Survey shows that health care execs think generative AI will solve many of the industry’s problems, but aren’t doing much to adopt it
Hospitals are struggling with negative margins, talent shortages, and record inflation, all leading to more than half of them struggling financially. A Bain survey of health system executives showed that 60% of them see rising costs as their greatest concern, and further research shows that artificial intelligence may hold part of the answer, but executives are failing to act.
The survey of reveals that 75% believe generative AI has reached a turning point in its ability to reshape the industry, yet only 6% have an established generative AI strategy.
"Providers and payers are looking for profit opportunities while also doubling down on employee morale, clinical care, and patient experience," said Eric Berger, a partner in Bain's Healthcare & Life Sciences practice, in a statement. "Many recognize the potential AI offers to boost productivity, yet they are acutely aware of the uncertainties around evolving technology. This uncertainty cuts both ways—while there is hype, there is also opportunity. Leading companies are taking this technology shift seriously and getting started with highly focused, low stakes use cases with some near-term ROI while building up the experience and confidence needed to invest in a more transformative vision."
Generative AI can mitigate some of providers' biggest issues, including clinician shortages and physician burnout. Some generative AI applications are already streamlining administrative tasks and allowing thinly stretched physicians to spend more time with patients, according to the report.
Resource and cost constraints, a lack of expertise, and regulatory and legal considerations are the largest barriers to implementing generative AI, according to surveyed executives.
The survey shows that many health systems are eyeing opportunities to reduce administrative burdens and enhance operational efficiency. They rank improving clinical documentation, structuring and analyzing patient data, and optimizing workflows as their top three priorities for the next 12 months. Looking ahead two to five years, executives are most interested in predictive analytics, clinical decision support, and treatment recommendations.
Bain researchers said that leading companies are forming a pragmatic strategy that considers current capabilities, regulations, and barriers to adoption, and recommends the following four strategies: