Health systems look to tech to improve efficiency, interoperability

Healthcare organizations are focused on using technology to improve interoperability of existing services and capabilities, according to a new survey of 100 C-suite healthcare executives.

What happened?

The study, commissioned by Proskauer, which offers a healthcare legal team, and conducted by market research firm Rabin, found streamlining operating costs and improving such efficiency is a primary business concern for executives, with a third of respondents ranking it as one of the top three business challenges over the next year.

When asked about other industrywide changes required for healthcare organizations to better promote value-based care, improving employee training in the use of technology was high on the list.

Healthcare executives also are focused on incentivizing participation in existing information sharing consortia, as well as incentivizing vendors to encourage interoperability between electronic health records.

Improving employee training in the use of technology was another top concern for small healthcare organizations looking to promote value-based care, along with incentivizing participation in existing information sharing groups.

What is the trend?

With an increasingly high volume of data to process, healthcare organizations are beginning to focus more on acquiring technology capabilities, with a growing interest in artificial intelligence.

When asked about their top mergers and acquisitions targets over the next 12 to 24 months, nearly half (48 percent) of CFOs surveyed acknowledged interest in acquiring AI technology assets as their top M&A target.

The survey also indicated health organizations are checking into technology companies that could help them streamline business operations outside research and development.

Why it matters?

While there is broad agreement across the C-suite about the importance of technology acquisitions, most agree that one technology solution will not be able to meet all their needs.

Further complicating the picture was the survey’s indication that healthcare organizations are not prepared to handle increased risk that interoperability and data sharing practices involve.

For example, no more than a third of healthcare organizations surveyed said they currently leverage any single cybersecurity best practice.

However, the results also found healthcare organizations recognize this gap and are prioritizing improvement, with a third of survey respondents citing privacy and data protection as a top three business challenge over the next year.

On the record

“As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and new players enter the space, it’s imperative for healthcare executives to understand where they are thriving, where they are falling short and have a clear plan for the year ahead,” said Richard Zall, partner and chair of Proskauer’s healthcare group.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.

Email the writer: [email protected]

Twitter: @dropdeaded209

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