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DHIS 2019 White Paper DHIS 2019 White Paper
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DHIS 2019 White Paper
Paving the Way for Radical Change in Healthcare

October 10, 2019 | Read Time: 6  minutes

In September 2019, KLAS hosted its third annual investment symposium. In attendance were healthcare thought leaders from private equity and venture-capital firms, digital health companies, healthcare provider organizations, and health-system incubators. Small group discussions focused on identifying practical ways that the efforts of investors, vendors, and providers can be aligned to overcome some of healthcare’s biggest challenges. The intent of this paper is to share insights from those discussions and to highlight ways stakeholders throughout the industry can support radical change.

Pre-Symposium Survey

icon1To provide context for the small group discussions, KLAS had attendees complete a pre-symposium survey regarding the biggest challenges they are trying to solve through IT investment as well as the barriers they face in seeing a healthcare IT investment through to success.

top 5 problems investors are developing a thesis to solve - top 5 problems health systems are trying to solve using healthcare it

Investors, vendors, and healthcare providers are highly aligned when it comes to the top problems they are trying to solve; these groups identify high costs, poor data management, and a lack of patient engagement as the most pressing challenges they hope to address using healthcare IT. However, there are key differences when it comes to the types of technologies and solutions the various stakeholders are investing in.

top 5 areas in which investors and vendors are investing in healthcare it - top 5 areas in which health systems are investing in healthcare it

Investors and vendors identify workflow automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence as key areas for investment, while healthcare providers are focused on purchasing population health management tools, EMRs, and patient experience tools. Several of these providers don’t feel that they have fully realized the potential of their core IT solutions and are therefore not ready to take the next step into analytics and artificial intelligence.

The disconnect between investment priorities is partly a result of the barriers healthcare providers face. In addition to limited funding and lack of interoperability, which are also top barriers for investors and vendors, providers cite lack of internal expertise and organizational alignment as frustrations that hold them back from success in healthcare IT.

what are the biggest barriers or frustrations related to seeing a healthcare it investment through to success - what are the biggest barriers to healthcare it success that your organization faces

Practical Steps to Drive the Future of Healthcare IT

icon2The barriers identified in the pre-symposium survey can be addressed in two ways: systemic change and practical steps taken by individual entities. KLAS’ 2017 Digital Health Investment Symposium identified three systemic changes that can help address top healthcare challenges:

1Participants favored an open-system mentality in terms of interoperability and even suggested providing financial incentives for moving to this model. There is a big opportunity for strategists and investors to put companies together to drive consolidated, integrated solutions.

2Participant suggestions for addressing misaligned payment incentives included incentivizing healthcare consumers through better health plans, taking steps to move out of the fee-for-service world, and encouraging timelier payer payments for appropriate care.

3Participants noted a need for improved physician education regarding acquired patient data, how to use that data, and what data is actionable. Additionally, physicians would like these insights integrated into the physician workflow.

While these steps are important, they require a fundamental shift in the healthcare landscape and will likely take time to come to fruition. In the short term, individual firms, companies, and health systems can act independently in ways that help drive change. In small group discussions, this year’s DHIS attendees identified five broad steps individual entities can take to align industry stakeholders and drive radical change. Within these broad categories, attendees offered several practical suggestions for their industry peers.

what practical steps can be taken to better align the investment vendor and provider communities

Engage Directly with Customers
Healthcare providers would like investors and vendors to engage with them directly to better understand the problems they are trying to solve. They note that when new technology isn’t aligned with their needs and workflows, adoption often remains low, even if the technology is highly innovative. They suggested several ways vendors and investors can better engage with potential health system customers:

practical steps to drive the future of healthcare it

Establish Strong Road Maps and Governance
Deciding how to move forward with healthcare IT can be difficult, particularly considering the change management and expertise challenges reported in the pre-symposium survey. Participants noted that success is driven by a strong vision and supporting structure. They recommended several keys to success in this area:

practical steps to drive the future of healthcare it

Include More Stakeholders in Discussion
Healthcare’s complexity requires that different stakeholders with different agendas and expertise work together to drive success. At times, key groups are left out of the discussion, making it harder to create alignment and preventing stakeholders from taking advantage of each other’s knowledge and experience. Attendees identified several ways healthcare IT can benefit from stakeholders’ collective wisdom:

practical steps to drive the future of healthcare it

Facilitate More Industry Conversations
Another common theme in the small group discussions was the need for more opportunities for investors, vendors, and health systems to engage in collaborative conversation aimed at leveraging expertise, sharing best practices, and understanding the future of healthcare. Several ideas were put forth regarding what attendees would like to see:

practical steps to drive the future of healthcare it

Transparency around Technology Performance
Given the sheer number of emerging technologies and companies, it is difficult for healthcare providers to know which technology partners will best enable their success. Additionally, investment firms and vendors looking to expand their portfolios are interested in the performance and potential of new and existing companies. To help these groups, several suggestions were made:

practical steps to drive the future of healthcare it



Consumer Technology Association

Korn Ferry

LEK Consulting

Marwood Group

McDermott Will & Emery



Apax Partners

Ascension Ventures

Bain Capital Ventures

Clearlake Capital

Great Hill Partners

Gryphon Investors



Intermountain Ventures

JMI Equity


SSM Partners

STG Partners


TPG Capital

TPG Sixth Street Partners

Warburg Pincus


Providers and Payers

Advocate Aurora Health


Community Medical Centers

Edward-Elmhurst Health


Intermountain Healthcare

M Health Fairview


Michigan Medicine - U of M

Mosaic Life Care

Mount Sinai Innovation Partners

NorthShore University HealthSystem

Penn Medicine

Providence St. Joseph Health

Sentara Healthcare

Sharp HealthCare

Stanford Health Care

Sutter Health

Symphony Post Acute Network

Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

Truman Medical Centers

US Department of Health and Human Services

UAB Medicine

UCI Health

UCSF Health

UMass Memorial Health Care

University of Utah Health


UPMC Enterprises

Software Vendors/Consulting Firms


3M Health Care

Ambra Health

The Braff Group

Central Logic

The Chartis Group




Flatirons Digital Innovations

Health Catalyst


Ingenious Med




Lucerna Health

Luma Health

Medial EarlySign



Orca Health

Pivot Point Consulting



Revint Solutions




Verge Health




author - Robert Ellis
Project Manager
Robert Ellis
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.