Hardcastle, 2011).

Figure 2.

Two fundamental roles of business ISs


Healthcare management has been challenged by decades of institutional reforms and, more recently, by the emergence of new forms of patient–doctor relationships. This is often struggled with cost and proper information deficiency. However, healthcare management is responsible and should boost own competitiveness in improving the healthcare. To achieve strategic business goals in that dimension it should either increase a competitive advantage or decrease a competitive disadvantage. The strategic and business ISs can become the valid facilitators in achieving the strategic business goals, including proper enablement of organizational transformation (Besson & Rowe, 2012; Chesney, 2003; Tran & Voyer, 2015; Wang, Kung, & Byrd, 2018).

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