How Innovative Technologies Are Transforming the Future of Healthcare

At Workday’s Conversations for a Changing World event, healthcare leaders from OhioHealth and KPMG shared how cloud technologies are improving employee engagement, creating more resilient supply chains, and helping organizations to optimize costs while delivering quality care.

The pace of change for healthcare organizations during the pandemic has been tremendous—and challenging for providers, staff, and business leaders across the industry. Organizations are realizing more than ever that the best way to engage clinical talent, increase supply chain resilience, manage cost of care, and prepare for future disruptions is to continue to innovate.  

At Workday’s Conversations for a Changing World digital event, Anna Hensley, vice president for ERP portfolio and talent acquisition at OhioHealth, and Vince Vickers, principal at KPMG, shared trends and opportunities for adopting innovative technology in healthcare. Below we share key insights from the conversation. 

“A cloud platform has made it easier to connect with providers and staff. We have data at the fingertips, so associates have what they need when they need it.”

Anna Hensley Vice President for ERP Portfolio and Talent Acquisition OhioHealth

Forces Driving the Need to Transform

There are three key forces driving digital transformation across the healthcare industry, shared Vickers, including: 

  • Needing to reduce the cost of care while improving quality. The percentage of the gross domestic product the U.S. spends on healthcare relative to quality measurements compared to other leading economies is out of balance. 

  • Solving for widespread provider burnout. With COVID-19, burnout has increased among industry employees. Improved access to data and better end-user experiences lessens the administrative burden on providers.

  • Remaining relevant in an increasingly competitive landscape. New business models have created a more competitive environment in healthcare. For example, some retailers have expanded their clinical services, taking business from traditional providers. 

Technology Helps Create Positive Employee Experiences

By making the provider experience as efficient as possible and arming providers with the data they need to do their jobs, healthcare organizations can lower care costs, improve quality, and extend careers for doctors, nurses, and frontline healthcare workers. “Happy employees make for happy customers,” noted Vickers.

Deploying Workday’s enterprise management cloud has helped transform OhioHealth, said Hensley.  “A cloud platform has made it easier to connect with providers and staff. We have data at the fingertips, so associates have what they need when they need it.” Even though the organization was embracing digital transformation before, the pandemic was a catalyst to ramp up digital efforts to meet increased demands, she said.

Where Technology Intersects With Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts

Vickers shared, “Compared to other industries, the healthcare industry has had hiring efforts, ongoing training, and education on diversity, equity, and inclusion.” In addition, healthcare is also focusing on supplier diversity from a procurement standpoint. More recently, Vickers continued, these efforts have been formalized with resources and reporting to track progress. 

From an inclusion and employee belonging lens, Hensely noted how COVID-19 has changed the landscape of recruiting talent across the industry. She shared, “When we think about clinical specialties, we’re trying to make those day-to-day operations easier. It's a matter of leveraging our technology to figure out how we attract active and passive candidates and keep our organization running.”

“Our clients are targeting as much as 85% of their application portfolio in the cloud with the goal to reduce costs and improve efficiency.”

Vince Vickers Principal KPMG

Additionally, health equity in patient care remains a major concern, and the challenge of supporting underserved communities has been magnified by COVID-19. Technology can help here as well. “We’ve worked with clients the last 18 months to provide technologies to identify and communicate with underserved communities. This is the beginning of an improvement in health equity from the pandemic.”

Attracting Top Talent Requires the Right Technologies

Technology plays a critical role in hiring and retaining healthcare talent. “We leverage technology to make day-to-day operations easier and to attract candidates,” said Hensley. “This expands beyond HR; to retain talent, digital transformation efforts must be leveraged across analytics, recruiting, and supply chain.” 

Hensley continued, understanding where we are today, where we need to go, and getting ahead of trends is valuable. Using technology to up-skill staff, leverage higher-end analytics, and connect on a single platform helps speed up decision making. 

This was needed during the pandemic and will be needed in the future, she said. For example, “Being on a single system, we saw the ease and speed in decision making as a catalyst for thinking about improving our care delivery processes. Transformation has taken us to the next step.”

Many healthcare organizations have similar opportunities. “Our clients are targeting as much as 85% of their application portfolio in the cloud with the goal to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Over a 5-10 year horizon, an on-premise application requires support and upgrades.” He added that the cloud reduces costs, and during the pandemic allowed organizations to deploy a virtual workforce.

Benefitting From a Single Cloud Platform

Vickers shared, “More than 90% of the healthcare market has realized an integrated back-office technology solution is a benefit,” said Vickers. “It's lower cost, easier to support, and provides a better end-user experience.” 

Hensley provided insights on how to get everyone across the organization on board with the move to an enterprise management cloud. “To get to one platform, consensus building across HR, payroll, supply chain, and finance is required,” she said. She further commented on how “transforming finance and supply chain remotely due to COVID-19 was remarkable,” and was enabled by the Workday community and deployment best practices. 

Vickers concluded: “Workday improves functionality in the fast-paced environment of healthcare. A cloud platform is the future. The pace of change in technology will never be as slow again as it is today. Platforms like Workday are responding to that pace of change.” 

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