Envision an organization that is a recognized leader in digital, broadly defined. It has mobile, web, and a social presence that is second to none. The organization has been conducting virtual consults for seven years. It was a pioneer in tele-dermatology. Its revenue cycle management team is so effective that it sells it as a service to other providers. Its managed services organization (MSO) significantly outperforms that of its competitors.
The hitch is that the innovation DNA of clinical innovators, marketing innovators, and business process innovators can be very different. Each looks at the many pieces of the patient experience, value, and outcome puzzle differently. The result is an environment where individual teams’ excellence – untapped or unshared – can result in cultural complacency. It is critical to cross-pollinate thinking across teams, even (or especially) when everyone believes they are at the top of their game.
For example, a marketing automation team might adopt a unique self- service approach using chatbots to enable faster validation of eligibility for government reimbursement options. In the process, they routinely capture social determinant data that might be valuable for a clinical team developing an early intervention program for mental health monitoring.
There is no forum for the overlap to emerge other than coincidence. Both teams are high-performing, utilizing the right technology, and getting results. The potential for cross-reference, for 1+1=7, is missed simply because the assumption is that both teams would naturally have considered collaboration with one another. How do you ensure that your chief digital officer sees these intersections?
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Centers of clinical, operational, and digital excellence too often exist wholly independent of one another.
Course of Therapy
Healthcare organizations need to create and incentivize digital health-specific collaboration models that allow teams to benefit from their respective areas of expertise.
This can also be a powerful way of addressing institutional fatigue when it comes to change. Institutional fatigue is often the product of compounded individual fatigue – frustrations at perceived lack of flexibility while also being asked to adopt new technologies. Providing an avenue for collaborative experimentation can alleviate this fatigue.
Embracing the Challenges
It is clear that if healthcare organizations truly want to enhance consumer engagement and provide a holistic experience, several factors need to be top of mind. Payers and providers navigating this realm will need to look beyond just the technology and consider all the pieces that need to come together.
Organizations need to design inclusive and transparent forums for digital health innovation, and to clearly communicate prioritization criteria. Governance structures need to be designed with some flexibility in order to coordinate cross-organizational digital health initiatives. Centers of clinical, operational, and digital excellence need to focus on experimentation through digital health-specific collaboration models.
Embracing these challenges will help drive positive organizational change, innovation, and insight, leading to a truly meaningful consumer experience.
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