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How Do Healthcare CEOs View the Transformative Future?

July 1, 2021 at 11:00:00 PM

A new survey from KPMG sheds light on how healthcare leaders overseeing hospitals, health systems and care provider networks are preparing for the future


Healthcare Innovation

How Do Healthcare CEOs View the Transformative Future?


Rajiv Leventhal

A survey of 200 healthcare executives from around the globe, conducted by KPMG, reveals that while the pandemic has quickened transformation in healthcare systems, obstacles including workforce stability, provider incentivization and innovation barriers could slow progress.

Chief executives from some of the world’s leading public and private healthcare providers in eight geographies were interviewed for KPMG’s first-ever Global Healthcare CEO Future Pulse. The report offers insights into how healthcare leaders overseeing hospitals, health systems and care provider networks are preparing for the future.

For the research, an online survey of 200 healthcare CEOs in the eight jurisdictions was commissioned by KPMG and conducted by Forbes Insights in March to April 2021.

Healthcare providers have been on the frontlines of international efforts to tackle the pandemic, and now, as many jurisdictions plan and transition to post-COVID recovery, the sector itself is preparing for longer-term transformation. While more than half of CEOs (62 percent) were already undertaking substantial change prior to the pandemic, COVID-19 has significantly accelerated the change agendas of 97 percent of respondents.

The vast majority (79 percent) of CEOs interviewed believe that, within the next three years, all aspects of care delivery models will be transformed, while acknowledging that the healthcare sector faces significant obstacles and challenges ahead.

For example, the ability to meet demand, the impact of new operating models on staff, supporting wellness, and recruiting new talent were the biggest workforce concerns leaders reported, as the sector readies itself for significant future reform and change.

What’s more, 65 percent of CEOs identify the risks associated with technological change as their top barrier to innovation, while roughly two-thirds (67 percent) of executives acknowledge the need to focus more acutely on talent and resources, and 84 percent believe transformation won’t happen without more systemic change such as reforming the way care providers are incentivized.

The vast majority of CEOs agree the traditional care delivery ecosystem is evolving, with 70 percent expecting hospitals themselves to evolve into “healthcare hubs,” focused on specialty care and 63 percent believe it’s important to shift the delivery of care into more community settings.

Commenting on the findings, Anna van Poucke, Ph.D., KPMG’s Global Head of Healthcare, said, “Before the pandemic, transformation was on the minds of many health leaders, but it was often mired by bureaucracy, gathering stakeholders support, and prolonged planning. The crisis has acted as an accelerant, with CEOs now bracing for imminent and necessary change.:

She added, “Crucially, 80 percent shared they believe the industry is in need of disruption and change. KPMG is describing this moment as ‘from dreams to reality’ as we’re at a critical point in time where leadership understands massive transformation lies ahead but acknowledges that some underlying challenges facing the sector could slow progress - from technological barriers to talent and resource issues.”

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