We’re back at Olive HQ after an amazing few days at Becker’s 10th Annual Hospital Meeting, and we have to say, this was the most informative year yet. We attended over 30 sessions and spent time with over 250 healthcare leaders in Chicago discussing the biggest challenges facing the industry today, and one thing is clear – top hospital executives agree that healthcare is ready for meaningful change. So, what did these leaders have to say about the industry, artificial intelligence and the biggest challenges facing healthcare today?

Here are the key insights we identified from our conversations:

 

INSIGHT #1: HEALTHCARE IS RIPE FOR INDUSTRY DISRUPTION

The challenges healthcare organizations face are unique – like complex software integrations, overburdened staff, shrinking margins and increasingly strict security and compliance requirements. And as these challenges grow more complex, the industry is ripe for disruption. But where will innovative technologies have the biggest impact? Healthcare leaders believe the digitization of healthcare and the introduction of companies like Amazon and Google to healthcare will help reduce the burden of an extremely inefficient, bogged down industry.

As Amazon forms an independent healthcare company for its employees and Apple updates their App capabilities to display patient medical records, these advancements can only help streamline an industry that’s fraught with inefficiencies. Even Uber has entered the space, launching a ride-sharing program called Uber Health with sights on the $3 billion non-medical emergency transportation market. Although many of these emerging technologies are still in their early stages’, healthcare leaders predict that the prominence of AI will only continue to grow in 2019. AI is also a driving force feeding healthcare industry innovation, allowing organizations to automate the most repetitive, time-consuming tasks. And although AI is already improving business operations inside and outside of the healthcare revenue cycle, the possibilities go far beyond that. With advanced computer vision, RPA and machine learning skills, AI will continue to transform burdensome healthcare processes and create opportunities to improve efficiency across the continuum of care. We’ll keep you posted about the most meaningful technologies as they continue to advance, and in the meantime, learn more about how AI can impact your organization. 

 

INSIGHT #2: COST CONTAINMENT IS A TOP PRIORITY FOR HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVES

Human capital is the highest cost driver in healthcare today. As annual expense growth outpaces the annual revenue gains, cost containment continues to be a top priority for  healthcare executives. That’s partly due to the fact that 1 of the 3 trillion dollars spent in healthcare each year comes from operational inefficiencies alone. A great example being the bottlenecks in registration and eligibility processes. Flaws in these processes are the primary cause of denials, leading a typical health system to risk $4.9 million annually.

So what did the leading experts at Becker’s predict would help solve these growing issues and help healthcare organizations do more with less? AI was certainly one of the big buzzwords flying around the conference floor, and with new technologies continuing to emerge to automate healthcare’s most robotic tasks, healthcare employees can finally begin to focus on what matters most. Experts expect AI for Healthcare IT application market to surpass $1.7 billion by the end of 2019, and through this automation, healthcare systems have already begun to optimize revenue and eliminate entire backlogs of work created by time-consuming, repetitive tasks that make up much of the administrative side of the business.  In turn, they’ve been able to reduce costly errors and take an impact-driven approach to AI implementation, providing both immediate and long-term value to their organizations.

INSIGHT #3: THE SHIFT CONTINUES TO OUT OF HOME CARE AND SURGICAL CENTERS

One of the big trends we heard discussed at Becker’s was the shift to out-of-home care and the rise of surgical centers. Jll stats claims that surgery centers have grown 82% since 2000 and predicts the trend will continue into 2019. And with telehealth technology moving far beyond traditional care systems, leading experts predict that this space will continue to grow by 30% and surpass $25 billion dollars by the end of 2019.

The increasing cost of care and aging populations facing chronic health issues are both leading drivers behind innovative digital health solutions like RPM devices, telehealth platforms and more. Through favorable reimbursement policies, digital health applications will continue to expand care delivery models beyond traditional hospital systems, innovating areas like behavioral health, digital wellness therapies, dentistry, nutrition and prescription management, empowering individuals to better manage their own health. Because home health clinicians are on the front lines with patients, gathering key information about their conditions and recovery status, they’re uniquely positioned to promote interoperability and ultimately the growing shift to out-of-home care in the industry.

INSIGHT #4: HEALTHCARE WORKERS ARE EXPERIENCING “DEATH BY A THOUSAND CLICKS”

A recent study of 1,750 healthcare leaders found that almost three-quarters of them feel some degree of burnout. While alarming, it’s not actually surprising, given most hospitals today are toggling back and forth between 10 or more various EHRs or EMRs, creating a “button olympics”  for their overworked employees – not to mention the resulting backlog of work and wasted resources. So, how are healthcare executives approaching the subject of interoperability and employee burnout while also optimizing revenue?

Today, studies show that 42% of respondents seeking new employment believe their job does not make good use of their skills and abilities. That’s why many innovative health systems across the country have already implemented artificial intelligence to take on the most robotic processes in healthcare and reduce employee burnout. AI has allowed these organizations to optimize their revenue recognition and take burdensome tasks off their employees’ “to-do” lists, reallocating their time to more human-like initiatives, not the repetitive tasks that make up much of the administrative side of healthcare. This is something the team behind Olive is particularly committed to. By creating the industry’s first true “digital employee,” we’ve already been able to help shift employees time from robotic tasks to improving patient care.  To learn more about how AI can impact your organization, subscribe to OliveReads.