HCA CEO to Big Tech: You Can't Disrupt Healthcare Like You've Disrupted Other Industries - MedCity News

Big tech companies like Amazon, Google and IBM can’t disrupt healthcare with the same approach they’ve used to break into other industries, according to Sam Hazen, CEO of HCA Healthcare.

He shared that sentiment Sunday during a main stage discussion with General catalyst CEO Hemant Taneja c HLTH 2022 in Las Vegas.

“To really understand the health care system, you have to go into the health care system in a way that’s a little bit different than how technology has attached to or disrupted other industries,” Hazen said. “They’ve been able to do it from afar, so to speak. I don’t think — at least for the component of the industry that we’re in — that you can remotely do that. You have to get involved in the interactions that happen between people and processes, and then start thinking about how technology can really affect that.”

One of the best ways technology companies can integrate into the nation’s health care delivery system is by partnering with health systems for pilot programs, Hazen announced.

He argued that HCA is a big supporter of pilot programs that test new technologies because such programs can often lead to broader efforts if they generate meaningful results.

“If we can prove something in Dallas-Fort Worth, where we have a really big system, or prove something in Miami and then determine that it’s scalable, then we start thinking about it that way,” Hazen said. “But just coming from the outside and attaching ourselves to our organization doesn’t work.”

For huge health systems like HCA (which employ nearly 300,000 people), pilot programs should be regional, according to Hazen. He said there are “too many people who have too many different opinions” in his organization for it to quickly create enterprise-wide technology pilots.

This reception speed is important. For health systems to succeed amid continued financial pressures, Hazen argues, they must embrace new technology in an agile way. They need to do this instead of falling “woefully behind” other industries, such as banking and retail, which have been able to modernize much faster, he said.

Hazen acknowledged that technology cannot solve all of health care’s problems. But he said it could have a significant impact on some key issues – the industry’s labor crisis chief among them.

“I think [technology] can really advance what we need to do with the workforce,” Hazen said. “And essentially what we’re trying to do with the workforce is expand the scope of the resources that we have — expand the scope of our physicians and how they interact with their patients, expand the scope of our nurses and how they care for our patients and really expands the ability of our management teams to organizationally run our business more effectively with better results.”

Photo: HLTH

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