Lessons learned from Modern Healthcare’s digital health summit

The healthcare industry is ready to adopt new technology and transition to consumerism but is skeptical of changes without governance and railings.

Digital health leaders at Modern Healthcare’s Digital Health Transformation Summit this week addressed the changing expectations of consumers, the implementation of artificial intelligence responsibilities and the need for dialogue in the meeting room, among other topics.

Here are eight takeaways.

1. Leaders want railings around AI.

Health system leaders are excited about generalized AI tools like ChatGPT but would like to see safeguards established around usage.

“We have to embrace it. Paul Casey, medical director of the Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center. “It will become part of the way we operate.”

Casey said generalized AI has been used at Rush, which is developing a framework to teach employees how to use it appropriately.

It’s not just artificial intelligence that needs to be monitored. Vendors want to set the bar for all forms of AI. Desiree Gandrup-Dupre, senior vice president of care delivery technology services at Kaiser Permanente, said the health system is proceeding with caution and creating a corporate governance structure to understand risks associated with the AI ​​models it is developing.

“We wanted to make sure that there was an approval process before we embarked on any form of large-scale rollout,” said Gandrup-Dupre.

2. Investors want a piece of the pie.

Venture capital firms see dollar signs ahead Daryl Tol, head of wellness ecosystem at venture capital firm General Catalyst, says AI and interoperability will dominate digital health conversations in the years to come.

General Catalyst is behind a recent $50 million seed investment in Hippocrates AI, a healthcare-focused generalist AI company. “

Consumers have long wanted a brain that’s always working in healthcare, not a doctor’s brain,” Tol said.

3. Governance is important.

Creating the right governance structure is critical to the successful implementation of digital health solutions. Marty Bonick, CEO of Nashville, Tennessee-based Ardent Health Services, said the system created a committee to identify serious Ardent problems and consider potential solutions. Bonick said he is not a member of the committee but uses it for guidance.

“We’re trying to take this out of the corporate office environment and really onto the front lines. We’re talking to our employees… about the problems we’re having,” said Bonick. “They are not necessarily the problem many companies are having. [developing] solutions for… but if I can solve the problem of throughput efficiency or nurse safety, then those solutions will be more beneficial.”

For any potential solutions that affect medical care at Rush, Casey said a working group of all clinicians will examine the technologies.

4. The Board of Directors is heavily involved.

Mike Roberts, chief technology officer of VillageMD, says the company’s directors play an important role in helping the organization choose the right digital health solutions.

“Our board has not only a healthcare background, but a consumer and financial services background,” said Roberts. “It’s not just about having the right people on your board with the right connections, but getting them really engaged in your business. And not just at board meetings. … Between board meetings is what I find most helpful.”

Bonick said Ardent appointed Dr Edmondo Robinson, chief digital officer at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, to the board in January 2022 so that the board can tap into its technical health prowess. his digital.

5. Single point solutions do not occur.

It is difficult for health systems to adopt one-stop technology solutions that traditionally address only one area of ​​medicine and may not connect to other clinical systems.

According to Dr. David Lubarsky, CEO of UC Davis Health in Sacramento, California, many health systems will say no to a solution that doesn’t integrate into the provider’s electronic health records.

Health insurers aren’t interested in single point solutions either. Tracy Saula, senior vice president of health products and experiences at Highmark Health, said many digital health companies don’t really understand what Highmark is looking for in technology.

“Those of us, who are trying to really drive the customer-centric transition, will shrink this group of potential suppliers and partners in the ecosystem more and more. [down] to those who receive it,” Saula said. “There are a lot of people who don’t understand. … They don’t see that they are part of something bigger.”

6. Consumers may have a larger role.

Newcomers to the industry are seeing changing consumer needs as their starting point. Executives at big tech companies like Amazon say their healthcare strategies will revolve around improving the patient experience by relying on customer feedback.

“If you are customer-obsessed, that means following the ‘agree’ and also understanding what the customer is saying,” said Dr Nworah Ayogu, medical director and general manager at Amazon Clinics. with you to adjust, change.

Traditional health systems are sensing change but face obstacles, including addressing workforce shortages, caring for diverse populations and overcoming barriers geography.

“It’s about getting customers to see us where they want to see us, but it’s really hard,” said Bill Bellando, chief information officer for Marietta, Georgia-based Wellstar Health Systems. “And it’s constantly changing.”

7. Virtual visits will expand.

Many systems are looking to meet patients where they are through virtual care.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Sanford Health broke ground on a virtual care center near its headquarters last year that will serve as a hub for virtual clinics and wellness services. from far away.

Other health systems are adopting virtual care to increase engagement and better serve patients.

“We don’t really need to build more facilities, more clinic offices or more hospital beds,” says Lubarsky. We just need the right facilities, with the right level [of care].”

8. CMS wants to join the conversation.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sees a great opportunity in open source publishing and is in the process of modernizing its systems. Some of its new Java code begins publishing online in January 2022.

“A lot of the things that people are building, we are already building,” said Andrea Fletcher, executive director of digital services at CMS. “If we publish a version [of that code] that’s standardized and then other people can tailor it to their needs… I think that would put us and the others in the space in a better situation.”

Dealing with outdated systems and programming languages ​​is a challenge. Another big problem: many of its developers are approaching retirement age. Fletcher said an active recruitment effort is underway and recent layoffs in the private sector could present an opportunity for the agency.


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