Learnings from the KLAS Global Summit: Day Two - Cover

Learnings from the KLAS Global Summit: Day Two

The KLAS Global Summit agenda was packed with discussion and heavy-hitting data. This blog reviews topics from day two of the conference. For an overview of the content shared during day one, please see this previous blog post.

Keynote Messages on Sustainability

We kicked into gear with the keynote from Linus Tham, the group chief information officer for IHH Healthcare Berhad. He addressed why environmental sustainability is a relevant topic in healthcare. Healthcare would make the fifth-largest impact as a sustainability contributor if it were a country! And yet as leaders in healthcare, we don’t often speak about it. A few of his points were:

  • Do the right thing for: patients, public, people, and planet. The IHH team aims to use patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) to empower patients and the social care system. Building real impact from PROMs data and getting it in the system is hard. But done right, it offers a real comparison and view of an ROI where the patient is a payer for healthcare.
  • For patients: Healthcare is the only business where the customer does not know the outcome. Patients may hope, but they don’t have a guarantee of outcomes or cost. IHH uses AI and is working on the ability to inform patients ahead of their interaction of the likely outcome. The patient can then judge whether that expectation was met.
  • For people and the public: A key goal for all the changes at IHH is to have technology that enables clinical teams to perform at the top of their license. Enabling the workforce to operate at the top of their license helps with staff retention in this competitive market. Technology can help facilitate high-caliber training.
  • For the planet: Linus said, “One dose of anesthesia is more damaging than the same volume of carbon dioxide. And how many emissions are created by the cloud for every organization?” We have a commitment not to just leap forward in healthcare delivery but also to make sure everything we do is sustainable for our planet. 
  • The environmental impact of AI is still being considered. We need to build efficient models; this will help offset the use of AI with environmental concerns and considerations, and we can share the load to reduce the impact.

Linus finished by pleading with us to continue to share and collaborate. This was a key message from KLAS too; we are in this together. By being together and simplifying what we do, we can achieve more. Linus asked vendors to partner with us and stop trying to sell. He then challenged providers to allow vendors to be firm and stop us from making things more complicated.

KLAS Findings on Clinician Wellbeing

Next up was a KLAS presentation concerning burnout. Connor Bice got into the weeds of the findings in an accessible format so we could all take something poignant away.

Burnout is not just a US issue, as once thought. We know we need to make systems with our clinical colleagues in mind, but the NHS, for example, has not had the same considerations around burnout until now. Here are some causes:

  • Frustration, increased expectations, staff shortages, and the administrative side taking too long all cause burnout. The statistics show that digital solutions are both part of the solution and part of the problem.
  • The ownership of wellness in many organizations has been decentralized; that makes people believe it's someone else’s problem. One remedy is having a chief wellness officer to be a lookout for colleagues at work, but the protection of clinical wellness needs to be an organization-wide responsibility.
  • The EHR can be an inhibitor of efficiency and quality. Becoming more efficient using technology should be considered. This point brought me back to day one with the call to action on simplification; if systems were simple, would burnout relating to the same systems be removed?
  • Human interaction is a huge contributing factor to burnout. If clinicians don't believe their voice is heard, if they have no alignment to their leaders, and if they have no autonomy over their daily schedule, we see a sharp increase in burnout rates.

The Arch Collaborative is now putting a dollar value on clinical burnout and relating it to the way an EHR is used. The EHR is at the core of the digital experience. Digitizing the front line may well require a refresh of the traditional IT elements as well as a rethink of the principles of digital healthcare in the hands of our clinicians.

The tabletop discussion that followed Connor’s presentation went deeply into the findings and individual experiences. It was interesting to see the insights he shared being backed by the conversation.

Patient Voice Presentation

The all-new patient voice presentation discussed trends in patient engagement and diversity learnings from the front line. The team presenting was Annie Howitt from Royal Women's Hospital, Benita Butler and Kath Feely from Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Steph Chau from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria, Australia. While there is no international standard yet around patient engagement, this new forum allows systems to at least share best practices and experiences.

Over 90% of patients have access to apps, but only 25% of people are looking at them with any regularity as of March 2024. The same question globally comes up of how we make healthcare apps stick.

They shared a successful example of the Parkville precinct system in Australia. The people in the system came together to share information and to offer ways of accessing different types of care across the system. The four hospitals involved had to get unanimous agreement on the creation of the portal and the sharing of the medical record. The whole build was called Connecting Care, which was the goal of the project.

They went live at the height of the pandemic. 18,000 users and HIMSS accreditation were in place in the first year. The real story, though, was about combining both urban and rural systems and the expectations that citizens had of their healthcare system. It was fascinating to see the work the team did to engage citizens and promote the success of the journey. Here are some of the outcomes:

  • In their goal to be transparent with patients’ healthcare information, they had consultations to create a different level of ownership. Now 70% of patients agree that technology improves their overall health, and 86% agree that technology facilitates healthcare ownership.
  • There were some surprises in the statistics; 82% of people over 55 thought that technology was very helpful for them. (The survey was accessed through technology though.)
  • The team has delivered over 100 languages in the translation bank, but most people were happy with English. First Nations people found the technology was very or somewhat helpful in how it was offered to them; they were not worried about language.
  • 91% of patients are happy with the patient portal they now have. The team will not rest there though; they are working on edgecase additions to add to that satisfaction.

At the end of the day, patients want a voice in their healthcare—health systems need to commit to listening. Shared information will improve the delivery of care.

Finishing the Conference

For us, that was the end of the KLAS Global Summit 2024. It was an amazing experience and my third time attending. It is always so powerful to spend time with experts to share stories and to truly look across the world and learn lessons.

I’m taking away many questions and ideas. For example, what is going to happen next to the EHR market is a huge question. Changes and developments in technology feel like they will disrupt the marketplace. The discussions lead me to believe that putting the patient at the center of whatever comes next will be key, as will the user experience and the personalization of the systems deployed be keys to success.