Skip to main content

Banner Health's New CEO Is Bringing a Technology-Forward Approach

Analysis  |  By Jay Asser  
   May 20, 2024

Amy Perry shares with HealthLeaders her plan to guide the health system into the future.

As Banner Health enters a new era under new leadership, incoming CEO Amy Perry is shifting the focus onto technology to drive the health system forward.

The Phoenix-based nonprofit operator is saying goodbye to longtime CEO Peter Fine, who is retiring after 24 years at the helm, and welcoming current president Perry into the role beginning June 30.

The changing of the guard represents Banner charting its course for the foreseeable future, with an emphasis on modern, innovative solutions that have become almost a necessity for health systems in a post-COVID world.

“When Peter came to Banner, he established a 20-year strategic plan and that got us all the way up to the precipice of COVID and then we've been calling the last three-ish years ‘survive it’ because it's been such a difficult time,” Perry told HealthLeaders. “But now coming out of that and seeing the momentum that Banner has is really the start of our new 10-year plan, 10-year vision for the future.”

At the heart of that vision is investment in technology to make care easier to access for patients and easier to deliver for physician and nurses. Perry highlighted that last fall, Banner put together a “very aggressive” five-year plan to make a billion-dollar commitment to technology to build its automation and data for accelerating usage of AI and large language models. Further investment will also go towards the digital consumer experience.

“That technology, changing our reimbursement, even leaning further into our payvider status, being able to ensure more members, and just serve our community in a new and innovative way is really where we're going in the future,” Perry said.

Specifically, Banner is prioritizing data. The soon-to-be CEO noted that before you can use data in different ways, it must be curated in a manner that can be utilized in the most streamlined and accurate fashion. Without clean, highly reliable data, you’re susceptible to human error in its collection and management.

“That is the fundamental, important stuff of putting together any technology plan,” Perry said. “It allows us to create more customization in our digital consumer experience. It allows us to do more predictive analytics.”

Ultimately though, Banner wants to use technology to make delivering care easier, which is why it is rolling out an AI tool to all 33 of its hospitals that is designed to take some of the burden off clinicians.

The technology, developed by Regard, will summarize clinical notes, allowing doctors to spend more time with their patients and less time completing administrative tasks.

Banner recognizes the importance of using technology to supplement the workforce and drive labor costs down. In 2023, the system experienced an 8% increase in expenses, including salaries, benefits, and contract labor rising 6% year-over-year to $6 billion.

“It's critical that we change our processes and we add the technology that can facilitate a different kind of work stream,” Perry said. “We talk a lot at Banner about the fact that we just can't ask people to do more with the same number of people without changing the process. It's absolutely impossible. It's not sustainable. So the only sustainable change is to look at each one of our work streams and say how do we blow this up? How do we start over? How do we do it differently?”

These are questions health systems across the country are asking themselves, but the ones attempting to answer them won’t be caught flat-footed during healthcare’s digital transformation.

Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders. 


When current Banner Health president Amy Perry replaces longtime CEO Peter Fine next month, she’ll bring a digitally-focused direction to the role.

Perry wants to make delivering care easier for clinicians by utilizing technology to prevent burnout and workforce turnover.

Banner will work to improve the accuracy and reliability of its data, allowing it to improve predictive analytics and its digital consumer experience.

Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.