Accelerating the Glacial Speed of Health Care Innovation thumbnail photo

Accelerating the Glacial Speed of Health Care Innovation

07.26.19 Shelley DauSchmidt

A recent study finds that most health systems name “innovation” as a top priority, but the overwhelming majority struggle to select and adopt solutions; stating that their efforts are coming along “very slowly.”

The “Trends for Scaling Innovation in Health Care” report, jointly conducted by the Center for Connected Medicine and the Health Management Academy, surveyed executives from 28 health systems. We’ve summarized the report’s findings and recommendations to accelerate innovation adoption.

Inside the Study’s Findings

Defining Innovation
Most health care systems have an internal definition for innovation, and those definitions focus on new approaches to problem solving that add value, particularly for patients.

However, past implementation hurdles have impacted how the industry defines innovation, as “technology” was seldom cited directly in the definitions. But its omnipresence is palpable. “Technology clearly underpins innovation,” the report states. Detailing that “transparency” and “data” are prioritized in the definitions, and “this may be a reaction against the opaqueness of health care’s analog era.”

Embracing Innovation
Two thirds of participants reported that they implement innovation “somewhat or very slowly.”  Not a single health system said they would be able to implement new innovations “very quickly.”

The research, conducted last fall, attributed “use of technology” as one of the strongest means to improve patient experience, allowing for integrated communication and quantifiable outcomes. The study also finds that leveraging external partnerships with technology companies is a key area of opportunity to supplement their internal innovation gaps.

Bridging the Gap
“It is notable,” the report states, “that payer contracting and payer capabilities are both low on the functional areas for innovation initiatives and investments. Despite industry transition to value-based care and the shifting of risk from payers to providers, it appears health systems are not yet prioritizing new tools to manage risk.”

While the respondents did not emphasize payer relationships as a key opportunity, they did attribute revenue generation and cost reduction as two of the biggest drivers for innovation adoption within their system.

But the dots could be easily connected—improving payer relationships can have a positive impact on both revenue and cost. As the industry evolves, the silos between payer and providers will continue to break down. Creating access through innovative technology is necessary for successful growth.

Identifying Future Success

Though innovation is still a struggle for many health systems, the report outlines a path for future growth, providing key steps that will allow implementation to occur faster.

Recommendations to Accelerate Innovation

  1. Define Innovation at the system-level; confirm C-suite buy-in
  2. Align innovation initiatives to fit within the system’s strategic goals
  3. Structure the process with a formalized department
  4. Empower decision-makers with the autonomy to implement
  5. Simplify approvals by reducing individuals involved
  6. Leverage key partnerships to fill capability gaps

If the market is prime for innovation, why are there barriers to adoption? The report finds that they are often attributed to budget allocations, internal alignment and implementation planning. Not to brag, but this is where Moxe can help. Our mission of connecting health systems with health plans aligns directly with the core findings from the study. Our completely electronic network reduces turnaround times and human errors associated with manual data routing, with minimal implementation time.

Products like Substrate fully integrate within the existing EMR, automate chart requests, and are able to be implemented at no cost to the provider—improving accuracy, reducing turnaround time and eliminating paper waste. Our roster of automated solutions provides the raw data needed for risk adjustment, HEDIS and Star ratings, and claims denial management. Want to innovate your system’s file sharing capabilities? Let’s chat.


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