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Technology Adoption in Today's Digital Transformation Scenario from a Healthcare Standpoint

Veneeth Purushotaman CHCIO, Group Chief Information Officer, Aster DM Healthcare

A Certified Healthcare CIO, Veneeth has also completed Global Advanced Management Program in Global Leadership, Strategy & Management from ISB & KELLOGG School of Management. He boats of a three decades long career during which he has efficiently key responsibilities across companies such as OSTPL, Rhone Poulenc India, Shoppers Stop, HyperCITY Retail India, Bharti Retail and Fortis Healthcare, prior to joining Aster in 2018.

CIO Insider recently got a chance to interact with Veneeth, wherein he shared his insights on the current digital transformation scenario in India, technology adoption practices and various other aspects. Below are the excerpts of the exclusive interview –

What is the role of healthcare leaders in the ongoing digital transformation in the healthcare sector?
Like any other industry, healthcare segment too is going through a significant transformation. However, compared to other industries, healthcare has been lagging behind in terms of technology adoption and transformation. As a result, to drive this large change within the business, the involvement of the senior leadership is imperative and these are not technology projects.

Tell us about a few strategies business leaders can incorporate to attract and retain healthcare talent.
It is paramount to have as much Gen-Z in your workforce as possible to enhance technology adoption in the healthcare vertical. As a result, the organizational culture, ways of working and policies pertaining to the workforce should be constantly drafted mindful of Gen-Z employees. This happens when retaining and keeping them excited within the system, which has to be beyond mere salary packages and go that extra mile including other aspects such as flexible working hours. Attracting and retaining talent is not just about salaries

anymore; the kind of work culture that the company has, could have a significant impact on the candidates.

What are some of the ways a leader can create a balance between digital advances and ethical responsibilities to lead effectively in the digital age?
I follow a ‘No Compromise’ attitude when it comes to ethical responsibilities. Just because a leader is driving digital transformation, doesn’t mean he/she can compromise on their ethics and values. In the healthcare industry, ethical aspects include quality of care, safety of patients, secure storage and handling or patient data, regulatory compliance, and maintaining patient confidentiality. I approach all these matters with utmost care without compromising on even a minute aspect. I strongly believe that despite being a critically important business aspect, technology adoption should not happen at the cost of any of these aspects. Instead, it should enhance the services being offered to patients.

How can leaders create a strong foundation to accelerate adoption of modern technologies?
One must keep in mind that technology should be deployed only if it makes sense from your business standpoint. You should not implement a technology just because it is one of the most trending/happening practice and search a use case for it. Instead, you have to implement it only if there are any significant use cases in our business operations that can result in enhanced efficiency and productivity.

My advice is to always look at addressing the business problem first by leveraging all the available modern technologies to efficiently solve the problems and make the treatment process as simple and hassle-free as possible for the patients.

What is the significance of ensuring uninterrupted service delivery using Healthcare IT?
The significance of uninterrupted service in healthcare delivery is nothing short of a life and death scenario. Uninterrupted access to systems, solutions and technologies plays a significant role in ensuring a hassle-free patient experience, while simultaneously enhancing the effectiveness of the treatment. Thus, it is imperative for any healthcare provider to have a robust business continuity plan in place to ensure patient care is never compromised even in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

What is your advice to individuals aspiring to be future business leaders and entrepreneurs?
Never try and force-fit technologies and solutions on people’s problems. My advice is to always look at addressing the business problem first by leveraging all the available modern technologies to efficiently solve the problems and make the treatment process as simple and hassle-free as possible for the patients. Also, given the constantly changing nature of this dynamic industry, always ensure to stay abreast of latest technologies, trends and techniques that are disrupting the industry. This will act as a key factor for business leaders during their decision-making process.

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