Hospitals buying real estate, revamping clinical space for innovation hubs

Image Credit: Allegheny Health Network via Modern Healthcare

Pam Arlotto is quoted in a May 3, 2022, article, by Jessica Kim Cohen, in Modern Healthcare. 

In February, Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network held a ribbon-cutting in Bellevue, Pennsylvania, to unveil a home for one of its newest ventures—AlphaLab Health, which the system hopes will spur innovation and improvements to community health.

The 10,000-square-foot innovation hub, a partnership with Pittsburgh-based startup incubator Innovation Works, is housed in a former hospital owned by AHN. It will serve as the home base for startups participating in AlphaLab Health, AHN’s healthcare and life sciences startup accelerator launched in fall 2020.

“It’s a demonstration of what you can do to repurpose these assets that are aged but have great bones,” said Dr. Jeff Cohen, AHN’s chief physician executive for community health and innovation.

The space gives AlphaLab Health startups access to wet and dry labs to develop products, as well as office space and areas to collaborate and meet with other startups. The startups also receive early-stage funding and opportunities to connect with clinicians and test products at AHN.

The project has involved more than two years and $5 million, including renovations and investments in startups and programing—of which AHN and its parent Highmark Health contributed $2 million.

Accelerators and other innovation centers became more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Pam Arlotto, president and CEO of healthcare consultancy Maestro Strategies. While hospitals have been setting up innovation programs for years, the efforts took on a new focus as the healthcare industry eyed consumerism and pushed to create new care models that engage patients at home and outside of the hospital.

They’re expensive projects, usually involving investments in real estate and hiring staff to run the programs.

Hospitals starting innovation centers have done everything from revamping old clinical or administrative space to building new facilities to house innovation programs, said Rob Lowe, CEO of Wellspring, a software company that sells products for innovation and research and development programs. It depends what type of work the hospital needs to do or the form of the incubator itself.

Some hospitals create accelerators to identify startups worth partnering with or venture capital arms that invest, Lowe said. Some, like AHN’s, are partially funded through local government as part of economic development efforts.

“Almost in all cases of these hospitals that we work with around the U.S., we see dedicated space,” Lowe said.

 

Download PDF of Full Article: Hospitals buying real estate, revamping clinical space for innovation hubs _ Modern Healthcare May 3 2022

Or Read Full Article at Modern Healthcare Here

Google, HCA strike multiyear cloud partnership

Pam Arlotto is quoted in a May 26th article, by Jessica Kim Cohen, in Modern Healthcare.

 

 

HCA Healthcare has entered into a multiyear partnership with Google’s cloud arm, the for-profit hospital chain said Wednesday.

As part of the partnership, Google Cloud will build a data analytics platform for HCA designed to help the Nashville-based health system create tools that improve workflow and clinical care.

HCA declined to share financial details of the agreement.

HCA will work with Google Cloud’s office of the chief technology officer and professional services team to develop artificial intelligence and data analytics tools, such as alerts that could be sent to clinicians’ mobile devices so that they can respond to changes in a patient’s condition more quickly, as well as improvements in non-clinical areas like supply chain and human resources.

HCA will use Google Cloud tools including the company’s healthcare API, or application programming interface, and BigQuery, a cloud data warehouse.

“The cloud can be an accelerant for innovation in health,” said Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud’s CEO, in a statement.

The U.S. healthcare cloud computing market was valued at more than $29 billion in 2020, according to a report from market research firm Global Market Insights, and is expected to reach $79.3 billion by 2027, driven by growing adoption of digital tools and interest in data management tools that incorporate advanced analytics and store data securely.

HCA’s contract is just the latest example of a health system partnering with a technology company for cloud services. A growing number of organizations in recent years have moved applications and data to the cloud—to servers managed by other companies off-site—to help save costs and develop innovative technologies.

Mayo Clinic in 2019 struck a 10-year contract with Google Cloud that involves data storage and innovation projects, leading the tech giant to open an office in Rochester, Minn., earlier this year to strengthen its relationship with the health system. Johns Hopkins Medicine last year struck a five-year agreement with Microsoft Corp.’s cloud arm to support the Baltimore-based healthcare organization’s precision medicine program.

One of the most high-profile cloud deals in healthcare in recent years involved a partnership between St. Louis-based Ascension and Google. The agreement, which included a contract to move Ascension’s patient data to Google Cloud, drew public concern in 2019 over patient privacy. Ascension has since expanded a pilot of an electronic health record tool from Google that it tested as part of the partnership.

Healthcare’s shift to the cloud has encompassed two broad functions: migrating applications to the cloud, where they’re hosted on off-premise servers, or storing data in the cloud so that it can be analyzed more easily and used as part of analytics tools.

