Automation for years has been a key driver of transformation across all sectors and has changed the way companies and entire sectors operate. However, healthcare, a $4.1 trillion industry, has fallen behind.
For an industry that is constantly innovating, evolving and adapting, the reluctance to embrace automation is frustrating, but ultimately unsurprising. Healthcare remains in a constant battle between patients, payers, providers and pharmaceuticals. This push and pull leads to unnecessary costs, has an impact on clinical quality and leads to patient and caregiver dissatisfaction.
We cannot blame the regulation alone. In other highly regulated industries, such as financial services, automation has redefined high-friction processes. For example, automation has transformed mortgage underwriting by providing consumers, brokers and banks with relevant information, rules and real-time transactions. As established banks embraced startups, investors sought new ways to reduce friction and improve accuracy, increasing annual mortgage production by nearly 40% compared to the past decade.
There are huge opportunities for comparable gains in healthcare, but long-term success requires established healthcare providers to make a real commitment to automation.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant cracks in our healthcare system. As healthcare systems and payer executives struggle with rising labor costs associated with The Great Resignation, and a decline in patient opinion from the explosion of digital-native startups, they will need automation to stay competitive.
Friction caused by lengthy implementation cycles, lack of adequate clinician involvement and difficult-to-measure ROI has left us with a healthcare system that is skeptical of technology.
Automation is key to a more resilient and efficient healthcare system, but gaining meaningful adoption remains a challenge. Entrepreneurs trying to navigate these waters should consider the following go-to-market tactics to increase their chances of success:
Focus closely on a specific ‘starter’ problem
Even if your platform can do multiple things, focus on helping potential customers with one thing you do really well: short go-live times, minimal customer resource requirements, and clear success metrics.
Clearly define success using measurable metrics
ROI is often both qualitative and quantitative in nature, so it’s important to define the framework for your offering and weight KPIs differently based on potential customer nuances rather than creating custom ROI frameworks that are impossible to track.
Deliver 1x-2x ROI within a year of launch
With clearly defined success metrics, automation platforms should be able to demonstrate value within six to 12 months of launch. Ideally, companies should focus on 1x-2x ROI on initial implementation to avoid under-pricing. Showing ROI within a budget cycle will position companies well for future expansion.