The key to AI workforce success: Hear 3 health systems' perspectives

August 27, 2020

From idea to an enterprise-wide AI-powered hospital, the journey of deploying an artificial intelligence workforce can seem daunting. Where do you start? How do you get stakeholder buy-in? What’s the roadmap for growth? These are some of the questions we hear often from healthcare leaders considering AI and automation for their health system. Hear insights and advice from real Olive customers about their journey with AI: Karen Testman, CFO of MemorialCare Health in Southern California, Melanie Wilson, VP of Revenue Cycle for Essentia Health in Minnesota, and Susan Nelson, CFO of MedStar Health in Washington, DC. From exploring why they chose artificial intelligence, to where they want to go next with the technology, get their perspectives for any healthcare leader considering AI.

Why AI for healthcare?

Every healthcare organization’s journey begins with the same question: why artificial intelligence? What are you looking to do? Not every healthcare organization has the same motive for exploring this technology. For example, Essentia Health – in Minnesota - struggled with a scarcity of resources and talent, so they wanted automation to free up the valuable time of their human employees. MemorialCare, being in Southern California, operates in a very competitive healthcare market and needed to focus on cost reduction. In the case of MedStar Health, their healthcare leaders simply wanted to explore the potential of AI, after hearing about the transformational impact automation had in other industries. “We’re all really struggling to find healthcare resources, especially resources at the bedside… put [people] back doing the work that we all came into this business to do, which is care for our patients.” – Melanie Wilson, VP of Revenue Cycle at Essentia Health No matter what your team or organization’s biggest challenge is, artificial intelligence can probably help. An AI workforce has numerous benefits that cascade throughout an organization, improving the work and empowering your human workforce to not only perform, but excel.

Where to start

AI implementation has often started in one department before scaling across a healthcare organization. Olive has scoped over 1,300 processes across 15 functions, although finance and revenue services are often popular starting points for healthcare executives. These functions in particular involve many repetitive, robotic processes that are perfect candidates for automation. But Olive doesn’t leave the work of figuring out where to start up to you – Olive scouts the highest-value automations and knows how important quick wins are to gain traction with AI. Using data from all the health systems using Olive, we help our customers create a roadmap for successful implementation. “Olive certainly helped us to identify where we go first to get the best experience and the best return [on our investment.]. But what [Olive] also did was really got the entire team behind it.” - Susan Nelson, CFO of MedStar Health When asked about starting with Olive, our customers’ advice was to think bigger. After seeing the potential of AI and the associated ROI, they often wish they had thought bigger in terms of what could be automated and how many resources to dedicate to getting it implemented. Each of these customers currently has a large queue of automations to be developed because of excitement about the results of Olive across their organizations.

Implementation & change management

When implementing healthcare AI and automation, having a comprehensive change management strategy as part of your plan will help drive widespread adoption and commitment. An effective change management strategy has many steps, but the key piece that our customers stressed the importance of was employee education and redeployment. The truth is that automation and artificial intelligence can be scary for some employees. In order to be successful with an AI workforce, leadership needs to be sensitive to this reality and foster a conversation around the positive impact AI will have on their health system over time. “I found that you just cannot over communicate something like this. We knew our intent was to re-deploy resources… we connected with our HR teams early on in that communication to ensure that we were communicating correctly about what this meant for our team members.” - Melanie Wilson, VP of Revenue Cycle at Essentia Health Hospitals need to be ready to adjust workloads, retrain, or upskill affected employees. Leaders need to clearly communicate that they see AI as an opportunity to improve and further develop their human workforce. Successful engagement and redeployment of human workers is how you take AI from an isolated solution to a full-scale automation strategy. “We’ve committed to assisting impacted employees with finding other work within the organization, upping their skill set” - Karen Testman, CFO of MemorialCare Health

How to grow

One of the best things about Olive is that organizations don’t have to purchase another solution in order to expand their automation capabilities or scal AI across their health system. With Olive’s breadth of skills, you’ll have a queue of high-value candidate processes as soon as you start your journey with AI. “We think there’s just unlimited potential… this is so different than a typical IT implementation in that you’re never done… It’s just looking for the next opportunity where we can roll it out and take advantage.” - Karen Testman, CFO of MemorialCare Health Once your organization sees the success and impact of artificial intelligence, departments and teams across the enterprise will want to get involved. From there, it’s simply a matter of prioritizing and deploying resources to roll out functions as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Artificial intelligence & the future of work

As the healthcare landscape continues to change rapidly, healthcare leaders are being tasked with adapting and innovating. At Olive, we believe that an AI workforce is an integral part of this future. If you want to hear more about how AI is shaping the future of work, check out our webinar “Adapting to the New Normal: Accelerating Productivity & Revenue with an AI Workforce.” In this panel discussion, Olive hosted the three healthcare executives above and Olive CEO Sean Lane to discuss their AI journeys and how an AI workforce is impacting their organizations Watch the full webinar here.