OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to develop an international agreement on a defined set of technological capabilities to assess digital excellence in hospitals.
METHODS: We conducted a two-stage international modified electronic Delphi (eDelphi) consensus-building exercise, which included a qualitative analysis of free-text responses. In total, 31 international health informatics experts participated, representing clinical, academic, public, and vendor organizations.
RESULTS: We identified 35 technological capabilities that indicate digital excellence in hospitals. These are divided into two categories: (a) capabilities within a hospital (n=20) and (b) capabilities enabling communication with other parts of the health and social care system, and with patients and carers (n=15). The analysis of free-text responses pointed to the importance of nontechnological aspects of digitally enabled change, including social and organizational factors. Examples included an institutional culture characterized by a willingness to transform established ways of working and openness to risk-taking. The availability of a range of skills within digitization teams, including technological, project management and business expertise, and availability of resources to support hospital staff, were also highlighted.
CONCLUSIONS: We have identified a set of criteria for assessing digital excellence in hospitals. Our findings highlight the need to broaden the focus from technical functionalities to wider digital transformation capabilities.