This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
There’s no doubt recent AI advancements have contributed to evolving conversations surrounding technology’s role across healthcare. But deciding which platforms to consider — and when to consider them — can be challenging for even the most seasoned leaders.
In this episode of the Memora Health Care Delivery Podcast, our guest Shahidul Mannan, Chief Data Officer at Bon Secours, discusses what information EHRs miss, how to assess the value of technology before implementation, and what types of innovations to consider when building out tech infrastructure in healthcare.
There’s a lot of data in healthcare — but there’s still so much that goes uncollected and unused
The digitization of healthcare accelerated in an unprecedented way with the passing of the ACA in 2010. Specifically, the subsequent expansion of the EHR ushered in more and more patient data collection.
But, Mannan argues there’s still a plethora of data beyond what’s stored in a local care management system that can help improve care. Mannan says, “Healthcare is extremely data-rich … We now have the opportunity to see more and more data about our patients. As we dig further, we realize that there’s tons of data in unstructured forms … that can have tremendous opportunities for innovation once we start to unleash them and better manage them.”
He adds, “80% of this unstructured data is unharvested.” That’s why healthcare leaders must invest in novel technologies that gather information beyond traditional systems of record. Innovative digital healthcare platforms like Memora Health integrate with existing EHRs to help collect and organize remote data for clinicians to view and act upon.
Innovations need to prove value first before full implementation
Traditionally, healthcare organizations have adopted new technologies and found the right way to leverage them as time goes on.
But with health systems everywhere confronting serious existential resource challenges, taking a chance on a new innovation without seeing its value first is no longer an option.There’s little room for error.
Mannan explains, “Gone are the days when you build something for two or three years and then you start to apply and show the value. Now we are in a state of wanting to rationalize and justify constantly, and make sure we’re harvesting the right value while we’re building the strategic data assets or long-term capabilities.”
The same concept applies to new AI programs. Mannan adds, “We want to take advantage of the latest and greatest technologies and AI capabilities … We’re focused more on how we can find the right use case and problem to solve with AI. The challenge is, ‘How can we allocate our resources best to harvest the optimal outcome with AI?’ …”
Vendors of forward-thinking digital health technologies — like intelligent care enablement platforms that leverage AI to extend value across both patient and provider audiences — may partner with organizations to pilot their platforms before full rollouts to help right-size the necessary resource allocation. If implementing a pilot, it’s essential to outline clear KPIs from the start and understand any limitations that may exist due to the nature of the pilot, such as suboptimal IT integration.
Want to see how Memora Health’s platform drives real results for patients and providers? Learn more here.
Consider a blend of established and cutting-edge innovations when building technology infrastructure
There’s a reason mainstream healthtech vendors have established their reputations. They most likely have proven quality in their space and a secure, safe product.
But, Mannan proposes for what they have in status, they often lack in vision. “We always want to find something that has lower risk, more experienced vendors that have a deeper understanding of technology … That said, that comes with the cost that [established vendors] are more expensive and may not always be the most cutting edge or innovative in some ways.”
That’s why Mannan suggests incorporating technologies from more trailblazing companies that can integrate easily with incumbent infrastructure. He says, “I do keep a part of our portfolio for more innovative startup companies that have demonstrated the power of their thought leadership or the depth of their expertise and knowledge. Even if it’s at a small scale. Then, we can pick up from there and actually partner to build more customizable solutions that give us an edge and advantage, even with a smaller investment.”