“Internet of Healthcare Report” reveals it’s not humanly possible to keep up with the demands placed on humans in healthcare
Humans in healthcare face an administrative deluge of disjointed data for which hiring cannot provide adequate relief: 64% of healthcare executives agree that there will never be enough staff to handle the volume of patient and member data at their organizations. This and other findings are revealed in the new Internet of Healthcare Report, produced by independent research firm Wakefield Research on behalf of Olive. The report uncovers how 1,700 patients, healthcare professionals, administrative staff and executives view the healthcare patient and employee experience.
The healthcare industry is among one of the top industries grappling with “The Great Resignation,” exacerbated by workers who are in desperate need of support both due to the pandemic and to ballooning administrative loads. Half of administrative staff report seeing an increase in the amount of manual data entry in the past 12 months — and 92% of clinicians agree that too much time spent on administrative tasks is a major contributor to healthcare worker burnout. This signals that these processes are in need of updating, not just to alleviate worker overload, but to deliver for patients. 91% of healthcare professionals agree that fixing the burden of time-intensive, manual administrative processes is the most important thing they can do to improve the quality of patient care.
At the same time, 93% of healthcare professionals believe applying automation to remedy these processes will be good for their careers. 78% of administrative staff agree, with nearly half (49%) of C-level healthcare executives fearing that employee turnover will be the most likely consequence of their organization not automating in the next one to two years.
The Internet of Healthcare Report also found that:
- Patients are done with filling out forms: Patients are having to constantly repeat the same information (55%), be the one to inform healthcare professionals of medications other physicians have prescribed (40%) and deal with delays in treatment due to insurance review processes (51%). And, this lack of integrated healthcare systems is taking a toll on patients’ health: 57% agree that having their medical history easily accessible to any healthcare provider they see would do the most to improve their health outcomes.
- Manual processes lead to errors: Due to disjointed systems, administrative staff suspect an average of 21% of patient records have at least one error, including 48% who suspect 20% or more of their records contain at least one error, if not multiple errors.
- The lack of intelligence is impacting patient care: Misdiagnosis can be a patient’s worst nightmare, delaying the care they need, or worse — AI’s chance to prevent this outcome is perhaps its greatest attribute. Many clinicians (40%) predict AI will decrease the risk of incorrect patient diagnosis. On top of this, healthcare executives think their staff could get over 90 minutes back a day to spend with patients through automation.
- Healthcare will leapfrog other industries in innovation: While healthcare has historically lagged in innovation, it will soon lead. Nearly 8 in 10 healthcare executives believe the industry will emerge as a leader. Virtually all healthcare professionals (98%) predict AI-led advancements to be widespread throughout U.S. healthcare by 2026. While executives are optimistic, patients remain skeptical, with only 25% believing healthcare will become a leader in innovation. However, executives predict that AI-led advancements will include fully automated data entry (58%), patient access to medical records from anywhere (56%) and virtual visits/remote monitoring (52%) becoming the norm.
“The healthcare industry deserves the automation that so many other industries have already experienced to empower it to function at its best, ultimately creating a new health experience for humans. For far too long healthcare workers have completed the same mundane administrative tasks over and over, and patients have shared the same information time and time again,” said Jeremy Friese, President, Payer Market at Olive. “The Internet of Healthcare Report reveals that across the healthcare industry, workers and patients — rather than running from change — want to run towards it to improve their jobs, the patient experience and ultimately, their health. This is the only industry to still largely rely on fax machines. The need for change is painfully obvious.”
Rachel Sokol, Head of Healthcare Research at Olive, added: “The findings of the Internet of Healthcare Report show that it is not humanly possible to keep up with the demands placed on humans in healthcare. And it is not fair to ask them to keep pace. The past year has called attention to massive inefficiencies in our healthcare system. To continue weathering this storm, we must support — not strain — our healthcare workers. Automating mundane tasks leads to a motivated workforce with more time to spend on patient care — it’s one of the best ways we can support our healthcare heroes.”