Healthcare’s Data Readiness Crisis

Although “digital transformation” probably tops the list of commonly used healthcare buzzwords, a new report conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by Innovaccer paints a clear picture of why the term has become so popular, as well as the barriers standing in its way.

The “Healthcare’s Data Readiness Crisis: Triage vs. Transformation” report is based on survey results from a blue ribbon panel of 75 US health system executives, which explored their current views with respect to digital transformation.

Among the highlights of the survey was the fact that 95% of respondents are focused on digital transformation, making it the number one imperative for the rest of the decade.

  • 83% are aiming to have their organizations achieve full digital transformation in under five years, which might as well be a fraction of a second in healthcare time.
  • To accomplish this, healthcare IT leaders are prioritizing solutions that can make a measurable difference in the near-term, such as population health (41%), hiring talent (40%), and competitive analysis (40%).

When asked about the obstacles that are stifling innovation, interoperability ranked as the leading technical challenge (41%), surpassing both implementation (25%) and data quality (23%).

  • 42% said their organizations’ data is highly fragmented and siloed, and 58% didn’t believe that their EHR vendor could support their enterprise data strategy.
  • Despite these hurdles, only 5% of executives are currently investing in data activation platforms that facilitate interoperability across all of their systems. 

Industry Impact

Out of all the takeaways from the report, the disconnect between healthcare’s high aspirations for digital transformation and the lack of data readiness that’s needed to support it is likely the biggest.

Across the industry, data and the insights it can reveal are trapped in disconnected siloes within each institution, yet many organizations are still tackling data optimization as a one-off project vs. a foundational capability. This results in short-term fixes to long-term problems and postpones any sort of true digital transformation.

As a result, only the health systems that crack the code on data readiness will have the foundation needed to sustain accelerated transformation over the long haul, which should create a durable competitive advantage over slower organizations while pressuring others to follow suit.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team