Patient experience, clinical excellence top drivers of hospital tech investments in next 12 months

Healthcare organizations are also planning to ramp up customer relationship tools as they continue on the path to self-disruption, according to new research from Ernst & Young.
By Jeff Lagasse
02:28 PM
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hospital tech investments this year

Hospital IT executives and professionals know that many healthcare organizations are amid a digital transformation. But where are they focusing those investments in the year ahead? 

A new nationwide poll released by Ernst and Young found that almost all of the participants -- 91 percent -- have or are planning to undertake a technology adoption initiative in the next 12 months. Seventy percent cite improving patient experience as a key factor driving the initiative, 58 percent cite clinical outcomes and 59 percent customer relationships. Yet almost half, 46 percent, are worried about insufficient funding.

Companies that have already taken steps to self-disrupt believe they’re benefiting from it, the report said. The more tech initiatives an organization has undertaken, the more likely they are to rate themselves ahead of the competition. This was particularly true for organizations advancing efforts related to clinical excellence and patient experience. Similarly, healthcare organizations that have adopted technology to improve the patient experience in the past 12 months are significantly more likely to feel well prepared for the future.

In a consumer-centric health ecosystem, improving the patient experience will be critical in terms of competing for market share. Some providers are taking cues from retail companies, especially ones like Amazon with a strong online presence, and some are using technology to make consumers feel more connected and in control. The growing adoption of these digital initiatives indicates healthcare is now embracing the idea of convergence, the report said.

While only 43 percent of executives have leveraged analytics to inform performance improvements in the past, the report found that it is the most planned initiative (50 percent) for health organizations over the next 12 months. Other key initiatives that are planned include capturing patient experience metrics (47 percent), competitive benchmarking (46 percent), improving patient experience (45 percent), and implementing digital health initiatives (44 percent).

Analytics are a key element of digital transformation, the report said, allowing organizations to better capture value, control costs, maintain or grow market share and improve patient outcomes.

Although the report highlights increased optimism among executives, some concerns continue to persist, most notably insufficient funding (46 percent), fear of the unknown (35 percent), privacy issues or concerns (32 percent) and lack of internal expertise (29 percent). Overall, though, executives said they felt prepared to face the disruption ahead. Eighty-five percent feel very well or somewhat prepared to provide quality care amidst changing industry regulations and growing patient expectations.

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Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com

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