This past week, the country celebrated Independence Day, a more than significant day in the life of us all celebrating our families and our country, but also a significant day that marks the reason that Quantaira Health was created.
Noah Clay, my co-founder and I were discussing the ideas as forerunners to the Company, and we realized that we had both been through the traumatic experience of watching each of our fathers die on ventilators. Both had served our country in different capacities. We talk about this often.
Despite that direction at our beginning, Quantaira is now focused on larger and more universal issues:
The hospital industry is facing the exit of 200,000 to 800,000 nurses (depending on your source) over the coming 4-5 years, the reality of 53% of hospitals operating with negative margins and despite these two realities, the flat lining of US life expectancy given that the US outspends the rest of the civilized world to the tune of 20% of GDP on healthcare. Disastrous results, despite the money attributed, with the prospects looking less than auspicious.
With decreased revenue, clinical quality backsliding and greater workforce deficiencies, is it any secret that new technologies must be an essential piece of the solution? So why is it that many hospitals are whistling to the financial graveyard.
The answer so far, is the entrenched and byzantine methods of decision making and capital allocation in hospitals. Innovation and embracing of forward-looking technologies seem beyond the typical way of thinking about the business. Does it matter if there is an extra “click” or two per patient on their EHR during a shift if it could eliminate half of the hospital’s financials deficit or one could eliminate 30 minutes of unnecessary research on a patient’s condition? This seems to be the case of left hand doesn’t understand how the right-hand thinks.
In speaking with one hospital system that is losing nearly $500,000/day, the decision-making process was placed on a “committee” of almost 30 doctors from nearly 10 different hospitals to agree to adopt any new technology…despite how brilliant most of the physicians are, getting 30 to agree has a likelihood of acceptance of exactly zero!
Is it a surprise that care is suffering, the clinicians are over worked (and subsequently quitting in record numbers), and the hospital is running full force to financial ruin? Moreover, this hospital’s innovation group was reporting up to technology…a cost center. Really? A recipe for success as it moves at light speed to bankruptcy and extinction.
No! Technology must be a part of this solution. Let’s throw off our huddle over our fiefdom’s and think aggressively about how to halt this horrible march to disaster and begin to embrace new solutions. What’s more, because these solutions like Generative AI and others are even more complex and intangible, it will become more and more difficult to get these entrenched decision-making systems to embrace these more advanced technologies.
I hope for all of us, a wake-up call happens and hospitals decide to join many of those more progressive industries where this country leads in terms of technology adoption and financial viability.
By Todd Gross, Chairman & Co-Founder of Quantaira Health