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  • Writer's pictureAlan Shoebridge

Insights and observations: Becker’s annual meeting 2023

The phrase “collaboration to make healthcare work better” was scrawled on a chalkboard near the exhibit hall at the Becker’s Healthcare conference in Chicago. I don’t know who wrote it, but they were right on.

Call it an unofficial theme of this year’s conference. Or maybe it’s a call to action.

As we move into the second quarter of 2023, it’s a time of challenges and opportunities in our industry.

Last week was my first time back in Chicago since March of 2020. We all know what happened next.

Travel and in-person meetings went on hold (mostly) for the next two years.

Chicago is always a great place to visit for any reason, but I had two excellent experiences at the Becker's annual meeting and during the Society for Health Care Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) board meeting.

It was great to see colleagues in person, but do you know what was even better about being back in the windy city?

Seeing the focus and passion all of these people have for making healthcare work better. It was truly inspiring.

So what happened at Becker’s?

There was a lot of talk about fixing healthcare, but it wasn’t just words. Actions are being taken by a lot of talented, dedicated people who want to make a difference for patients, consumers and caregivers.

It would be impossible to capture everything from the three days in one blog post, so I’m not even going to try. However, I would like to give you a flavor of the event.

Below is a day-by-day recap of my favorite insights from the sessions I was able to attend. Because some people may have already read the highlights from day one and two on LinkedIn, I’m running this in reverse order.

TLDR: Check out the highlights in 7 slides below.

Becker's 2023 insights recap in 7 slides
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Day 3 takeaways

💡👇 **Tech and big data’s role in improving healthcare**

“Patients want more time with providers. Data, automation and AI can help with that.”

“Health systems that adopt technology and data to drive change will be the ones that survive.”

“Predictive models and real-time data are providing impact during episodes of care.”

“People are using technology – that’s here to stay.”

“We need to ensure that technology isn’t just patient-facing. We need to use it to address burnout, productivity and other issues.”

“There is more demand for care than workers to provide it. Data and technology can close gaps.”

💡👇 **Consumerism in healthcare**

“Consumerism in healthcare is about bringing providers and patients togethers. It’s about giving people an experience they want.”

“Everyone within an organization must work together to drive innovation and transformation.”

“Digital is an option for care, but it’s not the only option. Digital augments what we are doing in our offline operations. And digital supports our offline operations and makes them better.”

“You have to know people. You have to know the whole person.”

Day 2 key takeaways

💡👇 **Mark Cuban – celebrity keynote** "Disruption is exciting ... starting new companies is not about just making money." “Is there any industry that needs to be (disrupted) more than the pharmaceutical industry.” “When patients save money, their care adherence rates are better.” "Making people feel better is why we do this. How many other industries get to do that?" “AI will impact everything in healthcare. Everything.” -- 💡👇 **The nursing workforce** "Nursing staffing needs are not sustainable. We can't keep up with demand. The nurses just aren't out there." "We need to re-examine the recruitment and application process." "Nursing leaders need to ask tough questions about the process." "Paying attention to the retention process is just as important as recruiting." -- 💡👇 **Consumerism in healthcare** “Consumerism has helped accelerate the pace of innovation.” “Healthcare is facing a trust and credibility issue.” “The biggest risk for traditional healthcare is that people walk away from some services, find alternatives and don’t come back.” “We need to see patients more as individuals rather than as simply consumers or patients.” “Healthcare consumers now expect accessibility, transparency and cultural competency.” -- 💡👇 **Frientor: What the next generation is looking for in mentorship** "A ‘frientor’ is mentor who can also be a friend. Someone who is open to helping you with work and life issues.” “You should always have someone pulling you up AND you should always be pulling someone else up.” “YOU can be a mentor if you have knowledge and are willing to share it.

Day 1 key takeaways

💡👇 **Magic Johnson – celebrity keynote**

“You can do well and do good at the same time. When you invest in the community, your company will do better.” “We should all be about making other people better. Great leaders make other people better.” “For those working in healthcare, don’t forget that you are helping people live a better life. That’s amazing.” 💡👇 **AI in healthcare** “Unlike blockchain and other ‘next big things’ in healthcare, AI is likely here to stay and make an impact.” “AI should solve problems we know we have right now, not necessarily go searching from problems we don’t have.” “Formal regulation for AI in healthcare hasn’t been established so organizations need to create their own governance models.” “There needs to be enterprise-wide alignment on how AI will be used.” “AI algorithms may have bias, but that can be mitigated with policies and implementation.” -- 💡👇 **The imperative for heath equity** What does health equity mean? Panel definitions: “Making sure everyone gets to the optimal level of health possible.” “Meeting patients where they are and getting them what they need.” “Making sure people have the opportunity to impact the world.” “Health equity is a basic human right.” -- 💡👇 **Health system strategic growth** “Measuring growth is about more than just admissions now: it’s patient outcomes, strategic partnerships, community investments and more.” “Healthcare differentiation is declining. 15 years ago a consumer could identify 3.5 things a hospital did well. Now it is only 2.” “Patients need to be engaged in planning efforts.” “Consumers don’t want to see health systems fighting – they want us to work together to get them the services they need.” -- 💡👇 **The workforce of the future** “The healthcare workforce has been disrupted.” “Everybody is competing for our workers today in all aspects of health system operations.” “Healthcare’s workforce has more choices than ever before.” “We need to transform healthcare to be more attractive for providers. It needs to be a more exciting career choice.” “We’ve got to make it easier for caregivers to do their jobs.” “Digital efforts should let providers spend more time with patients and humanize the experience. If it doesn’t do that it’s not worth investing in.”

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