50% of hospitals plan to invest in non-clinical AI by 2021, survey finds

Although most hospital leaders are unfamiliar with the specifics of automated technologies for data management, at least half plan on investing in the tech within the next two years, according to a new report.

The report, from Olive and Sage Growth Partners, concerns the use of non-clinical artificial intelligence and robotic process automation to increase efficiency in areas such as supply chain, revenue cycle, finance and human resources.

Here are three findings from the report, which surveyed 115 executives from hospitals and health systems across the U.S.

1. Only 50 percent of the leaders surveyed were familiar with the concept of non-clinical AI and robotic process automation; more than half were unable to name a single vendor or solution offering the technologies.

2. However, a total of 23 percent of the executives — a pool that included CFOs, CIOs, revenue cycle managers and supply chain functional leaders — said they are already looking into investing in the technologies, and half plan to do so by 2021.

3. Plans for implementation differ: While just over 40 percent of respondents said they would prefer to hire an outside company to build, deliver and support automation, one quarter of those surveyed planned on choosing an automation platform themselves, then hiring external consultants to build it; just 18 percent said they would both choose and build the platform internally, and 13 percent plan on outsourcing the entire process, from choosing a platform to building it, to consultants.

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