What a treat to attend the 2020 MSPBJ Healthcare Forum and hear from executives at some of the top healthcare providers in MN! I’ve put together a recap of the common themes from the panelists including Children’s MN CEO, Mayo Clinic President, Fairview CEO, Allina CEO and Rally Health CEO.
Each of these executives were focused on initiatives to digitize healthcare in order to make it more affordable, efficient and accurate. There are four main components discussed as it relates to digital transformation: 1. Digital Connected 2. Artificial Intelligence, 3. Data & 4. Technology.
Digital Transformation is a major initiative and certainly won’t happen overnight. This challenge isn’t stopping these top executives from pushing forward in their organizations.
Rally CEO, Karl Ulfers, stated that healthcare is fragmented for the end user and he made it clear we need to think of using technology for convenience, for example when a user connects their device to the Rally platform, the user stays with them an average of 400 days vs 100 days if they aren’t connected. When we see higher engagement with our health, we see better health outcomes, which results in lower overall healthcare costs. Ulfers also notes Rally sees a much higher retention rate when they provide overall convenience, however, this is the hardest challenge as technology isn’t quite there yet and it will be a 10-year commitment to pull this off and drive it.
Where does Artificial Intelligence fit into the landscape? According to Bobbie Gostout, Mayo Clinic’s President, it will have a big impact on communication between the payer and provider in the future. Although AI-driven computers won’t be able to provide the care, Gostout feels we can learn a lot from machines and predict healthcare issues before they arise. As optimistic as she was, she noted that healthcare as an industry is behind in technology.
According to Gostout, we need to figure out simple things at a lower cost for the patient and the solution will be digital platforms. Digital platforms allow patients, providers, and payers to communicate about the patient’s total healthcare and provides a holistic look at their health as well as transparency into billing, treatment recommendations and variations in care. She states; “We are the innovators not only for MN but for the world. The solution of a digital platform that brings all this together isn’t cheap, (but) we will get to a cheaper cost in the future.”
Fairview CEO, James Hereford believes in order to make digital platforms work we need to bring together all the capabilities of engineering and science together to make our systems work quicker and more efficiently.
As I reflect on these conversations it became clear that technology will be a connector of everything from data to AI to standardization. However, technology won’t be the holy grail for fixing the disparity in our healthcare system. It starts with people. In fact Rally CEO Karl Ulfers states that we will need to look at talent outside the healthcare industry who have led big digital transformations in other industries and bring that type of innovative thinking to healthcare.