8 Digital Health Resolutions for Providers in 2018
New Year’s Resolutions can be challenging, often as short lived as the snow in Florida and less compelling than, well, last year’s resolutions. But getting serious about digital health in 2018 can lay the groundwork to pay serious dividends in the future.
Regardless of where you’re at in your digital health journey, here are a few Digital Health Resolutions for Providers that are worth a long term commitment:
1. Take part in the $10B private investment in digital health in 2017
It’s time to get (more) engaged with new companies and new thinking. Launch or expand a venture fund, or start by getting familiar with where the money’s going through newsletters like CBinsights or coverage of this month’s JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. To get informed more regularly, you might also add a podcast to you routine such as Innovation Rising from Healthbox or the Rock Health Podcast.
2. Pick a strategy and drive it with a new digital health solution
Digital health solutions are meant to support and advance organizational strategies. Patients and providers alike love elegant, simple solutions that align with the ways they live and work. Start with a key strategy and assemble the right team to design the process and procure the correct technology. Get a win that will allow you to pursue the next one. And don’t be afraid to focus narrowly to get it right — successful implementation of a killer app for one patient type can go a long way in building the credibility of digital health as an enabler of strategy.
3. Set the table for AI, VR, and blockchain
These technologies already have had significant impact under the hood of many of the products you use today. There is still a lot of hype, so invest the time to go beyond the buzzwords (consider my colleague’s perspectives here and here). These technologies are not ubiquitous just yet, but they will be, and perhaps sooner than you think. Any or all of these could revolutionize the clinician experience with dramatic new EHRs and other systems, new ways of training clinicians or helping patients avoid pain meds, or ways to eliminate the cyber-security threats that exist today. Competition and market demand will require providers to use these and other technologies, so it’s time to get (more) educated. Consider the HIMSS 2018 conference, particularly Innovation Live, as a great starting point.
4. Fail fast
The founder of IBM said, “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” This is hard for healthcare providers but it’s necessary. Find a problem you can fall in love with and develop a solution you can build and pilot for 3-12 months, with clear metrics for success or failure. Make sure your colleagues can hold each other accountable to the timeline and the metrics, and consider fast failure a preferred outcome to slow, so-so results. It’s only truly failure if you don’t learn anything from the experience.
5. Head off the disruptors
There may or may not be new players in your market, but think of how you might leapfrog their strategies to change the game. How can you scale your strengths through partnership, new programs, or other innovative approaches? Stated differently, attack your weaknesses (or future weaknesses) before someone else does.
6. Engage and develop all of your employees (not just your clinicians)
Everyone wants to do their best work but few organizations have the resources. Consider seriously whether you’re engaging your brightest stars to support and grow their best ideas to impact care delivery. Intermountain Healthcare and Orlando Health are just two examples of organizations that make it a priority to develop ideas coming from their employees to advance innovative change.
7. Identify and address internal bottlenecks for innovation
Every organization has them, from unclear or misaligned intellectual property policies to uncoordinated, inefficient ways that capital dollars get allocated. If your processes don’t align with and support your employees’ ability to innovate, you can’t expect new solutions to be shared or developed. It’s critical to nurture an atmosphere at your organization where employees feel supported and empowered to let their creativity flow.
8. Embrace the mashup
Mashups are partnerships, and nobody partners more than healthcare providers! From the competitor who wants to collaborate to the cool startup that needs a pilot site, the opportunities are everywhere. Take a calculated risk and do it.
These 2018 resolutions are meant to be a guide for your consideration. Focusing on even one or two this year can set the stage for a stronger innovation and digital health strategy down the road. If we at Healthbox can support your efforts, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.