The Suliman S. Olayan School of Business's (OSB) Associate Professor Lina Daouk-Öyry has been granted The Arab Fund Fellowships Program Distinguished Scholar Award to research the management of digitization in healthcare, which she will conduct at Aalto University in Finland
Economically, the healthcare industry in Lebanon accounts for around 7% of GDP ($3.5 billion), and health expenditure per capita is amongst the highest in the world. From an organizational behavior perspective, however, healthcare organizations are complex, dynamic systems, with diverse inter-reliant agents. Hospitals in particular are characterized as emotionally and physically taxing environments for employees at all levels (physicians, nurses, managers, and front-line employees), with unique job performance outcomes (patient morbidity and mortality). This places quality and patient safety as a strategic objective for any healthcare institution, requiring upskilling among its healthcare population as a whole to be collectively achieved.
"Digitization in healthcare provides new sources of data that can improve quality and safety outcomes in hospital settings," expresses Lina Daouk-Öyry, OSB associate professor of organizational behavior and human resource management, and
director of the Evidence-based Healthcare Management Unit at AUB-AUBMC. "During my sabbatical at Aalto University, I will be exploring the implementation of digital solutions and upskilling the workforce with evidence-based management competencies, which encourage greater reliance on data in decision-making, and are necessary to meet the needs of the digital age."
With growing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity surrounding businesses today, exploiting data becomes key to creating competitive advantage. The widespread adoption of Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and other digital solutions in healthcare, has led to the exponential growth of data, from generating massive data sets covering clinical data to patient behavior and cost data, to name but a few. Advancing the healthcare sector therefore implies a better understanding of digitization.
The main idea driving EMR is that it serves as a digital repository holding all patient data accessible and shareable between internal and external stakeholders. EMR unifies fragmented data and applications, and combines evidence-based decision-making with the practice and administration of medicine and healthcare management.
Though limited in scope, adopting digital health solutions adds value to developing countries, where the quality of healthcare is hampered by common problems: poor economies, political instability, and a lack of proper infrastructure. This increases the importance of learning from other organizations working under similar conditions.
Embracing Evidence-Based Management is strategically timely and could enable managers to better administer healthcare's increasing complexity, improve decision-making, and consequently achieve better organizational outcomes. These solutions can provide evidence to alleviate common problems in healthcare organizations, such as patient safety concerns, medical errors, and increasing costs, which makes its fast adoption and proper diffusion a crucial public policy issue.