Half of hospital leaders plan to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) solutions by 2021, according to a new study conducted by Olive AI that reveals AI adoption healthcare is still in its infancy. The study explores how hospital leaders are responding to the imperative to drive efficiency and reduce costs through strategic investments in non-clinical technologies.
Conducted in partnership with Sage Growth Partners, the survey respondents included 115 executives spanning the roles of chief financial officers, chief information officers, revenue cycle managers and supply chain functional leaders at hospital systems and independent hospitals in the United States.
Key Drivers for AI Adoption in Healthcare
The cost of healthcare is increasing, due in part to breakthroughs in patient care, including advancements in medical treatments and clinical technologies. However, the digitization of healthcare and the complexities of reimbursement are fundamentally changing the way hospital data is managed, adding new layers of administrative processes. The result: increasing operational expenses across hospitals and health systems.
Current State of Healthcare AI Adoption and Investment
The study audits the state of adoption and investment in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) and reveals that:
– Only 50% of hospital leaders interviewed said they were familiar with the concept of AI/RPA
– More than half of hospital leaders were unable to name an AI/RPA vendor or solution
– 23% of hospital leaders are looking to invest in AI/RPA today, while half plan to do so by 2021
– Those familiar with AI/RPA are two times as likely to implement AI to solve workflow challenges instead of leveraging existing systems
With an estimated $1 trillion of healthcare spending going toward administrative costs (labor being the largest component), hospital leaders are starting to look expansively at technology that improves efficiency across the enterprise.
How Familiarity and Understanding of AI Impacts Decision-Making for Hospital Leadership
– Purchasing approaches vary. 43% of hospital leaders preferred to choose a company to build, deliver, monitor and support automation, 26% preferred to choose the platform themselves, then hire consultants to build their solution, 18% preferred to choose the platform themselves and have their employees build the solution, and 13% preferred to hire consultants to both choose the platform and build the solution
– Meanwhile, improving efficiency and reducing costs remains a top-three priority (behind improving quality of care and improving patient satisfaction/engagement)
– Executives see high growth potential in automating high-volume, repetitive tasks in these functions: supply chain management, revenue cycle management, finance, and human resources
Why It Matters
“As an industry, healthcare is united by a mission to deliver better patient care, and a huge barrier to delivering that promise is the challenge that 1 in every 3 dollars is spent on administrative expenses. Imagine what could be done if more resources were available to focus on patient care,” said Rebecca Hellmann, Chief Marketing Officer of Olive. “With AI becoming more mainstream and offering a clearer path to value, hospitals no longer need to build out a massive technological infrastructure before benefiting from the efficiencies that it can create.”