Healthcare is complex and patients want simpler experiences, says the CIO at CVS

The consumer healthcare experience is transforming and patient preferences are changing rapidly as the need for a more personalized and digitized care experience grows. This means healthcare organizations will have to adopt new technologies and strategies to meet the demand.

Roshan Navagamuwa, CIO of CVS Health, spoke to Becker's Hospital Review about how the consumer healthcare experience is changing and what technology hospitals and health systems can embrace to meet the demand.  

Q: How is the consumer healthcare experience transforming in 2022?

Roshan Navagamuwa: We live in a world where everything needs to be faster and consumer preferences change daily. Healthcare is no exception. Especially on the heels of COVID-19, consumers are increasingly seeking digital-first experiences for healthcare. They want care that is connected, convenient and personalized. 

Healthcare can be complex, and consumers want simple experiences. For example, they want to be able to book appointments when it's convenient for them, or in a way that is more convenient for them, like from their smartphones. They want timely access to health information, and seamless ways to manage their own care and that of their families. 

Q: What should healthcare organizations' IT teams be investing in, and why?

RN: We're at an inflection point in the industry, where healthcare is moving from a business-to-business and claims-driven volume to consumer-driven volume. Consumers today have, and expect, more direct interactions with technology, which places a greater focus on the underlying IT foundation to be reliable, secure and able to scale to deliver these experiences. 

Healthcare organizations should invest in technologies and develop frameworks that enable agility while maintaining product integrity and security. For example, hybrid cloud architectures are helping provide the speed and security to deliver new applications sooner, with mechanisms for continuous improvement.

AI and machine learning are helping to automate manual processes and save time for both consumers and providers, while reducing costs. But the way that AI has evolved today, too many organizations treat it as a bolt-on technology. 

At CVS Health, we are embedding AI, as well as security, into the solutions as we're building them. Additionally, organizations need to have intelligent, integrated data platforms to make rapid innovation possible.

Q: How can healthcare utilize technology to its benefits in 2022?

RN: Healthcare organizations can use technology to help deliver informed care that can lead to better health outcomes. For example, when a longitudinal view of a patient's data is available, providers and other healthcare professionals can provide recommendations that are tailored to that specific patient and their unique set of circumstances. They can more easily empower patients to live healthier lives by providing personalized nudges for preventive care, and encourage things like health screenings and being up to date on immunizations.

Internally, healthcare organizations can use technology to reimagine internal workflows and use AI and machine learning to bring more automation and effectiveness to the care delivery process, which lets healthcare providers and other professionals focus on patient care.

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