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Health Systems Realize Value in AI, 50% to Invest by 2021


A focus on improving efficiency and reducing costs makes AI poised for increased adoption.

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The healthcare space has been buzzing about artificial intelligence (AI) for years. The technology has the potential to improve outcomes and increase provider efficiency. Yet the digitization of healthcare is changing the way data are managed and increasing operational expenses across hospitals and health systems.

And approximately 20% of health system executives and decision-makers said their top priority is to improve efficiency and reduce costs, according to a survey conducted by Olive AI and Sage Growth Partners.

That focus positions AI to be poised for increased adoption. In fact, 50% of respondents reported the desire to invest in the technology by 2021, while 23% are looking to invest today. Half said they were familiar with the concept of AI and robot process automation.

The leaders who indicated familiarity with the technologies were twice as likely to implement AI to solve workflow challenges instead of leveraging existing systems.

The survey consisted of 115 key decision-makers or influencers in technology purchases, including chief financial officers and chief information officers, along with human resources, supply chain and revenue cycle management leaders.

“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,” Olive AI wrote.

More than half of hospital leaders could not name an AI or robot process automation. But 43% still preferred choosing a company to build, deliver, monitor and support their automations. Slightly more than 25% preferred to choose the platform themselves and then hire consultants to build the solution.

Fewer than 20% wanted to choose the platform and have their employees build the solution in-house, while 13% preferred to hire consultants to choose the platform and build the solution.

Healthcare leaders see the opportunity to use AI to automate high-volume, repetitive tasks, including finance, human resources, revenue cycle management and supply chain management.

“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 one in every three dollars is spent on administrative expenses,” said Rebecca Hellmann, MBA, 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.”

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