Becker’s Hospital Review: 3 Questions with Maria Ryan, Chief Executive Officer for Cottage Hospital

Maria Ryan, PhD, serves as Chief Executive Officer for Cottage Hospital.

On April 2nd, Dr. Ryan will speak at Becker’s Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker’s is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place April 1-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Dr. Ryan’s session, click here.

Question: Healthcare takes a lot of heat for not innovating quickly. What’s your take on this?

Maria Ryan:

The healthcare industry was slow to move on creating a value proposition for the consumer.   Personally, I was an early disrupter in the industry and my peers struggled to understand what I was trying to accomplish. Currently, there are many healthcare leaders who are trying to decrease workload for providers, decrease unwanted steps for the staff, increase the ‘compassion’ factor, standardize processes and create a reasonable cost structure.

Innovators outside of healthcare need to understand the inherent complexities of healthcare because it is not linear nor is it predictable.

The electronic medical record has added to provider burnout and frustration. Innovators continue to struggle with creating a system that is fast and intuitive for the end user. The use of templates has added to inaccurate medical records because providers may be too busy to edit and customize the template to the patient in front of them. There needs to be more voice recognition devices and we will see a more complete picture of the patient and more accuracies. Built in relevant decision points would be helpful.  The vision of an electronic medical record that would alert you that a patient’s temperature is elevated or a lab result is abnormal without you looking for it would really help the provider. Innovators need to work more on artificial intelligence in the office and hospital setting. An integrated electronic medical record functions as a clinical documentation tool and a billing system. The billing side of healthcare is one of the most complex in any industry. Insurance companies may have hundreds of different plans where you bill differently and your reimbursement may be different. Once the plan information is inputted into the system, the system needs to process the claim the way the payor/plan requires but also alerts the finance department if the reimbursement is different than the contract.

I predict in the next five years we will see advances in artificial intelligence in healthcare.  Healthcare leaders need to be at the table to identify what is needed.

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