Healthcare executives may be underestimating disruptive threats

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Disruptive forces within healthcare threaten to drastically alter the basic business models of the industry, but not all executives may be prepared to handle those threats, according to a study published by the American Hospital Association.

Researchers from executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles surveyed 82 senior leaders from various healthcare companies including hospitals, health systems, pharmaceutical firms and medical device manufacturers.

Fewer than half (45 percent) of executives said their organizations are well prepared to deal with industry disruption. Leaders of these organizations say the caliber of their workforce, use of technology and understanding of consumers is what has led to their level of preparation.

The market forces leading to disruption, according to researchers, include the fact that consumer experiences in outside industries are shaping expectations for healthcare experiences and the scale of change pursued by new market entrants.

To succeed in this changing environment, the researchers say healthcare companies should think differently, leverage data as currency, play offense instead of defense and tap into the power of the community mission.

"As in other sectors, it will take new approaches like these, versus business as usual, for healthcare organizations to turn the tables on disruption," the researchers write.

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