Investments in digital transformation for the healthcare industry seem to be fait accompli, but there is actually significant variance in the thought process among healthcare organization leaders, according to a new study. In a survey whose results were unveiled at the HIMSS21 Future of Healthcare event, the Chartis Group found that more than half of those polled haven’t progressed past pilot stages of various digital transformation initiatives—including automation.
Eighty percent of the 200 healthcare leaders polled in the study did report their company plans to increase investment in digital technologies, but as many are unsold on AI and ML as have prioritized it. Seven percent of healthcare executives see AI/ML solutions as a priority while the same number called it a “distraction.”
“The bottom line is healthcare leaders aren’t yet sure what to think about it,” said Chartis Director and Digital Leader Tom Kiesau, in a blog. “Operational business design is the easiest place to put it, and that’s what seems to be driving the first wave of adoption.”
Kiesau said results of the analysis show health systems want to invest in meaningful digital transformation. He points to the 47 percent of respondents who identified digital as a top organizational priority, 84 percent who have patient portals, 70 percent who have or plan to establish a chief digital officer, and 58 percent who plan to invest $10 million or more in digital health.
“But without greater investments in internal factors — like business, operating, and clinical model transformation — they risk digitizing obsolete processes and business models,” he said. “Health systems that do this are simply creating a more costly and cumbersome system rather than an efficient, agile, transformed one.”