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Global Healthcare Execs Actively Adapting Digital Transformation but ROI Still Elusive: EY Survey

Written by : Arti Ghargi

February 19, 2024

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Half of healthcare executives surveyed attribute this constrained ROI to challenges in tracking metrics, complicating the effective monitoring of technology's initial cost value.

Most healthcare executives are investing in digital technologies, but the Return on Investment (ROI) remains a distant dream, a recent survey finding shows.

According to the survey, seven out of 10 healthcare executives revealed that they are yet to see any ROI to date on digital health integration. However, the majority of them are still bullish on digital technology adoption.

Global consulting firm Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) recently unveiled these findings in its inaugural Health Pulse Survey. The respondents include over 100 payer and provider healthcare executives across the United States.

Survey Highlights

The survey report sheds light on how health systems have navigated the challenges post-COVID-19, their strategic investments in digital health, and the consequential impacts on their operational performance.

The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a significant shift in the healthcare industry, propelling a surge of interest in digital health solutions among hospitals and health systems globally.

Sharing thoughts, Dr Kaushik Bhaumik, EY US Health Technology leader, said, “Healthcare as we know it is on the precipice of a revolution as more hospitals and health providers adopt digital health systems."

From substantial tech investments to a renewed emphasis on generative AI, there has been an uptick in the adoption of digital health solutions, leading to enhanced operational efficiency.

Notably, the survey indicates that 90% of executives in the healthcare sector perceive an increased capacity to address healthcare providers' needs following the transition of administrative responsibilities to digital platforms.

Dr Bhaumik further emphasized the tangible benefits witnessed by health executives through the implementation of digital healthcare systems, which have alleviated administrative burdens, facilitated a sharper focus on patient care, mitigated nursing shortages, and consequently, reduced patient care costs.

Key Findings

Let’s look at the key findings from the EY US survey underscore the following:

AI Integration Gaining Traction

The integration of AI into healthcare processes is gaining momentum, with 60% of healthcare executives actively investing in AI-based applications.

The majority of respondents (96%) acknowledge a significant reduction in both time and financial costs, with 93% recognizing emerging technologies as instrumental in driving administrative efficiencies.

Elusive ROI Despite Digital Health Investments

Despite substantial investments in digital health solutions, the anticipated ROI has remained elusive for many healthcare executives.

While 86% of respondents anticipate potential cost reductions through digital health solutions, a staggering 70% have yet to realize any ROI.

Moreover, half of healthcare executives surveyed attribute this constrained ROI to challenges in tracking metrics, complicating the effective monitoring of technology's initial cost value.

Focus on Talent Reskilling

The paradigm shift towards emerging technology has spurred an unprecedented demand for tech-savvy professionals in the digital healthcare domain.

The survey highlights a resounding 94% of healthcare executives acknowledge the heightened credibility of healthcare providers equipped with newer technologies.

To meet this burgeoning demand, 90% of executives are allocating additional resources toward staffing their digital healthcare tech teams.

Emphasizing the evolving landscape of digital health solutions, Mallory Caldwell, EY Americas Health leader, said, “As the digital health landscape continues to evolve, we expect the adoption of digital health solutions to continue to rise. The efficiencies created through automation and AI have had positive impacts on both the provider and patient experiences, and it is only a matter of time until the ROI is realized.”

The survey was conducted by Ernst and Young LLP in collaboration with Atomik Research involving 101 administrative executives across the United States working within the healthcare sector.

As per EY, the survey was conducted between September 26 and October 6, 2023, with a margin of error of +/- 10% and a confidence level of 95%.


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