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The Strategic Dimension of Digitalisation in the Healthcare Industry

Thater, Alina LU and Henn, Kerstin LU (2017) BUSN09 20171
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
This thesis investigates how digitalisation influences the strategy of German hospitals via the provision of a holistic overview of potential digital solutions and how they can be used to enhance the hospitals’ core processes. Scrutinising the current utilisation, barriers to implementation and the effect that software-based systems have on the hospital’s strategy are at the study’s core. Here, a patient process including six steps - as well as three overarching supporting processes - were identified and used as a framework. Using the said framework, various options for the implementation of digital solutions were identified before being used to examine how theoretical ideas correspond to the current utilisation progress. The primary data... (More)
This thesis investigates how digitalisation influences the strategy of German hospitals via the provision of a holistic overview of potential digital solutions and how they can be used to enhance the hospitals’ core processes. Scrutinising the current utilisation, barriers to implementation and the effect that software-based systems have on the hospital’s strategy are at the study’s core. Here, a patient process including six steps - as well as three overarching supporting processes - were identified and used as a framework. Using the said framework, various options for the implementation of digital solutions were identified before being used to examine how theoretical ideas correspond to the current utilisation progress. The primary data for this study consisted of interviews with representatives from 10 German hospitals. The used methods followed a multiple case study approach of an inductive, exploratory and qualitative nature. After the data was analysed and presented, the state of utilisation at each of the sampled hospitals as well as the barriers to this faced by institutions were shown. Overall, the findings correspond with the literature, validating the study and its reliability. With regards to the findings, it was shown that the hospitals, regardless of their varying characteristics, are in very different stages in the digitalisation process. However, one key finding is that some processes receive considerably more attention than others, with the conclusion that hospitals digitalise processes concerning patient data first, followed by internal communications methods and, lastly, implement measures aiming at enhancing logistics, transportation and resource management. Additionally, the barriers most often identified are costs, legal requirements, missing statutory support, standardisation issues and internal resistance to change. In terms of the strategic influence of digitalisation, it was noted that the sampled hospitals were without an organisational strategy, consequently altering the outcome of our study. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that the high heterogeneity is correlated with this key finding. As many hospitals do not have a strategy, they lack guidance in how they should deal with the external as well as internal pressures, resulting in a lack of clear aims and investment plans for digital solutions. To overcome this weakness in the future, practical implications as well as prospective research ideas are provided. (Less)
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author
Thater, Alina LU and Henn, Kerstin LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A Comparative Study Analysing the Utilisation of Digital Solutions in German Hospitals
course
BUSN09 20171
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Digitalisation, German Healthcare, Patient Process, Patient Flow, Strategy
language
English
id
8920504
date added to LUP
2017-07-04 11:20:58
date last changed
2017-07-04 11:20:58
@misc{8920504,
  abstract     = {This thesis investigates how digitalisation influences the strategy of German hospitals via the provision of a holistic overview of potential digital solutions and how they can be used to enhance the hospitals’ core processes. Scrutinising the current utilisation, barriers to implementation and the effect that software-based systems have on the hospital’s strategy are at the study’s core. Here, a patient process including six steps - as well as three overarching supporting processes - were identified and used as a framework. Using the said framework, various options for the implementation of digital solutions were identified before being used to examine how theoretical ideas correspond to the current utilisation progress. The primary data for this study consisted of interviews with representatives from 10 German hospitals. The used methods followed a multiple case study approach of an inductive, exploratory and qualitative nature. After the data was analysed and presented, the state of utilisation at each of the sampled hospitals as well as the barriers to this faced by institutions were shown. Overall, the findings correspond with the literature, validating the study and its reliability. With regards to the findings, it was shown that the hospitals, regardless of their varying characteristics, are in very different stages in the digitalisation process. However, one key finding is that some processes receive considerably more attention than others, with the conclusion that hospitals digitalise processes concerning patient data first, followed by internal communications methods and, lastly, implement measures aiming at enhancing logistics, transportation and resource management. Additionally, the barriers most often identified are costs, legal requirements, missing statutory support, standardisation issues and internal resistance to change. In terms of the strategic influence of digitalisation, it was noted that the sampled hospitals were without an organisational strategy, consequently altering the outcome of our study. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that the high heterogeneity is correlated with this key finding. As many hospitals do not have a strategy, they lack guidance in how they should deal with the external as well as internal pressures, resulting in a lack of clear aims and investment plans for digital solutions. To overcome this weakness in the future, practical implications as well as prospective research ideas are provided.},
  author       = {Thater, Alina and Henn, Kerstin},
  keyword      = {Digitalisation,German Healthcare,Patient Process,Patient Flow,Strategy},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Strategic Dimension of Digitalisation in the Healthcare Industry},
  year         = {2017},
}