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Weiterdenkertagung 2020

Digital transformation in the healthcare and social economy

Hände Unterstützung

The Continuing Thinkers Conference 2020 of the part-time master's program Management in Social and Health Care took place, like so much this year, as an online lecture and workshop series. The last event took place in December - a summary by program director Professor Dr. Axel Olaf Kern:

The Weiterdenkertagung20 dealt with the effects of digital transformation for the health and social economy. It became particularly clear that these mean a transformation from systems to networks. In systems, the system elements, the participants are defined. The participants are related to each other and are controlled as a whole with clear boundaries. In contrast, in networks there are neither roles nor functions. Networks are open and permeable. This means that new leadership models such as holocracy and sociocracy are emerging.

In addition, new value chains are the result. At the same time, companies have to face organizational challenges in a rapidly changing environment. In this context, it is of the utmost importance to recognize the technical changes and to set the right course in good time. The development of the telematics infrastructure (TI), which can be seen as the largest IT project in the world, is of essential importance. The launch of the TI represents a major step toward a forward-looking healthcare and social system. The digital networking of all players will bring about a significant improvement in client and patient care. Those responsible in companies in the social economy and the healthcare industry are challenged to find their way in this change.


Comprehensive customer orientation in the digitally transformed environment

In addition to the technical infrastructure, which includes software solutions on the one hand and requires the critical infrastructure to be made crisis-proof on the other, companies and institutions in the social and healthcare sectors must live a comprehensive customer orientation in the digitally transformed environment. This includes, in particular, understanding employees in the digital working world, taking their needs seriously in balancing private and professional requirements, and providing support.

This also includes using digital tools as early as the recruitment phase, while at the same time presenting a consistent picture of the work experience in the company. Digital platforms for addressing potential employees must be used professionally. This side of personnel marketing reflects the social institution's understanding of its own customer orientation.

In the course of this, it was stated in a seven-point memorandum for the marketing of social and health care institutions as part of the Weiterdenkertagung20 (see below) that services can only be developed together with clients and customers in order to be successful. Thus, staff recruitment is also only successful if it captures the perspective of potential employees.

Keeping all needs in view

Social and health care institutions must enable personal exchange, barrier-free and at eye level. Target groups are also addressed on the Internet. Customer comments must be responded to promptly. It is particularly important to maintain internal communication, communication with employees. Employees as well as customers should be convinced of the company's services as brand ambassadors and report to the outside world.

In addition, close contact with all stakeholders is essential in the social and health care industry. Immediate and timely responses, which thanks to technological possibilities can be standardized and yet individualized at the same time, open up space and time for personal and individualized contact with clients and customers. Empathy, experience and friendliness are the hallmarks of employees in companies in the social and healthcare industries. They respond to the individual needs of clients and take pride in their work.

Although the companies have to orient themselves predominantly to the reimbursement rates set by the payers, individual pricing takes place. The customer's willingness to pay is a key criterion here. In the social healthcare industry, even in a digital environment and with digital transformation, attention is paid to the quality of care to a high degree, so that customers feel quality and value even in the smallest detail and stakeholders perceive this in the same way.

Digital transformation means keeping an eye on the requirements and needs of all customers and employees and systematically taking them into account in the sense of value-oriented corporate management. How this can be achieved, which steps are necessary for this and why digital solutions represent options for the further development of corporate culture will be highlighted at the Weiterdenkertagung 2021.


7 success factors for customer orientation in companies and institutions in the social and health care sector:

  • We develop products and services together with our customers.
  • We value personal exchange at eye level.
  • We promote a professional dialog with all stakeholders - analog and in digital media.
  • We maintain close contact with customers and employees and ensure a fast and timely response - in a good mix of standardized processes and personal or individualized contact.
  • We distinguish ourselves through empathy, experience and friendliness. Our employees respond individually to our customers and take pride in their work.
  • We make our services and prices fully transparent.
  • We make sure that our customers feel and appreciate our quality and values even in the smallest detail.

Developed at the RWU Thinkers' Conference on 04.12.2020

Prof. Dr. Axel Olaf Kern / Perpetua Schmid