Former Cleveland Clinic CIO on retail competition: Hospitals must make digital changes or 'become relic of the past' 

Edward Marx, former CIO of Cleveland Clinic, recently co-authored a book on digital transformation in healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic and how hospitals can best compete with retail disruptors. 

The book, titled Healthcare Digital Transformation: How Consumerism, Technology, and the Pandemic are Accelerating the Future, draws attention to the threat that retail, big pharma and big tech companies are presenting to traditional healthcare organizations. Mr. Marx, who serves as chief digital officer for IT company Tech Mahindra Health & Life Sciences, co-authored the book with Paddy Padmanabhan, CEO of healthcare digital transformation advisory firm Damo Consulting.  

Here are four quotes from Mr. Marx on healthcare digital transformation and how hospitals can compete with disruptors, according to a Nov. 11 news release. 

1. On retail disruptors' advantage over traditional hospital visits: "In my experience, convenience always trumps brand. Why would someone spend half a day for a hospital appointment when they could get the same quality care just around the corner at a local pharmacy or retailer in just 30 minutes?"

2. On hospitals not prioritizing budget spend on digital engagement since physicians always refer patients: "You have to make changes or become a relic of the past and be eaten by new players. A lot of hospitals could go out of business or become places you just go for acute care." 

3. On new pandemic-fueled culture shift of using tech to treat patients at home: "When I was at the Cleveland Clinic and we started treating some patients at home, we were finding it was cheaper, higher quality. And guess what? Patients were happier because they didn't have to go to the hospital." 

4. On potential financial savings from remotely treating COVID-19 patients: "With digital technology, 25 percent of admissions can be treated at home. This saves a lot of money and you're not wasting resources and saving a lot of [personal protective equipment]. When you have a COVID patient, you have to put on a lot of gear and then throw it away when you're done." 


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