What We’re Learning During the KLAS Global Summit: Day One - Cover

What We’re Learning During the KLAS Global Summit: Day One

The KLAS Global Summit, a gathering of minds, came together in Lake Maggiore, Italy, to do what KLAS events have become famous for: sharing stories, offering help between peers, and creating the greatest of support networks you are likely to come across. 

Digital healthcare needs to lean on itself. Those of us who have been involved for decades in digital healthcare have said that we have what it takes to make a difference—we just need obstacles in the way to be moved. Sharing what has gone before us is so important, and KLAS enables us to plan the future together.

We feel lucky that KLAS asked us to do an informal write-up of the event. Let us take you on the KLAS Global Summit 2024 journey. We hope to help attendees remember what we learned when they go back to the office and the daily grind starts to hit hard. For those who were unable to attend, we hope to give you a glimpse of what the summit covered.

What follows is part of a series; this piece is from the first day of the conference. To learn about sessions from day two, please see this blog.

The Goals of the Summit

Everton Santos, KLAS' VP of International, began by reminding us that the summit is about taking with us what we learn about how to make a difference in what we do in our own countries to inform the delivery of patient care. He introduced the KLAS Global Board, which represents over 10 countries; that confirms the value that KLAS brings to the future of global healthcare.

He outlined our themes for the days ahead: innovative technologies, best practices, strategic investments, and strengthened collaboration and trust.

Adam Gale, KLAS’ CEO, then discussed collaboration—a theme which resonated throughout the summit. But he added a challenge to providers to “simplify, simplify, simplify.” He reminded us that provider organizations need to ensure we don't add complexity to an already complex digital transformation.

Insights from the Digitization of a Large Acute Care Hospital

Rosanna Intelisano, University Hospital Director of Management Control and SIA UOC from Gaetano Martino University Hospital, gave the keynote address.

In 2009 Gaetano had the same common problems seen in many large acute hospitals before digitization. They realised they needed a new approach, one focused on simplification and digitization of clinical activities. Rosanna brought her own ideas on how to make this change happen at a new pace and with new technology and clinical collaboration. She took these steps:

  1. Going to a single supplier to manage all the systems and interoperability across the hospital. At first this did not work as colleagues in the hospital were not bought in. They knew they needed change; they made training mandatory, and that aided in the ultimate success of the program.

  2. Focusing on clinical engagement. Passionate leadership from certain areas championed the change not just to new technology but also to new, safer, more efficient ways of working. 

  3. Showing the outcomes. Using experiences from different parts of the hospital, Gaetano showed all clinical teams the benefits of digitization. As a teaching hospital, they began to realize the power of having a fully digitized record.

A KLAS Presentation: Global Healthcare IT Trends 

Sidney Tate, KLAS’ Insights Director of imaging and international markets, shared global healthcare IT trends. For me, this presentation is always a highlight as it allows us to get into the world overview of what is happening. We’ll share just a few insights here.

  • 2023 saw a shift in healthcare technology away from the “firefighting” of the pandemic. The shift is about really planning and setting up for success. 

  • Even in 2024 the digitization of the EHR is still the number-one investment area, with 48% of organizations seeing hat as the top investment area. 23% see cybersecurity as their priority investment. Interoperability trails slightly as the priority of 23% of organizations, even though it still seems to be a hot topic and a major key to a successful future in digital health.

  • It was also interesting to see where organizations see themselves in the AI journey. 42% of hospitals have started to create a clear strategy for AI, but 72% have started to invest in that area.

Navigating Healthcare AI Tabletop Discussion

We delved into diverse perspectives from global partners and provider organizations. The discussion highlighted concerns about AI governance and how to balance regulation without stifling innovation.

Key points included the following:

  • AI as a triage tool with human oversight
  • Integrating AI governance within existing corporate structures
  • The need for better definitions of AI in healthcare
  • Regulatory “containers” similar to drug regulation but faster paced
  • Treating AI as part of the clinical workforce that requires revalidation
  • Risks of “grey IT” coupled with AI, leading to potential “AI mayhem”

Global approaches varied, but overall, the main theme and the feeling from one table in the room that had a representative from most of the major regions across the globe was that we must accept that AI is coming and move forward.

Panel: Future Technologies to Advance Global Healthcare 

This panel addressed future technologies that could advance global healthcare. Panel members were of Helen Balsdon from NHS England; Jacques Rossler, the CIO from Hôpital Universitaire de Bruxelles; Marco Forrachiafrom Azienda UDL, Italy, H.E; and Dr. Mubuaraka Ibrahim from Emirates Health Services and expertly moderated by Rebecca Hammond, KLAS’ Chief Delivery Officer.

The panel talked about the biggest priority today still being the digitization of the front line—in 2024 we are still talking about moving away from paper! We need to also consider the people side of what we are doing and how we make sure that we have the right people in the right roles.

The panelists discussed AI in detail and topics such as algorithm bias, clinician resistance, and the importance of delivering the message that AI is an enabler and not a replacement. They also addressed how the use of telehealth will continue to evolve.

The panel finished by answering what will be normal in healthcare in 5 years’ time: 

  1. The patient journey will be digitally supported and accepted as unique every time; we will stop trying to shoehorn patient experiences into guardrailed routes. 

  2. AI will be everywhere. The attitude of every part of the healthcare system will change. Patients will become more demanding; they will want to know the cost of healthcare so they can add to the healthcare that they want. 

  3. Healthcare systems will be consumerized and deployed in apps that use the technology in our pockets to collect data all the time. The quantified self becomes simply what we do. 

The Global Arch Collaborative and EHR Optimization

The Arch Collaborative is something I remain fond of even now, and Connor Bice from KLAS was able to bring so much rich detail into the Arch Collaborative. 

He shared that the Arch Collaborative “tests” system usability, but what is fascinating is the scores for systems across the world are so varied that is leads me to the conclusion that the Arch Collaborative has so much to do with the people on the other end of the system. 

Connor shared the highest and lowest global scores and that the main factor to these positive results is how the training in the EHR is carried out. It was proven during the survey that if you do workflow specific training, you will see an increase in engagement and then a rise in the usability score.

After Connor’s words, inspiring EHR optimization success stories were shared by several Arch Collaborative member healthcare organizations. 

Finishing the Day

We finished the first day with two separate breakout sessions, one on command centers and the other on security. To learn more about KLAS and the research and collaborations they offer in healthcare IT, please visit their website.