81% of Healthcare Executives Say Patients Pay the High Price of Ineffective Planning, According to Report from Syntellis Performance Solutions
Report highlights how U.S. health system executives are navigating The Great Resignation, escalating costs and ongoing COVID-19 variants
CHICAGO – March 22, 2022 – Healthcare systems continue to face an uncertain future brought on by the continued COVID-19 pandemic and its rippling effects; but it’s ineffective planning that proves to be the main driver of unexpected costs, according to a new report from Syntellis Performance Solutions and Wakefield Research. The report findings show that more than 4 in 5 healthcare executives (81%) acknowledged that costs relating to poor budgeting and planning are typically passed on to their patients.
The report surveyed 200 U.S. hospital and health system C-level executives to better understand the landscape of healthcare organizations moving into 2022. While the majority of healthcare executives say unexpected costs related to ongoing COVID-19 variants (65%) and labor shortages (60%) keep them up at night, they also report concerns about inflation, cybersecurity and regulatory risks.
Failure to plan leads to higher costs for patients
The high cost of ineffective planning cannot be ignored, with the report revealing how the lack of preparedness trickles down in healthcare organizations. More than half of healthcare executives (56%) stated that they only planned ahead one quarter or less during 2021 — indicating an urgent need to extend planning and better prepare for the unexpected in 2022 and beyond.
“Healthcare organizations were dealt a difficult hand over the past two years,” said Flint Brenton, CEO of Syntellis. “We know that it’s more critical than ever for healthcare executives to prepare for every possible disruption and avoid costs associated with poor planning, especially with today’s tight margins. And to that end, there’s good news: savvy healthcare leaders are leveraging technology and data in new ways to better anticipate needs and seize opportunities to contain costs, optimize revenue, and deliver high-quality patient care.”
Seeking ways to contain costs, healthcare executives look to technology
Healthcare executives recognize cost containment needs to be addressed now — 75% report cost containment as a high-priority item in 2022, yet healthcare leaders remain divided on how to best do so. Executives are focused on increasing their workforce productivity/optimization (21%), improving processes (19%), or reducing overhead (19%) as the most effective ways to contain cost.
Most executives agree, however, that technology can help resolve top challenges — 57% of healthcare executives see new and expanding technology as a significant opportunity for growth in 2022. A Chief Administrative Officer from Massachusetts expanded on how, saying, “Increasing automation to try and eliminate manual tasks, from the administrative and clinical side. For the patient’s side, promoting telehealth and virtual consultations and giving them more options and conveniences for quick and safe access to healthcare.”
Telemedicine has become standard practice since the onset of the pandemic, and 68% of executives predict an increased reliance on telehealth with an additional 22% expecting to use it as much as they did in 2021.
More concerned by staffing disruptions than COVID-19 variants, executives consider lifting vaccine requirements
As The Great Resignation continues to ripple through the U.S. economy, a quarter of executives predict that staffing shortages and employee retention will be the top challenge in 2022.
More than half (52%) of leaders said that staffing shortages have been more disruptive to their organization than COVID-19 variants. Looking ahead, executives are seeking out new means to retain and attract employees to keep up with patient demand. Some of these actions include reversing previous decisions related to COVID-19 vaccine requirments: more than a third of healthcare executives (36%) have already lifted vaccine requirements for their employees. Another 43% have not lifted these measures yet but are considering doing so.
About Syntellis Performance Solutions
Syntellis Performance Solutions, previously Kaufman Hall Software, provides innovative enterprise performance management software, data and analytics solutions for healthcare, higher education and financial institutions. Syntellis’ solutions include Axiom and Connected Analytics software, which help finance professionals elevate performance by acquiring insights, accelerating decisions and advancing their business plans. With over 2,800 organizations and 450,000 users relying on its solutions, Syntellis has proven industry expertise in helping organizations transform their visions into reality. For more information, please visit www.syntellis.com.
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