3. Buy-in remains a challenge
Part of the challenge with self-disruption within healthcare is that clinicians are skeptical of new technology thanks to the drawn-out adoption of electronic health records. A survey of health system executives by Teladoc Health and Health Management Academy shared during the conference found that only 39% of leaders say they have received sufficient clinician buy-in to implementing new digital health technologies.
“That number is a hangover from the failure of EHRs,” said Bruce Brandes, senior vice president at Teladoc.
Suchi Saria, director of the Machine Learning, AI and Healthcare Lab at Johns Hopkins University, said her organization created an algorithm that detected sepsis in 2017. But only three physicians wanted to use it, she said.
“Physician adoption was terrible,” Saria said. “We spent so much energy deploying it. That was disheartening. Most health system projects stop there. You put it out there, you don’t measure things, you try to get something to work, it doesn’t work, you spent two years and then you move on.”
Saria said her research team spoke with front-line staff about the different barriers to using the algorithm and addressed them one by one. The technology needed to be easier to use, integrated into clinical workflows and vetted for clinical safety. Fixing those issues led to a 90% adoption across the enterprise, she said.
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4. Partnerships are key for providers
Organizations pushing forward on digital transformation typically accomplish it through strategic partnerships. According to the survey from Teladoc and Health Management Academy, 77% of health systems partner with external organizations on digital health.
Mario Schlosser, CEO of Oscar Health, an insurtech, said the company partnered with Holy Cross Health, a Catholic, teaching hospital in Florida and Florida-based Memorial Healthcare System, to create a Medicare Advantage plan. It also partnered with AdventHealth in Florida, which has its own health plan. He said the partnerships are centered on using data to improve membership engagement.
Jefferson Health went the extra step when it launched a partnership with VC firm General Catalyst to fund and partner with digital health companies. It also co-developed a hospital-at-home platform, even though it would hurt short-term revenue, Klasko said.
“Moody’s has downgraded a lot of health systems. Part of the reason they kept (Jefferson) at an A-stable rating was we were not only reacting to the changes that would affect our traditional revenue streams, but we also we started to own a certain percentage of those (digital health) companies that would do the disrupting,” Klasko said.