- Three out of four healthcare leaders believe digital innovation is tied to their long-term strategy and competitiveness, according to a new survey by the American Hospital Association and AVIA. A similar share believe digital innovation must include partnering with other innovative organizations.
- The AHA and AVIA surveyed 317 hospital executives. Of those, 75% said digital innovation is a priority at their organization and 69% said if their health system wasn't experimenting consistently, it was playing it too safe.
- Not all the news is good, though. More than half of leaders reported delaying innovation due to cost, and worries about unintended operational burdens.
To facilitate digital innovation, four factors need to be in place, according to the report. Organizations need to have sufficient IT resources, a flexible budget cycle and a dedicated funding pool. They should also reserve some of each service line leader’s budget for digital innovation. Having all of these can speed innovation by more than 50%.
“Successfully scaling innovation is a strategic imperative, and these survey results crack the code,” Eric Langshur, CEO and co-founder of AVIA, said in a statement. “We now know that top performers share traits that allow them to accelerate innovation 52% faster than average organizations, shortening time to impact by a full year.”
Recent priorities in digital innovation include employee benefits management, primary care delivery and utilization, convenient patient access, including telemedicine, operational efficiencies and improvements, and care transition and post-acute sites of care.
Going forward, the top priorities are patient-generated data and customized services, network utilization and management, referral management and in-network retention, social community support and convenient patient access, including telemedicine.
In a KPMG survey published earlier this year, healthcare CIOS named EHR optimization and population health as top concerns on their digital health wish list. Other priorities included analytics, virtual technology enhancements and enterprise resource planing systems.
With bipartisan support for value-based care, digital health has been largely spared the regulatory uncertainty roiling other areas of healthcare as the Republican-led White House and Congress push to repeal the Affordable Care Act. During the first half of 2017, digital health funding reached $3.5 billion on 188 deals — putting the sector on pace to best last year’s total for deals and spending.