Bain & KLAS: Software Investments Still a Top Priority for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers, battered by almost three years of a now-waning pandemic, are searching for ways to make the most of their future technology investments. A recent report from KLAS Research and Bain & Company lays out provider priorities for software investments, how they’re evaluating vendors, and the key implications for software players, providers, and investors.

"We saw COVID 19 stretch providers in innumerable ways, and now coming out of the pandemic, we are seeing many providers double down on software investments," said Eric Berger, a partner at Bain. "45% of providers accelerated software investments over the past year. Market dynamics like clinician shortages and inflation are playing a critical role as providers look for solutions that improve productivity and alleviate labor needs. However, there is also a broad recognition that COVID forever changed care delivery, making software more critical than ever."

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The report explores why healthcare IT remains among the top strategic priorities for the overwhelming majority, in spite of the financial struggles the healthcare industry has faced as a whole over the past several years. Security and privacy, revenue cycle management, clinical systems, patient intake/flow, and telehealth are identified as the most strategically important categories for provider software investments in the new year.

The research also explores the ways providers are navigating the post-pandemic vendor landscape, with more than 50% of providers saying they are struggling with the deluge of offerings in the market. According to the report, providers are increasingly returning to existing vendors with proven solutions before considering products or services from new vendors, especially in the electronic medical record segment. Many providers are making plans to streamline the number of third-party solutions in their tech stacks, slimming down and focusing on products with a demonstrable track record of success.

A post-pandemic environment is driving both large and small changes, with some organizations pausing to take stock of where they need to invest their time, and others adopting multiple systems to keep pace with the new normal. As 2022 draws to a close, providers are taking a new look at their software investments and fine tuning their decision making processes, and investors are paying close attention to what themes will emerge in 2023.