Assessing Your Healthcare Initiative Readiness
Once becomes one of your organization’s strategic initiatives, you’re ready to begin innovating. We’ve learned that unsuccessful healthcare initiatives generally revolve around a lack of strategic prioritization, focus, and discipline. The following seven guidelines will help you further plan—and assess—your organization’s readiness for disruptive healthcare initiatives:
- Commit to a strategic process, not a project.The magnitude of change required for successful transformation initiatives is substantial and ongoing. An organization must accept the fact that the pace of change requires more than an incremental response for success. Transforming healthcare requires an investment in people, process, and technology. Determining when and how your organization will make these investments is a crucial first step.
- Declare and support a senior executive champion. Delegating the responsibilities of a healthcare initiative downward in the organization can position it for failure. An organization must maintain the proper strategic focus on its transforming initiatives because it will most likely redirect the time and resources of the entire organization. It’s our recommendation that the senior executive champion reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and has regular input to governance.
- Openly debate the critical decisions and make them. Major healthcare initiatives require clear, definitive, and accountable decision-making capability. Despite the best planning efforts, errors will occur in budget allocations, people selection, technology integration, vendor capabilities, and a host of other areas.
- You’ll want to ensure adequate resource allocation for budget, people, and time.Too frequently in an effort to contain costs, the budget for healthcare initiatives does not support the magnitude of the change. In our experience, budgets related to the more technical aspects of the effort are scrutinized in some detail while the “softer”—yet equally critical investments related to support personnel and implementation resources receive insufficient focus.
- Embrace process redesign. An ongoing, standardized approach to performance improvement is an important foundation in support of transformation. Adopting an approach for your healthcare initiative (i.e., LEAN, Six Sigma, etc.) will provide your organization with a standardized framework to improve cross-functional focus, communications, and decision-making as it proceeds with redesigning the approach to care delivery.
- Define your metrics.Because of the perceived “complexity” metrics are often neglected. Defining your metrics, monitoring the results and understanding that the metrics may change over time is a core approach for effective leaders.