New report reveals digital innovation within health systems

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and AVIA have released a report summarizing the results of a first-of-its kind survey on the state of digital innovation within hospitals and health systems.

The AHA joined AVIA, the nation’s leading network for health systems seeking to innovate and transform by unlocking the power of digital, to conduct the 2017 survey to understand the current state of digital innovation priorities, activities, and barriers across a wide range of provider organizations.

More than 300 hospital executives, including CEOs and other innovation leaders, responded to the survey. Seventy-five percent of those respondents believe that digital innovation is important because of its connection to long-term strategy and competitive differentiation. However, respondents also report that significant barriers to innovation remain, including resources, funding and operational capacity.

 Three out of four survey respondents say they believe that digital innovation must include partnering with other innovative organizations. Comments from executives also reveal a desire for thought leadership about innovative examples, best practices and metrics.

The survey results indicate areas of importance where hospitals have already invested in digital innovation, including benefits management, operational efficiency and primary care delivery. Priorities for future investment according to the survey are patient-generated data and customized services; network utilization and management; and referral management and in-network retention.

“It’s clear that hospitals recognize and embrace the importance of digital innovation,” said Maryjane Wurth, the AHA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our hope is that by collecting and sharing this data about their aspirations, priorities and challenges we can accelerate the pace of change in the field.”