Despite coming tech transformation, healthcare CEOs say they're not ready

While most healthcare CEOs believe technological advances will transform their business in the next five years, few organizations are prepared for the changes, according to a new survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Eighty-six percent of healthcare CEOs identified technological advances such as the digital economy, mobile devices and big data as key trends transforming their business, with demographic shifts coming in a close second.

Fifty-seven percent of healthcare CEOs--more than in other industry sectors--are worried that the speed at which technology is progressing will make their efforts obsolete and slow growth.

While 89 percent plan to improve their ability to innovate, plan to change their technology investments (93 percent) and explore better ways of using and managing big data (95 percent), only about a third have started or completed these changes.

Only 31 percent say their research and development functions are well-prepared, and only 41 percent say their IT functions are well-prepared to take advantage of these changes.

They worry about how government decisions could affect their business, and in response are forming new partnerships far more commonly than in other industries. More than half have entered into a joint venture or strategic alliance in the past 12 months and 69 percent plan to do so in the next 12 months.

A recent survey found that hospitals and ambulatory care centers are focusing their innovation efforts on cost reduction. Providers are making progress, it said, in implementing innovative solutions in important areas such as population health management, patient follow-up, predictive analytics, clinical decision support and care coordination.

Hillary Clinton, during a keynote address at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference, said technology is providing the evidence to support healthcare reform.

Health IT will drive all of the positive change and smart innovation, she said, but also added: "If things aren't working ... we need people of good faith to come together and make evidence-based changes, and that's what I hope you can help us do."

To learn more:
- find the report (.pdf)

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