As an end-to-end EMR solutions provider, we are in a business of both digitisation and digitalisation for healthcare institutions. With these two terms used interchangeably and variations of definition around them, there seemed to be quite some confusion regarding these two terms.
What exactly is the difference between digitisation and digitalisation?
Digitisation and digitalisation are two terms that are often used interchangeably and closely related to each other. By putting these two terms in the context of processes, we can make a clear distinction between these two terms.
Okay, so what is digitisation?
For a start, digitisation is the process of creating a digital copy of an analog/physical medium such as paper documents, photographs or sounds. Simply, it is the process to convert data from a non-digital medium to digital format, which can then be used by a computing system for business purposes.
Digital processes require digital information – this is when digitisation comes into the picture, by turning data from analog mediums into digital data with the goal to automate processes or workflow. (Typically by scanning documents and indexing with solutions such as Optical Character Recognition)
What is digitalisation?
Digitalisation refers to enabling, improving and transforming business operations and processes by leveraging digital technologies. At its core, digitalisation is the transformation towards a digital workplace.
This means your workforce works differently, leveraging on technology to unify communication platforms, increasing system of engagement and insights generation. And it is more than just the process of digitisation.
Digital transformation and digital business
The process towards a digital workplace usually starts with digitisation – to convert all existing data on analog mediums (such as paper documents) to digital format. Once completed, businesses then goes through the process of digitalisation – incorporating new technologies to streamline their workflow and processes to fully eliminate the disruption caused by paper documents (e.g. material cost, effort required to manage paper documents). Be it digitisation or digitalisation, they are both essential processes to improve efficiency and value adding to a business and towards creating a digital workplace.