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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Learn How to Make Healthcare More Productive

Lynne Sampson
Managing Editor

Can healthcare leaders close the productivity gap?

A recent survey indicates that there is a large — and growing — gap between different industries in terms of productivity and growth. The research is entitled Intelligent Finance: How CFOs Can Lead the Coming Productivity Boom. It was conducted by Dr. Michael Mandel, senior fellow at the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at Wharton, and sponsored by Oracle.

Mandel found that if low-productivity industries embrace the cloud — including the emerging technologies it delivers, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Internet of Things — they have the potential to contribute up to $2 trillion to the US economy over the next ten years. Gains from high-productivity industries could boost that number even further:

  • High-productivity industries include “digital” industries such as high technology, financial services, media and communications, where output is delivered through digital systems. Also included are select “physical” industries that are actively investing in digital technologies (such as industrial machinery producers tapping into new products that connect to the Internet of Things).
  • Low-productivity industries tend to be more “physical” in nature, where output is tangible and harder to translate into electronic form. Examples of low-productivity industries include healthcare, higher education, construction, discrete and/or low-complexity manufacturing sectors, and retail (which largely still depends upon brick and mortar stores). In general, these industries are at the beginning of the path toward digitization.

One clear conclusion is that high-productivity industries invest far more in technology than low-productivity ones. Between 2006 and 2017, annual software spending per worker increased 61 percent in high-productivity industries, but only 28 percent in low-productivity ones.

Concurrently, high-productivity industries increased their output by 14 percent, while low-productivity industries had a 1-percent decline.

This is not good news for healthcare leaders, especially at a time when they are under increasing pressure to deliver value-based care.

Opportunities to Close the Productivity Gap

But all is not lost for the healthcare sector. Opportunities abound to take advantage of the cloud services poised to drive the coming productivity boom. And non-critical care functions, like the back office, are a good place to start.

The emerging technologies available in the cloud (machine learning, AI and more) offer the chance to automate finance and HR functions to a degree that was unimaginable even a few years ago — with chatbots, voice commands and intelligent process automation that can turn a labor-intensive task (like the monthly financial close) into a continuous process that you mange by exception.

Finance in the cloud can not only improve the productivity of your back-office staff; it can reduce the risk of human error and increase the financial accuracy of your reporting. This, in turn, makes it easier to demonstrate value to your stakeholders.

In the coming weeks, you’ll have several opportunities to see cloud-based services in action — including Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud — at a pair of exciting events: the Healthcare Industry User Group (HIUG) annual meeting of Oracle users, and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) annual conference.

Interact 2018 in Phoenix

The HIUG annual meeting, Interact 2018, happens June 17-20 at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. Interact is an annual, user-driven meeting of Oracle application users across the healthcare industry. Industry leaders share information on how they continuously transform their organizations to meet the ever-changing needs of healthcare, and the exhibit hall offers the chance to evaluate multiple vendors and see product demos.

Interact is open to any employee of a healthcare organization with licensed Oracle application products and services. With golf, community clinics, round table discussions, and a Tuesday keynote by Oracle Executive Vice Chairman, Jeff Henley, Interact 2018 provides the perfect setting to collaborate and share innovative uses of technology to boost productivity in the healthcare industry.

HFMA 2018 in Las Vegas

With more than 40,000 members, HFMA is the USA’s premier membership organization for healthcare finance leaders. HFMA provides education to a broad spectrum of key industry decision-makers on the intricacies and realities of maintaining fiscally healthy healthcare organizations. It works with a broad cross-section of stakeholders to improve the healthcare industry by identifying and bridging gaps in knowledge, best practices, and standards.

HFMA members can be found in all areas of the healthcare system, including hospitals, managed care organizations, physician practices, accounting firms, and insurance companies.

The HFMA Annual Conference is the industry’s premier conference for top decision-makers in the field of healthcare finance. It's an event for hands-on learning where executives from across the nation gather to debate complex issues, interact with peers and industry leaders, and get the tools they need to influence change and address challenges. 

HFMA 2018 runs June 24-27, at the Venetian-Palazzo Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. Be sure to drop by the Oracle booth, # 460, for a chance to see the latest cloud applications built on machine learning and emerging technologies.

Register now to join us at HIUG Interact 2018 and HFMA 2018.

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