Defining Digital Transformation Consulting - Cover

Defining Digital Transformation Consulting

The digital transformation of healthcare has been moving forward for years, and the energy surrounding this movement has only increased recently. Even so, digital transformation doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to all healthcare organizations. Many are looking to digital transformation consulting firms to help them improve their digital health capabilities as well as the consumer experience. 

During the past year, KLAS has published a series of First Look reports evaluating consulting firms who provide digital transformation consulting services. More recently, we released the Digital Transformation Consulting 2023 report, which provides an overview of the digital transformation consulting market as well as further insights into firm performance.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation involves the healthcare industry’s movement toward digital capabilities that affect operations and patient care. While not a new thing, digital transformation is still evolving. In KLAS’ Healthcare Consulting and Services 2021 report, two challenges healthcare executives mentioned the most were digital transformation and consumer engagement. The rise in urgency to address these challenges was due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated the need to connect with and engage patients digitally. Other factors that have increased focus on digital transformation are increased consumerism and shrinking financial margins.

While provider organizations recognize the need for digital transformation, they often do not know how to translate that into change for their organizations. In the recently published report, KLAS set out to define a framework of digital transformation consulting and the types of projects firms have completed and are completing. The four types of engagements within this framework are as follows: consumer digital engagement, provider digital engagement, digital architecture and analytics, and digital care strategy. (See definitions for these engagement types in the image below.) Provider organizations interviewed for this report shared that the most common outcome achieved from these engagements is an improved consumer experience—which is ultimately the main goal of digital transformation projects.

digital transformation consulting framework

How Are Digital Transformation Consulting Firms Performing?

Across the board, clients rate firms in the digital transformation consulting space high and appreciate their healthcare knowledge and expertise. All seven measured firms are validated has having completed projects of varying lengths (from less than 3 months to over 18 months) and sizes (from 1–3 consultants to over 20 consultants).

Among measured firms, Chartis (who has been the Best in KLAS winner for digital transformation consulting for the past two years) and ECG Management Consultants are highlighted for meeting clients’ needs and being strategic partners. Accenture is noted for supporting some of the most complex digital transformation projects validated in this data set based on project length and number of consultants. Measured firms were also rated for their expertise in different areas relevant to digital transformation consulting engagements. Interestingly, most firms scored lower for digital transformation expertise compared to general healthcare knowledge and expertise, emphasizing provider organizations’ need for firms to provide deeper knowledge and guidance as digital transformation continues to evolve.

For more in-depth information about performance and client satisfaction with specific firms, be sure to read the Digital Transformation Consulting 2023 report as well as the First Look reports that KLAS has published for Accenture, Chartis, Damo Consulting, EY, and Impact Advisors.

What’s Next?

The importance of digital transformation strategies and capabilities will continue to be front of mind for provider organizations as the digitization of the healthcare industry continues. With increasing consumerism among patients, it is vital that healthcare organizations are not left behind in this transformation. 

KLAS hopes that this report provides a guide for organizations as they navigate digital transformation consulting engagements. We recommend checking out the report to learn more. We intend to continue to monitor this space and the development of digital transformation in the healthcare industry.

Photo credit: wutzkoh, Adobe Stock