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Leading dual transformation in health care

Taking a look at car manufacturers today, people may not realize these companies have a certain amount of money set aside for when the market changes and interest in vehicle design and style has shifted. Yes, as of now, car sales remain strong and the industry, in general, continues to improve upon the automobiles they provide.

However, at the same time, they are also preparing for the day when customers might be interested in something completely different such as autonomous or shared vehicles or other mobility services. In essence, they are a car manufacturer with a strong focus on predicting the changing needs of its customer base.

They, along with many other industries, are applying the strategic framework called “Dual Transformation,” where companies transform their existing business models to adapt to change while simultaneously creating new models that will lead to innovative growth areas.

It is a necessary strategy as health care organizations stand to be disrupted by a variety of factors, including legislative reform; the introduction of new technologies for clinical use; Amazon entering the health care market; and communities being empowered to shop for value and convenience.

Adopting a Dual Transformation framework will help health care organizations take charge of their destinies by optimizing care, adding value for patients and communities and preparing to function in an entirely new world.

The future of health care

health care data analyst in a telehealth centerSo, what might this dual transformation look like? In an article by the Wall Street Journal titled, “What the Hospitals of the Future will Look Like,” experts in the industry believe health care systems will tighten the services they provide in traditional inpatient facilities.

Hospitals will likely transition into more specialized places of care. These hospitals of the future will look like massive intensive care units with highly advanced surgical care and a focus on the most complex patients.

Meanwhile, the need to engage patients and keep individuals healthy is leading to the advent of digitally-enabled health hubs—or centers where clinicians can virtually care for patients. These health hubs will expand on the telehealth capabilities health care systems already have in providing access to care.

Investing in digitally-enabled health hubs will further allow the industry to not only provide wellness and primary care services; they could also help deliver hospital level care to individuals from the comfort of their own homes.

Embracing change

Along with new models of care comes the need for leaders who are unafraid of change and possess a number of skills that are necessary to bring about meaningful transformation.

Our leaders of tomorrow are able to throw away their belief biases, understand the disruptions plaguing the industry and hone their creative capabilities.

Our leaders of tomorrow are able to throw away their belief biases, understand the disruptions plaguing the industry and hone their creative capabilities. Click To Tweet

Creating digital care models

Just as individuals go online for everything from banking to buying everyday items, they want the capability to handle their health care needs digitally as well. Health care leaders of the future understand this mindset and are creating new care models that will leverage digital competencies to meet patients where they are.

Some of these competencies include building critical thinking skills, being comfortable coaching patients how to use virtual care technology and combining their clinical knowledge with all of the intricacies of telehealth.

Much of this work is already taking place with more health care systems adopting telehealth to care for patients no matter where they are located. Leading organizations are also introducing new digital tools and services to monitor patients, help bridge the gap in behavioral health services and engage individuals in their own health.

Use of big data

Taking work in digital health care further, leaders will not be required to be data scientists—but they should understand how to apply health care information to solve problems, work with new team members, such as data scientists and engineers in clinical settings and improve the health of individuals and the communities they serve. Innovative organizations have or are building the capabilities to integrate internal and external data from a variety of sources to reveal insights about patients and their systems as a whole.

Innovative organizations have or are building the capabilities to integrate internal and external data from a variety of sources to reveal insights about patients and their systems as a whole. Click To Tweet

These insights are valuable for health care organizations to not only better understand their patients’ needs, improve outcomes and support them towards healthier lives—but to predict the future, such as identifying patients most at risk for readmissions through advanced analytics. Data is also important to help leaders make the right decisions to improve operations and decrease costs.

Mass customization or personalization

Health care systems will also responsibly use secure data about patients in compliance with HIPPA regulations to gain insights and offer customized care for patients. This is based on shared characteristics of the broader population, demographics, socioeconomic status as well as individual criteria such as genetic markers. This offering will become even more important as individuals seek personalized experiences in health care.

However, before customized care can become a reality, health care leaders first have to standardize how care is delivered across their organizations, according to an article from Health Catalyst called, “Standardized Care vs. Personalization: Can They Coexist?

In the piece written by Dr. Ed Corbett, he argues that standardization is key to have consistent outcomes, reduce waste, improve patient safety and lower costs. This makes it easier to collect and use accurate outcomes data to personalize care for individuals.

Innovation competencies

Being a leader in innovation isn’t easy and requires certain abilities that some in health care may not be used to. Using the Dual Transformation framework, health care systems have to get better at solving core business challenges, exceed expectations for quality and safety standards and make more happen with less.

However, they also have to be agile and understand there isn’t enough time to come up with the perfect plan before making necessary changes. Organizations have to think more like startups with the ability to fail, iterate, optimize and eventually succeed.

In the same vein, leaders have to be willing to work with companies that are coming up with new solutions that could improve outcomes, enhance health and tackle disease. While there is the potential for a startup to fail, health care organizations can mentor these companies and ultimately tailor their ideas to meet patient or organizational needs. Beyond that, partnering with startups encourages health care systems to look outside the walls of their organizations for new opportunities.

Using the Dual Transformation framework, health care systems have to get better at solving core business challenges, exceed expectations for quality and safety standards and make more happen with less. Click To Tweet

Lastly, future leaders in health care have to build structure around their innovation programs. This means nailing down a strategy; choosing whether the program should live within or run alongside an organization; building the culture for change; deciding whether to partner with external entities; and figuring out how to measure success.

There are a number of things to consider, but at the same time, leaders have to be flexible with expectations and realize that not all ideas will be successful. They also have to learn how to lead all of this change in a way that builds excitement and buy-in from everyone who will be involved.

There tends to be a misperception that innovation happens on a whim—with individuals having fun trying new things until a solution comes out of thin air, but in reality it takes structure, process and a huge amount of discipline and focus to get results.

Change is necessary

Change is difficult in health care. It will take innovative leaders to push their health care systems to embrace the transformation taking place while also improving the services they already provide. This will be critical for organizations if they want to remain resilient, grow and stay ahead of the disruptions that will continue happening in the industry.

Ultimately, the changes in store for health care will lead to a focus on keeping individuals healthy; a reduction in costs; and the ability to provide affordable and better care where, how and when people need it.

About Author: Michelle Conger

Michelle Conger is the chief strategy officer for OSF HealthCare and chief executive officer for OSF Saint Gabriel Digital Health.

Since 2010, in her role as chief strategy officer, Michelle has had responsibility for partnering with the CEO, board of directors and executive leadership at OSF HealthCare in the ongoing generation and execution of system strategy. She also assists the organization in ensuring the alignment of key strategic initiatives and business development plans.

Michelle led the creation of OSF Innovation, a division dedicated to health technology incubation, usability and simulation strategies, and venture capital investment strategies.

As CEO of OSF Saint Gabriel Digital Health, she is leading the organization in the development of a versatile digital platform that will use existing and emerging digital technologies to transform health care delivery to meet the challenges and expectations of the modern health care user.

Michelle has led many transformation initiatives across the system including the implementation of Epic, organizational design transformation, population health strategy development, and the creation of a system wide program management office.

Michelle’s past roles have included senior vice president, Performance Improvement Division (2008-2010), and executive director of planning for the Information Technology division (2006 – 2008). Her professional accomplishments also include achieving a 6 Sigma Black Belt (2002) and 6 Sigma Master Black Belt (2003). Michelle has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois.

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Categories: Industry Perspectives