“There are two phenomena going on,” said Cynthia Burghard, a research director in value-based IT transformation strategies at IDC Health Insights, a division of market research firm International Data Corp.

While providers and payers were initially hesitant to move to the cloud in years past, citing concerns like privacy, security and reliability, over the past two years it’s become more common for organizations to move applications such as EHR systems to the cloud, Burghard said. Deals that involve data, such as HCA’s partnership with Google Cloud, have gained steam more recently.

Such partnerships have become more common over the past 12 to 18 months, according to Burghard.

Healthcare and life sciences companies had moved roughly 44% of business functions and 42% of IT systems to the cloud in 2020, up from 36% of business functions and 33% of IT systems to the cloud in 2018, according to a report from consulting and IT services firm Infosys, driven in part by the need to add more virtual care and remote work capabilities amid COVID-19.

Healthcare will likely continue to shift towards new cloud tools and deployments over the next two years, according to Jeff Kavanaugh, global head of Infosys’ research and thought leadership arm.

In the wake of public pushback to Ascension’s work with Google in 2019, healthcare experts suggested the controversy reflected a lack of trust the public had of Big Tech, which could pose challenges as tech companies moved into healthcare.

But Google and other tech giants have continued to make inroads in the industry.

“We’ll have to work through a lot of these issues, concerns (and) opportunities” that Big Tech companies bring, said Pam Arlotto, CEO of healthcare consultancy Maestro Strategies. She noted recent announcements involving tech companies have emphasized privacy and security. HCA’s news release reads, in part, “privacy and security will be guiding principles throughout this partnership.”

As hospitals and health systems continue to enter into such partnerships, “it’s really important that each organization that strikes these type of deals has very clear-cut goals (and) very distinct agreements with their partners about what you can and cannot do with your data,” Arlotto said.

 

Download PDF: Google, HCA strike multiyear cloud partnership May 26 2021

Read Full Article here

Henry Ford Health System launches competition to tackle disparities with tech

Image via Modern Healthcare

Pam Arlotto is quoted in an April 27th, 2021 article, by Jessica Kim Cohen, in Modern Healthcare. 

 

Henry Ford Health System is seeking out new ways to address health disparities with
digital technology, including a focus on the digital divide, the Detroit-based system said
Tuesday.

The system’s Henry Ford Innovations arm on Tuesday unveiled the digital inclusion
challenge, a competition it’s hosting in partnership with Google Cloud and Novi, Mich.-
based information-technology firm Miracle Software Systems. Entrepreneurs and
engineers from across the globe are encouraged to propose ideas for how to use digital
technologies to reduce racial, gender and other health disparities.

That could include projects that make care more affordable, accessible or that make it easier for patients who don’t have access to high-speed internet access to learn about their health.

“We’re open to seeing what comes our way,” said Lisa Prasad, vice president and chief innovation officer at Henry Ford. “It’s kind of an open book.”

The challenge supports Henry Ford’s broader effort to “double-down on DEIJ,” or diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, Prasad said. Hopefully, entrepreneurs who participate in the competition will be able to help Henry Ford Innovations identify ways to better serve its patient population in Detroit and ensure patients are able to access emerging digital health and virtual care tools, she said.

The competition kicks off May 19 with submissions due June 24.

Henry Ford Innovations will reveal the top 20 finalists in July, five of whom will participate in a live pitch competition. That pitch competition will hopefully take place in-person in Detroit in August or September, Prasad said, although it will depend on COVID-19.

The winning team will receive $75,000 and will participate in a co-development program at Henry Ford Innovations, where the team can collaborate with the system’s clinical, IT and other staffers.

Ideally, depending on the project, the winning team will also be able to test their project within Henry Ford, Prasad said.

The program builds on other innovation competitions Henry Ford Innovations has launched over the past five years, many of which have been internal competitions that seek proposals from staff that work at the health system, as well as innovation challenges hosted in Israel through Henry Ford Innovations’ Global Technology Development Program.

Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Aurora Health, Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai and Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Children’s Hospital are among other health systems that have recently hosted accelerators and challenges to invite outside startups to pitch their innovations.

The American Hospital Association also hosts an annual innovation challenge, in which the industry trade group provides funding for three winners to developing projects they pitch.

It’s become increasingly common for health groups to put out calls for startups to pitch proposals for specific problems, said Pam Arlotto, president and CEO of healthcare consultancy Maestro Strategies. Startups can bring expertise that health systems don’t have, such as in advanced technology.

“Often, these partners will have complementary skills that the health system doesn’t necessarily have internally,” Arlotto said.

If a health system invests in the company or helps to commercialize the product, it can provide another revenue stream for the organization. And the startup often gets the opportunity to test its product in the clinical setting and get the recognition of being selected by the health system, which can help to raise awareness about the company and possibly help with fundraising down the line.

