Building a financial safety net: 4 key digital solutions to optimize the patient financial journey
In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, digital transformation has become a critical differentiator and driver of success. AVIA recently conducted a Digital Maturity Snapshot survey at its September Innovation Leaders Forum in Chicago, garnering responses from 40 individuals representing 31 leading health systems and yielding invaluable insights that shed light on the current state of digital transformation in healthcare.
Here are five key takeaways from the survey.
One of the standout findings from the survey was that health systems are still in the early stages of fully reaping the financial benefits of digital transformation. AVIA’s estimates suggest that a health system with a net patient revenue of $2 billion can potentially generate between $250 million to $350 million in financial benefits once digital solutions are fully implemented across the enterprise. The proportion of health systems classified as “high maturity” and actively generating direct financial impact ranges from 10% to approximately 40% across 12 strategic areas where digital transformation can make a difference. This underscores the significant untapped potential for financial gains through further digitalization.
Among the numerous digital strategies being pursued by health systems, those focused on delivering a modernized consumer experience and harnessing the power of data and analytics are leading the way. Approximately 40% of health systems reported themselves as “high maturity” in these areas. This aligns with the industry’s recent emphasis on improving patient engagement and leveraging data to drive informed decision-making.
On the flip side, certain strategies such as enhancing the workforce experience, automating back-office processes, and optimizing clinical operations are still in the early stages of generating financial impact, with only 10-15% of systems claiming “high maturity” in these domains. Given the current financial pressures facing healthcare systems, there is a clear impetus to focus on these areas that promise more immediate financial returns—with considerable payoffs for health systems that succeed at deploying and scaling mature solutions in these areas.
When asked about their highest digital priorities for 2024, health systems revealed a keen focus on workforce experience and clinical operations. Over 80% of the systems surveyed cited these as top priorities for the near future. At the same time, the survey respondents stated a continuing commitment to improving the consumer experience, modernizing financial processes, implementing digitally enabled primary care strategies, and enhancing data and analytics capabilities.
The survey participants also assessed their level of maturity regarding crucial organizational factors that underpin digital success, such as leadership support and digital governance. The results paint a mixed picture.
While 70% of systems indicated they had achieved “high maturity” in terms of leadership support for digital initiatives, several essential organizational elements require further attention. Factors such as supporting change management, process redesign, and establishing clear digital funding mechanisms were identified as having lower maturity levels with significant room for improvement. These findings emphasize that health systems are increasingly recognizing the significance of these organizational factors as critical prerequisites for realizing the full financial potential of digital transformation.
The healthcare industry is at a pivotal moment in its digital evolution, with immense opportunities on the horizon. Fully tapping those opportunities requires real transformation—focused digital strategies and roadmaps, executive sponsorship, organizational backing, and measurable standards for success and improvement. While we are still early in the next wave of digital transformation, health systems can’t afford to delay if they are to chart a course toward a digitally empowered future, where improved patient care, enhanced operational efficiency, and financial success converge.