In light of concerns with managing inflation, many companies are still looking for “quick hits” in 2023 to increase productivity. Well considered investments in technology are still a key part of the playbook for many organizations. A recent report on 2023 information technology trends and IT budgets indicated that upgrading outdated infrastructure and increasing priority on IT projects will be important budgeting drivers this year. These issues were also cited by Gartner® in its report Infographic: Top Priorities, Technologies, and Challenges for Healthcare Payers in 2023, which reported “as persistent legacy dependency stifles innovation and digital progress, more payers are increasing funding in application modernization and cloud platforms than in 2022.”
These IT budget drivers are especially relevant in the health care sector, where payers and providers are challenged with managing the increasing complexity of their technology systems. Not unexpectedly, there is keen interest in identifying opportunities with high impact and rapid ROI. In working with our clients and technology partners, we’ve noted that IT automation can be very effective in achieving these two objectives.
Let’s look at one area that often contains “low hanging fruit”: inefficient decision support processes. Most health plans have a highly skilled analytical department that is essential for clinical quality reporting, value-based provider management and health care operations. Often, the analytical department is hampered by several problems that are solvable through IT automation. Two top-of-mind examples include:
- Creating applications that replace the labor-intensive creation of periodic, spreadsheet-driven manual reports; and
- Implementing universally accessible data lakes that integrate with the analysis tools, like Tableau or Power BI, used by the decision support team.
The beauty of these examples is that they illustrate that solving them doesn’t take reengineering end-to-end systems once viable opportunities are uncovered. A quick poll of your business users can help to identify opportunities for evaluation and action at scale.