The power of partnerships has never been more important to hospitals and health systems than during the pandemic. Forging alliances inside and outside provider organizations sparked rapid innovation and transformation in care delivery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated health as a top business priority and highlighted how no one company or sector can solve society’s most pressing health challenges alone. That was evident during the recent HLTH conference, as health care leaders, digital health companies and others shared how they are teaming up to further accelerate change.
4 Ways Strategic Partnerships Will Drive Transformation
1 | Improving Health Equity by Reducing Variation in Clinical Decision-Making
HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen noted that his 185-hospital system has created a care transformation and innovation organization to analyze delivery processes for patterns and insights that can guide clinicians’ decision-making for certain populations and reduce variation to improve health equity.
Its recent partnership with Johnson & Johnson to build a scalable program to detect early-stage lung cancer among Black patients is the latest example in this effort. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among Black patients.
HCA also will incorporate J&J’s nursing resources within its facilities and affiliate Galen College of Nursing. They will create nurse education programs jointly to address health equity, build nurses’ skills and improve patient outcomes.
2 | Jump-Starting Digital Health Transformation
As health systems face ongoing financial pressures, General Catalyst’s ecosystem of partners collaborates on how to accelerate the digital transformation of care. The firm’s health assurance network, comprising 90-plus digital health portfolio companies to which it provides venture capital, is expanding rapidly. The company announced that 10 new health system partners have joined its network, including Banner Health, Universal Health Services and the Medical University of South Carolina.
Combined with the previous five health systems that have partnered with General Catalyst — among them Jefferson Health and Intermountain Healthcare — the 15 organizations serve about 10% of the U.S. population across 43 states. The common denominator in these systems is that they share a passion for the digital transformation of care, improving quality and reducing costs across diverse populations and geographic areas.
This ecosystem will bridge the gap between technology innovators, generate new ways for direct system-to-system collaboration and accelerate digital health transformation, General Catalyst notes.
3 | Shortening the Time from AI Benchtop to Bedside
The partnership brings together the scale of the Nuance Precision Imaging Network and MONAI, an open-source, domain-specialized, medical imaging AI framework co-founded by NVIDIA. Together, the platforms enable the validation, deployment and evaluation of medical imaging AI models.
Mass General Brigham will be among the first medical centers to use MONAI and the Nuance Precision Imaging Network to define a unique workflow that links medical imaging model development, application packaging, deployment and clinical feedback for model refinement. Using the combined offering, the medical center has deployed a breast density AI model that cuts the waiting time for results from several days to 15 minutes — allowing patients to talk with clinicians about the results of their scans and discuss next steps before they leave the facility.
4 | Leveraging Data Accelerators to Address Health Equity and Inefficiencies in Patient Care
Google Cloud has launched three new health care data accelerators (HDEs) to help health systems and payers strengthen health-equity programs, streamline patient-flow management and better analyze population health metrics to improve value-based care.
Tools are being developed to help health care organizations connect patients to community resources and dashboards to leverage social determinants of health datasets; inform clinical operations performance initiatives with patient-flow metrics indicating trends, potential drivers and bottlenecks; and analyze trends and identify key population health metrics from combining claims and clinical data.
The accelerators, which will be available early next year, include infrastructure deployment configurations and data models from BigQuery, Google’s enterprise data warehouse.