AiThority Interview with Jon Zimmerman, Chief Executive Officer at Holon Solutions
Please tell us a little bit about your role and responsibilities at Holon Solutions. How did you arrive at the idea of starting at this company?
My role at Holon is – at the highest level – to set the overall strategic direction for the company, and to arm the healthcare industry with tools to make healthcare workers’ jobs and lives easier. The healthcare industry is experiencing a burnout crisis, and if it goes unaddressed, it will be harder for patients to get the care they need, medical costs will go up, and health disparities will worsen. It’s about time for healthcare organizations to give their people a solution and prioritize making their jobs easier. I was drawn to Holon’s people-first approach that provides healthcare organizations with a human-centered platform that empowers teams to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on delivering care.
What is Holon Solutions? How is it disrupting the healthcare technology landscape?
We do not intend to disrupt; rather, we want to dramatically enhance and improve the technologies that exist today. Holon is a human-centric healthcare technology company that leads with empathy to deliver people-over-process technology to all stakeholders: providers, patients and payers alike. At Holon, we’re always finding ways to utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to surface personalized, role-based insights for care teams and bring human intelligence to the forefront of care delivery.
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What are the biggest challenges in running an organization that builds healthcare care platforms?
Overcoming the barriers of relevance and adoption within the workflow. One of healthcare’s biggest challenges is the lack of interoperability between several disconnected systems and tools – the biggest frustration for 17% of healthcare workers. This stems from healthcare having one of the slowest adoption rates for new technologies of any industry, which accounts for 14% of care team departures in the last year according to a recent survey we conducted. To address the industry’s epidemic of physician burnout, it is key for us to leverage new technology like AI to overcome the fragmented systems and create a streamlined workflow. Instead of gathering patient information in one place, visiting another to review insurance information, opening up a separate platform for prior authorization and then returning back to the chart to update all of the information they gathered, Holon is creating a single point of access for all information from any source needed on each patient.
What are CIOs’ options when it comes to identifying key features of a healthcare data platform for their organization? What kind of IT support and resources do you provide to your customers?
CIOs and IT leaders should ask themselves these two questions when investing in a healthcare data platform: Does this technology serve patients? And does it serve your end-users? When a healthcare data platform integrates with different systems, all parties benefit – physicians have a more streamlined workflow and, in turn, better serve their patients. For us to accomplish this, we carefully recruit IT teams and intentionally select from our portfolio of sensors and adapters to best fit the customer’s environment, with regular maintenance policies that fit their specific profile.
What forces healthcare companies to continue with their legacy systems for admin and workflow management?
While there exists a growing incentive to invest in IT and advanced technology in the healthcare industry, healthcare is still far behind other industries for many reasons. The #1 driver is cost. Healthcare organizations have dumped millions, even billions, into the adoption of legacy systems, meaning they aren’t keen to replace them without very compelling reasons. Holon’s recent survey found that 31% of healthcare workers’ biggest concern when adopting new technology at work is the time it takes to learn it. This is why we have taken the approach to complement and enhance what is in place today by overcoming these challenges with technology that is fundamentally designed with the end-user in mind.
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On a scale of 1-10, where would you rank AI-driven capabilities in succeeding with healthcare technologies?
At this point in time, I rank AI-driven capabilities a 7, and see it quickly increasing. AI already has a positive impact on healthcare tech and its potential impact undoubtedly ranks a 10. AI should not be used to replace jobs in the industry, it should be used to assist our care teams by improving workflows and increasing the value of information while leaving teams in charge. Leveraging AI to do work in the background, surfacing the most relevant and updated patient information in real time, gives physicians critical time back to focus on serving patients. This is one of the keys to solving burnout in our industry.
How do you use AI and machine learning at Holon Solutions?
The goal when using this technology should be to reemphasize the human element, making administrative work easier for care teams so they have more time for patient care. Holon uses AI in two main ways. From the very start, we have been using AI and machine learning in the background to surface personalized, role-based insights for care teams – we view this as “assistive” intelligence rather than “artificial.” Artificial intelligence becomes assistive when you can consume it within your workflow to do something better or faster, but you’re still in control. We then take the output of AI analytics from third parties and leverage it for our users – placing that new knowledge directly into their workflows where they need it.
How is AI and machine learning reducing physician burnout? Any case study findings that you would like to share with our readers?
Burnout is affecting clinicians at an unprecedented rate, and overly complex administrative tasks and using multiple “systems of record” are partly to blame. That being said, intelligent technology can be used to increase the smart flow of information between their internal and external systems of record. We eliminate the need to search for relevant information by using learned intelligence to understand what they want to know, where to find it, how to get it and then deliver it back to them in the way they find useful. This can save hours a day – for example Holon has been able to save care teams 20 minutes per case, 30 minutes of chart prep time and 4.5 minutes per referral – giving them back time to focus on patient care, leading to a better work-life balance and overall reducing the likelihood of burnout. .
Your advice to the CEO of every healthcare organization in the modern times on how to optimize their workflow management with AI platforms?
The first principle is to listen carefully and thoroughly to the care teams, they know where the pain is. We believe healthcare needs to implement a human-centric approach when capitalizing on AI-driven capabilities by thinking about what healthcare workers need, which oftentimes is broader access to information in one place. By looking at the problem through this lens, we can use these technologies to streamline workflows, create a single access point for data and ultimately relieve teams of excessive admin work, which enables the care teams to spend more time with their patients and arms them with the most accurate data to provide the best care possible.
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What’s your product roadmap for 2023-2024: What kind of technology disruptions do you expect in the landscape in the near future?
There will be two main tracks. First, in conjunction with our patented UX technologies, we will continue to leverage AI to better understand and improve user experiences. Second, we’re looking to continue and expand our collaborations with the strong pioneers already applying AI to improve clinical decision support, clinical documentation and care management.
Thank you, Jon! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
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As CEO of Holon Solutions, Mr. Zimmerman is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for Holon Solutions and its CollaborNet® platform, which improves operational efficiency, care quality and the provider experience by liberating the data. Mr. Zimmerman joins Holon after serving as president of Virence Health, which was acquired from GE by Veritas Capital in 2018 and is now part of athenahealth. While at GE he led the turnaround of the Value Based Care solutions portfolio. He initiated and drove the sale/divestiture of the division. Mr. Zimmerman’s career spans more than 35 years with a majority spent in healthcare engaging and serving providers and payers with companies such as IBM, Siemens, CareFusion, Allscripts, Availity and GE. He holds a patent on advanced Revenue Cycle Management.
Healthcare should feel human. Holon Solutions is the leading human-centric healthcare technology company that provides relief to healthcare teams. Our intelligent platform is a place where healthcare administration becomes effortless, with personalized tools that eliminate complexity. Using patented sensor technology, we deliver key information at the point of care to help save time, improve health outcomes, and increase revenue, with robust analytics that demonstrate value for enterprises.
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