Preparing Digital Transformation in Healthcare for the User Experience

transformation in healthcare

From watching television via cable to streaming, checking out at the grocery store via a self-scanner, or booking your next vacation via your mobile device, digital transformation has become a driving force across various industries, and healthcare is no exception. Even though the healthcare experience may feel the same for a patient when they’re surrounded by doctors and nurses, the integration of technology into various healthcare processes holds the potential to revolutionize patient care, streamline operations, and improve overall outcomes.

However, in a highly regulated field with patients and providers of all different ages, educational levels, and backgrounds, firms must prepare for the digital transformation in healthcare to be mindful of the user experience (UX) to ensure that technology is embraced and effectively utilized.

The Need for Great UX for Transformation in Healthcare

Digital transformation in healthcare refers to the integration of technology solutions to enhance patient care, operational efficiency, and communication among healthcare stakeholders. It encompasses a wide range of tools, from electronic health records and telemedicine platforms to mobile health apps and wearable devices.

The emphasis on embracing technology in healthcare began in the early 2000s, when the Institute of Medicine estimated that thousands of annual deaths were due to preventable medical errors. This led to several legislations being passed to promote and invest in healthcare technology, such as the HITECH Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Activities like buying baseball tickets in person versus buying them online mean that people of different technology comfort levels can still have the same desired result. Similarly, proper use of healthcare technology by patients and providers is imperative for excellent outcomes.

Given the diverse user base in healthcare, ranging from tech-savvy healthcare professionals to patients of varying backgrounds and ages, creating an intuitive and user-friendly experience is paramount. Healthcare providers and the average patient may not be accustomed to complex technologies, making it crucial to design solutions that are accessible and easy to navigate regardless of technological familiarity, education, age, and life experiences.

There’s a great need within healthcare digital technology for a well-designed UX. All individuals should be able to leverage the benefits of digital tools without feeling overwhelmed or excluded.

The Benefits of Adopting Great UX for Transformation in Healthcare

UX encompasses ease of use, efficiency, and the satisfaction derived from interacting with technology tools to improve the healthcare experience. A great UX can improve flexibility in terms of how users experience healthcare and decrease time, costs, and frustration related to healthcare experiences. Here are a few other benefits.

Effectiveness of Intuitive and User-Friendly Interfaces

Intuitive and user-friendly interfaces save time and enable users to achieve their goals efficiently. In a fast-paced healthcare environment, where patient and provider time is valuable, user-friendly technology can streamline tasks and improve overall workflow.

A typical example of this in healthcare is quickly ordering frequently associated diagnostic testing for a suspected disease work-up.

Impact of Good UX on Patient Engagement and Satisfaction

A positive UX significantly impacts patient engagement and satisfaction. When technology is difficult to use, its adoption rates decrease, and providers and patients are forced to focus on the technology rather than the health issue at hand.

It has been well-established that patients generally dislike a technology barrier between themselves and their providers, as it impairs communication. Consequently, an easy-to-use interface enables providers and patients to pay more attention to the individual and their needs.

Benefits for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers can benefit significantly from improved UX. Many often complain about the number of clicks that it takes to order medication, enter data, and contact patients. This wastes time and prevents providers from helping more patients. Intuitive UX with technology can lead to increased efficiency, cost savings, and time management.

Emerging Examples of Improved UX for Digital Transformation in Healthcare

The technological and healthcare communities have been collaborating to gradually improve UX so more healthcare technology can be widely adopted. Here are a few examples.

Telehealth and Easier Access to Providers

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced providers and patients to embrace virtual visits to reduce the risk of disease spread. Using easy-to-use technologies like Zoom made it easy for patients to access providers and be regularly monitored for complex issues, such as mental health challenges.

Real-Time Access to Medical Records and Test Results

Increased access to mobile and online electronic health records enables patients to quickly learn about diagnostic testing and imaging results. This way, patients and their family members can be better prepared for discussions about possible next steps with providers.

Improved and Streamlined Communication

Mobile apps and texting software enable patients to remain better informed about upcoming appointments, and patients can communicate with providers in a more timely manner.

Challenges and Considerations of Evolving UX

As healthcare embraces digital transformation, certain challenges and considerations must be addressed in order to maintain a great UX while adhering to the numerous security and regulatory compliance issues that patients often do not deal with.

Data Security and Patient Privacy Concerns

The sensitive nature of healthcare data requires robust data security measures and strict adherence to patient privacy regulations. It can be challenging to balance the desire for an easy experience, such as when creating a simple account password, with the need for maintaining password safety and minimizing predictability with health-related accounts.

Healthcare Workforce Readiness

Compared to the technology sector, the healthcare workforce tends to skew older, which can influence individuals’ desires to embrace change. That said, healthcare professionals should be able to fit tech training into their already busy schedules to adopt and effectively utilize new technologies.

Bridging the Digital Divide

What may seem intuitive to an eighteen-year-old growing up with technology can appear incredibly complex for a sixty-five-year-old retiree who is happy to know how to turn on a smart TV. Creators of UX must be mindful of how to develop technology that appeals to individuals of all ages, educations, and backgrounds. This can be challenging because assumptions about what experiences are “intuitive” must always be questioned.


Digital transformation in healthcare is increasing and holds immense potential for improving patient care, operational efficiency, and communication among stakeholders. The embracement of digital technology hinges on the UX, as it influences how individuals will use it. As more technology continues to be developed for healthcare, the most widely used products will likely be those with exceptional user interfaces that also balance other concerns, such as data security and complex data collection.

Participants in the healthcare technology development space should place high emphasis on UX if they want to pave the way for a more efficient, accessible, and patient-centric future.

Here at OtterSoft, we help healthcare technology providers drive innovation and integrate systems to seamlessly enable healthcare organizations to identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance patient experiences continually. See how we can help you overcome healthcare innovation challenges by strategically partnering with a development team.