In mid-2019, Huron’s research found that after more than a decade of constant change, healthcare leaders were settling into agreement on their key focus areas, with little change in trends expected in three to five years. At that time, the struggle for leaders would be balancing their investments in a landscape where everything was important.
Less than 12 months and a global pandemic later, new research from Huron finds that priorities have materially changed; and this time there is a growing lack of alignment among leaders on what is most important. Most agree short-term adjustments have been necessary for organizations to continue delivering care safely while stabilizing financially. Beyond that, leaders have different perceptions of what should be emphasized in the months ahead.
- COVID-19 has changed healthcare providers’ immediate 12-month focus to trends that include pandemic protocol management, shifting regulations, system capacity, and personal protective equipment (PPE) supply levels.
- The implications of COVID-19 are massive, and leaders report it could take three to five years for organizations to stabilize; financial concerns—cost containment and revenue growth—are more important than ever.
- More than half of leaders will keep long-term strategic plans intact but will advance specific elements more aggressively to respond to the crisis.
- Care delivery changes inclusive of telehealth, virtual care and acute care at home will drive organizations’ continued focus on short-term and long-term care transformation.
- Leaders need and want more from their data and technology and will look to accelerate strategies that allow for data-driven decision making across the enterprise.
- Competing interests and lack of alignment between C-suite executives and director-level leaders could hinder short term and long-term initiatives, setting organizations back years and threatening long-term sustainability success.
Takeaways from the Report
Consider how the lessons learned, innovation and agility that have occurred as a result of the coronavirus crisis can be leveraged or sustained for long-term success.
It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has forever change the landscape of healthcare, accelerating advancements in technology and ushering in a new era of digital transformation. Many healthcare executives are also focusing on the technologies that will improve back-end operations, automating tasks and processes whereever possible to streamline operations and reduce administrative waste. With all the uncertainties around the globe, it is indeed the time for healthcare executives to think, plan, and act differently!