Digital Hospitals Move Off the Drawing Board

First Consulting Group


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This is archived content, for historical reference only.

This 2003 report provides an overview of digital hospitals in the United States based on interviews with the leaders of 11 hospitals from around the country. Included in the research are hospitals that are planning new facilities, those integrating digital technology throughout an existing hospital, and those transforming specific processes or departments within the hospital.

The report sheds light on common themes used by leading health systems to conceptualize, plan, develop, and implement digital solutions for entirely new hospitals, existing hospitals, or for individual departments. An analysis is provided of the 11 hospitals’ plans to use specific digital technologies to transform workflows associated with a traditional paper-based environment, specifically in the areas of access to information, process efficiency, and process reliability.

Based on in-depth interviews with leaders from each participating hospital, it was determined that strong leadership, exploration of a wide range of possibilities, staff training, and solid vendor and user partnerships were the common factors that characterized successful efforts to improve hospital efficiency and quality of care through adoption of information technologies. While only a few so-called “digital hospitals” are close to becoming reality in the United States, many of the nation’s nearly 5,000 acute care and specialty hospitals are well along in the use of digital technologies to transform individual processes or departments.