The American healthcare industry continues to be low in its degree of digitization relative to other service industries, but there is no shortage of innovative and emergent technologies that enable real-time disease management, patient health management, well-being and experience management, and other patient-centric service innovations. Yet, barriers to adoption are high. These include variability in technology standards, data privacy concerns, and misaligned reimbursement incentives.
In this first episode of our Lumina Leadership Insights series, we explore the paradox and potential of leveraging digital innovation on the journey to value-based care. Digital innovation can positively impact healthcare outcomes, lower cost, and increase access to care. We also discuss using agile methodology to create and foster a culture of innovation. Finally, we highlight the importance of a comprehensive change-management framework that supports innovation.
Digital Innovation in Healthcare
Digital innovation is about leveraging innovative patient-centered solutions (mobile technology, cloud-based solutions, apps, device integration, etc.) to revolutionize the way communication and information exchange is facilitated between the patient, the consumer of healthcare services, and the cross-functional (across heterogeneous care settings) health care team.
Leveraging Digital Innovation in Value-Based Care Strategy
Here are some ways to leverage digital innovation on the journey to value-based care:
Enable relationships. Effective information exchange is a key component of a value-based care program structure. Digital innovation that includes apps and mobile technology offers new ways to reach, engage, educate, and empower providers and recipients of care.
Gather and harness data outside of traditional healthcare settings. In service to improved outcomes and lower cost, additional data that can be tapped into will exponentially enhance the ability to use predictive analytics to achieve value-based care goals.
Create patient and provider affinity. Ease of use, real-time access, and the improved ability to communicate data points increases consumer affinity and positions your healthcare organization favorably in the competitive market landscape.
Future-proof innovative care delivery concepts. Protect against evolving business priorities, the market landscape, industry trends, and emergent technologies.
Best Practice Recommendations to Leverage Digital Innovation
Digital innovation is forward facing, and at times, it can be argued that it does not fit well within the mold of traditional healthcare technology management. Below are a few best practice recommendations for using an agile approach to implementing digital innovation pilots in value-based care.
Begin with the end in mind. Identify key problem statements that you want to solve for. Identify success and value measures that would create an objective indication of progress (or lack thereof).
Start small. Identify a small cohort to launch a proof of concept with. This will offer a controlled environment for development, testing, and iteration for scalability.
Institute rapid development sprints. Agile methodology allows the team to learn from and leverage iterative sprints, incorporating what works and pivoting on what did not quite hit the mark. This allows for organizational and cross-functional teams to realize shared learning through the evolution cycle.
Monitor and measure impact and value. A sound framework of operational use cases and key performance indicators (what the future should look like, what we want to achieve, how do we know we had an impact) will offer a tangible and objective view. It will also highlight where innovation plans need to evolve to meet business needs.
Deliver value frequently to engage stakeholders. Working in short, iterative sprint cycles allows for delivery of frequent and incremental value to project stakeholders. This allows for sustained evolution of operational workflows to hardwire decision making.
Manage risk. Use an agile framework coupled with daily updates, communication cycles, and collaborative feedback to rapidly respond to risks and issues as they arise. This allows for control management of risk.
Maintain transparency and support via governance. To be successful, digital innovation projects must be led by a cross-functional operational team that IT is part of (and not led by IT). Structured and regular updates ensure stakeholders are constantly engaged and are providing active input about risk management and to celebrate successes as they are achieved.
Use technology as an enabler. Ensure that digital innovation is service line and organization driven. An integrated and cross-functional operational governance model will be the key to success, as well as realizing value and scaling it.
Principal Shaillee Chopra specializes in developing and managing innovative technology portfolios for health systems, accountable care organizations, and clinically integrated healthcare collaboratives.