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How providers used tech to survive and thrive during COVID

Insights from recent KPMG healthcare provider research


Sales transformation

By Alex Tolmasoff, Director, KPMG Sales Transformation and HCLS Lead

Have you ever wondered where and how high-performance providers are investing in technology to counter the impact of the last few years?

Recent KPMG research indicates that those healthcare providers leading the way are doing so through technology investments, focusing specifically on patient engagement.1

  • High growth providers spent nearly 3% more on technology 2021-2022 than low / no growth counterparts
  • High performance providers will spend over 40% more than other providers in 2023 on Electronic Health Record (EHR) upgrades and patient portals / scheduling software

The COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented effect on patients and healthcare providers; to understand the impact and aftereffects on healthcare organizations and how the front office (particularly the sales organization) must retool itself for this “new normal”, KPMG surveyed nearly 100 providers, including surgeons, primary care physicians, and hospital C-suite leaders in mid-2022. The survey set out to gauge provider perspectives in three key areas:

In a series of blogs exploring the survey findings, I continue here by concentrating on:

  • How technology investment, and a strategic two-stage approach is separating high performance providers from laggards
  • The importance of telehealth and training

Strategic technology investment

It is clear from our survey that a focus on technology investment separated high growth providers from the rest.

% of overall budget devoted to Tech Response to Covid-19

% of overall budget devoted to Tech Response to Covid-19

Leaders invested more on tech at the start of COVID and sustained their investment; they invested first in EHR, patient portals, and customer service expansion, then doubled down on telehealth and patient engagement – this two-stage approach appears to be an impactful strategy that delivers result.

Investments Made - 2020

Investments Made - 2020

Investments Made - 2021

Investments Made - 2021

Our research indicates that leaders will invest mostly in EHR (55%) and patient portals (41%) relative to lagging organizations, while lagging organizations are playing catch-up with telehealth (50%) and patient engagement software (50%).

The importance of telehealth and training

Further strategies implemented by leading providers post-COVID include an increased (2x) use of telehealth, while they anticipate lower average investment (20%) than lagging organizations. This investment strategy, coupled with a focus on training is paying dividends; organizations that ensure patients and providers are well-trained are seeing more than 40% the benefit and adoption of telehealth platforms.

Rate your satisfaction with telehealth platforms (Rated on a 1-5 scale where 1 is "not at all satisfied" and 5 is "very satisfied")

Rate your satisfaction with telehealth platforms (Rated on a 1-5 scale where 1 is "not at all satisfied" and 5 is "very satisfied")

Rate the desire of _ at your site to interact via telehealth platforms (Rated on a 1-5 scale where 1 is "no desire" and 5 is "significant desire")

Rate the desire of _ at your site to interact via telehealth platforms (Rated on a 1-5 scale where 1 is "no desire" and 5 is "significant desire")


A strategic focus on patient-centric technology investment and training can provide a route to recovery for providers. Understanding how both leading and lagging organizations have been impacted will be critical to developing the right front-office strategies for effective sales, marketing, and service model changes.

For sales leaders in particular, you should consider the following to help mitigate the impacts of recent years:

  • Identify the technology journey stage - Map provider customers’ technology platform / capabilities against a framework that will help to maximize technology ROI. Train your sales team to help your customers identify where they are in their journey and how they’re faring against leading practices. Use marketing to share the sequence of investments that help deliver and sustain growth. Show customers how you fit into that journey and how you will help them navigate it.
  • Understand the connected front office elements - Use our “Connected Enterprise” framework to identify marketing, alliance, employee experience, and supply chain gaps that could hinder digital investment ROI, and assess your own organization for the same gaps. Work with product strategy and development to identify product features and IT elements that can help fill any gaps and issues for customers.
  • Assist telehealth adoption - Create training and change adoption support programs to help customers accelerate adoption of telehealth. Ensure marketing and service teams understand how to promote these offerings (and are incentivized to do so). Embed other software solutions you sell with telehealth offerings in a way that supports adoption and deeper customer / patient relationships.

See the next blog in our series on how vendor relationships will shift to accommodate new ways of working.

KPMG can help you improve the ROI on your sales investments - helping you manage winning sales strategies, processes, and talent with connected insights.

Contact us

  1. Source: KPMG Pulse Survey, Summer 2022

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Meet our team

Image of Walt Becker
Walt Becker
Principal, Customer Advisory, Sales Transformation Lead, KPMG US
Image of Alex Tolmasoff
Alex Tolmasoff
Director, Customer Advisory, Sales Transformation, KPMG US

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