Arlotto said she expects to see more health systems launch competitions with partners from various industries, rather than hosting them on their own, similar to what Henry Ford Innovations is doing.

She highlighted a recent healthcare innovation challenge that Macon, Ga.-based Atrium Health Navicent hosted last year with local startup incubator Atlanta Tech Village, Georgia’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society chapter and local technology association TAG Digital Health.

Download PDF: Henry Ford, Google Cloud launch tech competition to tackle health disparities Modern Healthcare April 2021

Read Full Article here

 

Why healthcare organizations should consider implementing a data analytics center of excellence

Webinar Recording: Navigating Uncertainty: What’s in Your Analytics Playbook?

Navigating Uncertainty: What’s in Your Analytics Playbook?

Webinar recorded July 22nd, 2020. Hosted by Pam Arlotto and Susan Irby

Uncertainty brings opportunity for change. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, healthcare leaders showed remarkable agility and worked collaboratively to deploy new virtual care models, innovate solutions to supply chain issues, and evaluate declines in revenue. As the healthcare industry continues to traverse through uncharted waters, analytics has become an essential navigational tool.

Conventional wisdom and the playbooks of the past may no longer be relevant. Decision makers must deal with uncertainty and think differently. Rather than relying on historic score cards to report “what happened”, leaders are using advanced analytics to explore “what-if” scenarios and model “what will happen” and “how do we make it happen”.

Decision makers should not defer this work to data scientists. They must play a central role in determining the problems to be solved, exploring what and how to analyze, and defining what the numbers mean to key decisions. Healthcare operations, financial, clinical, and business leaders must be able to engage, communicate and act using data driven insights.

During this webinar we examine:

  • The Time Is Now for Advanced Analytics
  • Five Game Changers for the Healthcare Decision Maker
  • Continuing the Conversation: The Last Mile

Navigating Uncertainty: What’s in Your Analytics Playbook?

 

Lessons hospitals and health systems have learned from COVID 19

Over the past few months, hospitals and health systems have made tremendous transformations. They’ve had no choice. Rather than make decisions by committee and consensus, they’ve been forced to be agile, innovative and creative. Pam Arlotto, President and CEO of Maestro Strategies, is encouraging healthcare leaders to maintain that agility using data tools that enable prediction as they continue to navigate through uncertainty.

On July 28th, Pam Arlotto spoke with Don Seamons on episode 36 of the podcast, The Healthcare Solutions Project, on the topic of “Lessons hospitals and health systems have learned from COVID 19

 

Using health IT to get healthcare stakeholders working together – Podcast

Pam Arlotto speaks on episode 24 of the podcast The Healthcare Solutions Project, on the topic;
Using health IT to get healthcare stakeholders working together

Pam Arlotto, a past president of HIMSS and a healthcare consultant with nearly 40 years of experience, has a unique perspective on the healthcare industry’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. While the industry has made great strides in improving performance, the pandemic is showing that our data are still too siloed. The silver lining is that the pandemic is showing that when we break down regulatory and cost barriers, we can apply a tech solution like telehealth to a very specific problem like quarantining COVID-19 patients.

Pam’s latest book–“Orchestrating Value: Population Health in the Digital Age”–is available for listeners at a 20% discount. To get the discount, go to CRCPress.com and enter the promo code SOC20 at checkout. Shipping is free.

Click here to listen to Using health IT to get healthcare stakeholders working together on Apple Podcasts

 

The Healthcare Solutions Project features interviews with healthcare innovators working to improve quality, reduce cost and increase patient satisfaction. Hosted by Don Seamons.

HIMSS cancels conference due to coronavirus

Pam Arlotto was interviewed about the HIMSS20 conference cancellation due to the coronavirus in the March 5th issue of Modern Healthcare.

Article by Jessica Kim Cohen.

The cancellation could have a significant financial impact not just on HIMSS, but also on participating companies.

“This is going to have a huge economic impact, for both big companies and small companies,” said Pam Arlotto, president and CEO of healthcare consultancy Maestro Strategies. “For a lot of people, this is where they touch base with their customers and do a lot of their business development.”

This will be the first year Arlotto hasn’t attended the conference since 1982.

“I wish we had all known this about a week ago, ” she said of the cancellation. “It probably is the right thing to do, but I think a lot of us were going to go and risk it.”

 

Artificial Intelligence: 5 Realities for Financial Leaders

Artificial Intelligence: 5 Realities for Financial Leaders
The first step in a healthcare organization’s artificial intelligence strategy should be education.

Article, by Pam Arlotto, in the February 2020 issue of hfm magazine.

For PDF version: Artificial intelligence: 5 realities for financial leaders

Lyft, Uber expand reach into healthcare

Pam Arlotto was quoted in Modern Healthcare’s recent article, Lyft, Uber expand reach into healthcare.

Read the full article here.