With the ever-evolving business landscape, the need for organizations to be innovative has never been greater. The digital disruption and the impact of technology present new challenges that health organizations need to adapt to or risk being left behind. A typical example is the Covid-19 pandemic – when the health sector had to speed up its adoption of telemedicine to provide services continually.
Innovation helps companies retain their competitive edge and grow through volatile and uncertain times. As there are plenty of problems in the world that need attention, innovative organizations are in the best position themselves to solve these problems and create value. Customer preferences are constantly changing, and organizations that can predict these changes will stand out from the crowd.
The healthcare system is evolving from an integral care approach to value-based reimbursement. The advancement of digital technologies has opened up more possibilities to patients seeking forward-thinking healthcare approaches.
Data analytics, for instance, automates administrative processes, eliminates unnecessary doctor visits, and ensures early disease detection. These innovations in healthcare will entrench a problem-solving culture and increase stakeholder ROI.
Four Tips to Empower Health Practitioners to Be More Innovative
Some healthcare providers barely innovate because teams work independently and have become comfortable with the status quo. Here are four tips that would empower health practitioners to be more innovative.
1. Foster a Culture of Innovation
Healthcare providers must encourage their personnel to pursue improvements in service quality deliberately. Healthcare workers need to adopt more forward-thinking and outside-the-box approaches to solving challenges. Innovation is the outcome of so many failed ventures. Management teams must be open-minded enough to allow staff to try and fail new things.
One way healthcare organizations can foster a culture of innovation is by encouraging and celebrating new ideas. New ideas are born out of intrinsic motivation—work born out of deep meaning that contributes to a greater good. The more the management team rewards intrinsic motivation, the more likely the team will get more innovative.
Management and executives need to learn to avoid micromanaging staff. When you assign a task, trust the ability of the employee to deliver. When they do not, make corrections rather than complete the task yourself and allow the employee to have another go. When employees know they have autonomy over specific tasks, it allows them to explore and brainstorm effective ways to deliver on them.
2. Create a Governance Structure
For innovation to be sustainable, it must be useful and, in this sense, have clinical value. Creating a governance structure will help align goals and resources to innovative ideas. Organizations must tailor innovations with initiatives to meet specific areas of need. The leadership structure will help test if the initiative meets the clinical values of the organization.
It is not enough for the innovation to meet specific needs but must be scalable across different programs. This leadership team must develop a framework for how an innovative enterprise would work. The team would also determine key metrics to determine success. Employees who see a leadership structure that implements innovative ideas would be more willing to propose new ideas.
3. Use Small Pilots to Innovate
New ideas are exciting, but innovation isn’t self-sufficient. Before launching your new idea, running a pilot phase in a limited environment is important to see how it does. If it does well, you can then scale up, assured your idea is tested and trusted.
Running a pilot project first helps control the risk and minimize costs. If the idea isn’t scalable, there won’t be much loss, and you can quickly move to the next idea. An iterative model helps you expand steadily and optimize results over time.
One such area where implementing solutions can be a gradual process to minimize cost is the adoption of an EHR. But first, what is EHR? An electronic health record is a digital version of a patient’s medical history, diagnosis, and treatment plans available in real-time. Privacy and data concerns are challenges that might warrant a gradual implementation until cybersecurity measures are in place.
4. Encourage Collaboration
Innovation requires ideation, collaboration, implementation, and value-creation. For all these phases to work, healthcare organizations must have mastered strategic collaboration. Collaboration involves employees thinking together on different complex projects to achieve a goal. Collaboration improves problem-solving, and employee productivity increases.
Collaboration goes beyond innovation alone. Collaboration improves team synergy and eliminates work silos. One way to improve collaboration is democratizing knowledge. The goal is to build a social network that empowers health practitioners to fulfill their potential.
In large organizations, it can be difficult for different healthcare units to collaborate effectively. One way to mitigate this is by leveraging an integrative communications platform. This way, all members can communicate and receive information in real-time.
Having a Growth Mindset
The key to innovation is having a growth mindset. Most leaders approach innovative ideas from staff with a skeptical mind. The fact that something failed before doesn’t mean with intelligent adjustments; they won’t work now. It is important to encourage your staff to present ideas and explain how it fits into the overall goal.