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Preparing for a new era of AI and analytics


Advisory Board recently conducted a survey of strategic and analytics leaders at 250 provider organizations to learn about how those organizations are currently using and plan to use AI. The survey asked many of same questions asked in a similar survey conducted in 2018, allowing us to compare how provider organizations’ perspective has evolved. Explore our five key insights to learn more about how attitudes have shifted and where things stand for a new era of analytics and AI.

About this survey

In January 2022, we surveyed 251 provider organizations across the U.S to explore analytics trends in the current health care landscape. The goals of the survey included:

  1. Explore current and planned use of health care analytics
  2. Understand how and when analytics and AI applications are built, staffed, and deployed
  3. Determine what key barriers exist and how analytics and AI fit within organizational strategy and future vision

From our aggregate data, we also segmented across a variety of cohorts, including organizations by size (by annual population served/covered) and type. The n-values of those are detailed below:

Organization size:

  • Small organizations (0-10K+ 11-100K): 91 respondents
  • Mid-size organizations (101-250K + 251K-1M): 95 respondents
  • Large organizations (1.1-2.5M + 2.6-10M +11-25M + 26-100M): 62 respondents

Organization type:

  • Health system (multiple hospitals): 91 respondents
  • Hospital (independent): 40 respondents
  • Academic Medical Center (AMC): 11 respondents
  • Physician Medical Group: 74 respondents
  • Community hospital: 12 respondents
  • Clinically integrated networks & integrated delivery networks: 21 respondents
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This report is sponsored by Optum®. Advisory Board experts wrote the report, maintained final editorial approval, and conducted the underlying research independently and objectively.

  • 1. From transformational to incremental
  • 2. Silos are out, strategic assets are in
  • 3. Analytics in the C-suite
  • 4. New funding waves are expected
  • 5. Hurdles remain to a new analytics era

Parting thoughts

Across this trove of data, one question stands out: where do we go from here?

Realistic expectations and shifts in considering AI’s potential value in health care represent not wary pessimism, but rather a genuine maturity in providers’ understanding and use of AI/analytics. The structural, systemic, and cultural changes required to take full advantage of AI in health care are real and must be addressed proactively and incorporated into investment decisions.

That does not mean health care should abandon transformative aspirations. AI can have an outsized, positive impact on health care. The challenges of total cost of care, administrative burden, clinician burnout, and patient experience have not responded to the non-AI solutions in health care’s toolkit. Health care may worry about the cost of analytics solutions, but the cost of not trying new tools like AI may be even greater.

The prevailing challenge of AI and analytics in health care is one of balance and tradeoffs, like how to capture the potential of an application in the as-is reality of clinical workflows. Health care organizations need to balance AI use cases that provide incremental value today with those that will be transformational in the future. Indeed, it will likely be through such incremental adoption that we see AI’s full transformational force in the future.


About the sponsor

At Optum, we are a leading health services innovation company dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. We create simple, effective and comprehensive solutions for organizations and consumers across the whole health system by integrating our foundational competencies of consumer experience, clinical expertise, data and analytics, and embedded technology into all Optum services. By understanding the needs of our customers, members and patients and putting them at the center of everything we do, we will achieve our aspiration of improving experiences and outcomes for everyone we serve while reducing the total cost of care.

Learn more about Optum

This report is sponsored by Optum®, an Advisory Board member organization. Representatives of Optum helped select the topics and issues addressed. Advisory Board experts wrote the report, maintained final editorial approval, and conducted the underlying research independently and objectively. Advisory Board does not endorse any company, organization, product or brand mentioned herein.

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