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HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen touts technology and partnerships

Even with tough economic headwinds, HCA is moving forward with its care transformation agenda, and partnerships are a key ingredient, he says.

Vegas – Even with the COVID-19 pandemic and its varied challenges, HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen said the company emerged with a commitment to embracing healthcare technology.

Speaking at the HLTH conference on Sunday, Hazen said technology is key to advancing everything from patient care to workforce development.

“We came out of the pandemic with a very focused effort to digitize HCA healthcare like other industries have,” Hazen said.

Compared to other industries, Hazen acknowledged, “We’re terribly behind.”

“What is exciting for me, our team…. sees the opportunity of technology as a solution to today’s problems and a hope for tomorrow,” he said.

In her role, Hazen certainly understands the difficulties of the hospital landscape. HCA operates more than 180 hospitals in markets nationwide. Hazen served as CEO of HCA for nearly four years and has spent nearly four decades with the organization.

HCA, like other hospital systems, continues to face a labor shortage, which Hazen described as “a supply chain shock in the healthcare system.” HCA is grappling with inflation, which it called “a real problem in healthcare.”

While Hazen admitted that inflation has pushed HCA into a kind of resilience mode, he said economic pressures won’t deter the company from moving forward. He is committed to continuing to move forward with HCA’s innovation agenda, its technology agenda, the company’s plans to transform care and its workforce development improvement goals. ‘work.

He said the technology can offer some relief from inflation, as well as ease the strain on healthcare workers.

As he looks to strengthen HCA’s technology and continue to move forward, Hazen said developing partnerships will be key. And that’s a lesson in dealing with COVID-19 since the start of 2020.

“We had to partner with whoever to get through the pandemic,” Hazen said.

Now, HCA sees partnerships as “a very important ingredient in accelerating our program,” Hazen said.

He sees potential in developing partnerships to expand the use of machine learning.

“The healthcare industry has not instituted solutions at scale for machine learning to empower human learning,” Hazen said.

Hazen spoke enthusiastically about the potential of machine learning to help improve care. Machine learning can help doctors make more informed decisions.

“If we can help them make better strategic decisions for their patient populations, we can achieve better outcomes,” he said. Hazen also talked about machine learning that can help nurses spot potential complications and improve patient safety.

It’s important to remember that partnering with other organizations on technology initiatives doesn’t always lead to immediate success, Hazen said. There may be bumps in the road along the way.

“Partnerships aren’t easy,” Hazen said. “Sometimes people get too impatient with partnerships and don’t realize it takes time to find a rhythm.”

Hazen also highlighted the importance of partnerships in improving health equity, a topic that received attention at the HLTH conference. He noted HCA’s recent partnerships with the March of Dimes and the American Heart Association to help leverage information to eliminate disparities in health care outcomes.

These efforts will be labor intensive and very complex. On health equity, Hazen said, “I don’t think HCA Healthcare can solve the problem. Partnerships can solve the problem.

Before closing the session, moderator Hemant Taneja, CEO and Managing Partner of General Catalyst, asked Hazen if he had any advice for some of the health tech startups looking to potentially partner with hospitals and systems. health.

Tech companies need to understand that the healthcare industry is different from other industries that tech companies have entered and been disrupted, Hazen said.

“To truly understand the healthcare system, you have to enter the healthcare system…

“You have to fit in,” Hazen said.