Advanced technology must fit into the ‘Quadruple Aim’ quest

Artificial intelligence and genomics will give clinicians more weapons in the arsenal to fight disease, but they’ll also pose integration challenges.

This article is part of a CEO leadership series

Healthcare CEOs are seeing an imperative need to move toward digital transformation to improve care delivery and meet patients' expectations.

The judicious use of technology is expected to provide important assistance to healthcare organizations, both in increasing efficiency and in advancing care delivery.

For example, certain advanced computing technologies, especially artificial intelligence, will support personalized medicine and medical research. But new forms of technology also will help CEOs of health organizations to achieve important aspects of the “Quadruple Aim,” particularly in better engaging patients in their own care. The Quadruple Aim a framework to optimize healthcare system performance by reducing costs, improving population health, patient experience and healthcare team well-being.

Healthcare organizations generally are in the early stages of the journey toward achieving digital transformation, according to leaders of several healthcare information technology and services companies interviewed by Health Data Management.

The companies spotlighted in the interviews are the highest performing firms in healthcare as recognized by the annual Best of KLAS recognition program, selected by the consultancy because of recognition from customers for their responsiveness to clients, the quality of their products and their knowledge of the industry. These firms, featured in a new series of insights from Health Data Management, Beyond the Rankings, offer a range of products and services, including electronic health records, enterprise resource planning, artificial intelligence, consulting services and more.

The perspectives of these company leaders illustrate how technology can support providers’ evolving healthcare delivery and the key challenges CEOs must address.

Personalized medicine

Many of the health IT company leaders interviewed say technology will give clinicians better access to more precise medical information, including genomics, and that will help them to identify the best possible treatments for diseases.

“Genomics will be coming more and more into the EHR data, and genomics together (with other clinical data) can do some wonderful (things in the) future there, says Judy Faulkner, CEO of Epic Systems Corp. The ability for us to put the data together and get a lot more evidence-based decisions is wonderful.” 

The healthcare industry needs to take advantage of the patient data it’s collecting. For example, Epic is enabling its data to be used for research, with initiatives being published on its Epic Research non-profit website.

Artificial intelligence can do more than inform clinical decision making, says Andrew Eye, CEO of, which offers a healthcare data science platform. By offering clinicians advanced computing capabilities, “how much further can we extend their reach? How can we help them work smarter with their patient populations?” he asks. “That's rethinking the whole beast of healthcare."

“When we talk about the future of healthcare, we could talk about diagnostics being remote and in your home.”

Jim Costanzo, CEO of Nordic Consulting Partners.

AI has potential to improve efficiency, but it also can assist provider organizations’ CEOs in redesigning care, Eye contends. “Let's go back to the drawing board and figure out how we make (healthcare organizations) more effective.”

Personalization of care means treating patients when and where they want to be treated. Technology can help extend a provider’s reach into a patient’s home, where they can be assessed through remote monitoring, says Jim Costanzo, CEO of Nordic Consulting Partners. “When we talk about the future of healthcare, we could talk about diagnostics being remote and in your home,” he says.

Improving the personalization of care requires improving interoperability, and healthcare CEOs need to take the lead in pushing their organizations forward, Costanzo says. “Without the interoperability – without the single view of the patient – we're not delivering the best care possible,” he stresses.

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Artificial intelligence and automation

AI – which has been overhyped in recent years – now appears ready to make a contribution to healthcare. Healthcare organizations also will need to determine how to better incorporate AI into care delivery.

More healthcare CEOs are anticipating that AI needs to play a larger role in their organizations, and they’re closely watching current developments in the technology, says Eye of ClosedLoop.

CEOs are asking, "What is our AI strategy?"

“People are realizing that there's going to be a next ‘internet’; there's going to be a next wave of technology that is so impactful that it actually drives totally new business models,” he contends. “Artificial intelligence is that emerging major technology of our generation, and so that's driving these board-level conversations about how do we do more with fewer resources.”

Beyond just AI, more healthcare organizations need to take advantage of the capabilities of computing to become more efficient, contends David Sides, CEO and president of NextGen Healthcare. 

NexGen Healthcare's Mo Chebli is excited about "a learning healthcare ecosystem"

“We see successful clients stay up to date and using other capabilities that could be more useful,” he says. “Like, how do you see and treat people in different places? How can you automate away the scheduling function? How do you get automation into your practice of medicine? And people need to use the system as much as they can to try to reduce any of the labor pieces – not just because of costs but because they just can't hire people.”

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