When the Digital Health Investment Symposium opened, Adam Gale began the meeting with a discussion about how momentous such an event was for KLAS to host. He said that for many years, KLAS had kept the investing community at arms-length. To see a room filled with healthcare-focused investors, alongside providers and vendor organizations was certainly a sight I hadn’t imagined 20 years ago when we first started measuring HIT.
Still, I found this symposium fell in line with the goal of KLAS to help providers deliver care at the highest possible level. If providing impartial insights on healthcare technology leads to investment dollars helping create impactful tools then, ultimately, our mission of improving healthcare moves forward. In the past, KLAS’s hesitation to work with investors stemmed from a few investing deals go wrong. Thankfully, it was obvious to me that participants of this event were focused on where the industry is headed.
So just where is the industry headed? What are the looming challenges that healthcare organizations must overcome? Provider attendees of the Digital Health Investment Symposium explained that they have a deep desire to get ahead of the clinician burnout problem. As we hear more and more, the productivity paradox (when technology sold to help efficient actually hinders it) has hit healthcare hard.
KLAS has begun gathering data on this phenomenon. In the meantime, vendors claiming to solve burnout will quickly attract the attention of investment firms. Acting as agents of what Adam Smith would call the ‘invisible hand of the market,’ these investors seek out the best investments possible.
We hope — through customer-driven data — to shine a light on that hand and make it a little less invisible. As we’ve gained experience in helping vendor organizations serve their customers better, we’ve learned that focusing on customer success is often the most effective way (and we would say it’s the right way) to find financial success.
That doesn’t mean it’s the fastest or flashiest method to turn a profit, but customers who feel taken care of often become advocates for their vendor. In healthcare, like many industries, those user advocates are worth their weight in gold. From personal experience, a recommendation from a trusted peer carries significantly more impact than any advertising budget. We firmly believe that focusing on customer-centric success will yield greater, longer-lasting returns than any turn-profit-fast plans could.
We hope that investment capital will fund the best companies, the ones that will produce true solutions so provider organizations can reap a harvest of success — including the best possible patient outcomes with the most satisfying work environment for clinicians.
We were blessed to watch a large group of very intelligent people look for those solution opportunities. KLAS has always been a personal endeavor for me, a side-effect of starting this work from our kitchen table I suppose. That said, I am always grateful to see big leaders in our industry willing to come together and work with a company that once was nothing more than an idea. A big thanks to Intermountain Healthcare, Triple Tree and Marwood Group for investing their time and talent into making this conference a success.