Strategic Planning- Healthcare IT Infrastructure
As the Healthcare Information Technology industry continues to quickly change, it has become important for CIOs and healthcare leaders to understand the financial side of upgrading and investing in new technologies, tools and solutions. They also need to have solid understanding of how best these solutions will help drive organizational business goals and outcomes with minimal risk, primarily around the improvement of patient care and increased revenue.
Business strategic planning and IT strategic planning need to evolve to develop a collaborative and functional strategy to deliver a clear path and direction. Healthcare IT must align with and consider key business goals and initiatives, then develop an all-inclusive strategy to provide flexible solutions that support those goals and initiatives. As healthcare organizations face the challenge of keeping up with and investing in the latest technology and tools, it’s important that all disciplines be included in strategy sessions and provide input in developing planning documentation.
Bringing qualified subject matter experts to the table will gain buy-in, improve performance, increase productivity and ultimately influence the culture. The plan should allow room for rapid growth and transformation occurring in the industry yet remain focused on value-based care. CIOs and key stakeholders need to drive the direction by being actively involved in developing IT planning, documentation and deliverables to support key financial investment decisions.
New Planning Strategies and Approach
We may have the best methodologies, planning processes and procedures in place, but we need to be willing to embrace and develop new approaches of planning that will help transform the healthcare culture. Healthcare CIOs must be willing to change their thinking when it comes to developing organizational business goals and initiatives. The CIOs will need to collaborate with IT departments and other stakeholders to develop thorough and effective planning methods that will support and expedite outcomes. This means adjusting the way we think and interact, eliminating silos, ensuring the roadmap leads us to maximize results by revisiting the plan often, monitoring and measuring progress and preparing us for anticipated growth. By following a more streamlined strategic approach and focusing on agility, teams can easily adapt to any industry disruptors and be prepared to adjust to changing technology solutions. Whether the goal is to improve data workflow and the patients experience, implement and deploy analytics or interoperability, it is important to stay integrated through the entire strategic planning process.
Building and retaining the right team to accomplish the goals set forth by leadership is important and should be included as part of the overall strategy. Assessing the inhouse skills, redundancies, succession planning and restructuring are all key planning components. Determining training needs, development and implementation of training programs will promote employee retention. Developing policies to help reach the strategic plans goals, implementing strong risk management and mitigation plans, and establishing timelines with key milestones will help manage the plan. Finally, developing effective communication strategies will encourage healthy relationships, promote innovation, enhance productivity and contribute to growth. All these things bring value in understanding and realizing the strategic components.
Engaging the right stakeholders initiates a strategy to improve organizational outcomes. Good governance will help identify and organize high-level opportunities for outcome improvement, implement an improvement methodology to organize teams, assign accountability and empower individuals. By recruiting the right mix of people as part of the leadership team, including a variety of multidisciplinary stakeholders, this will ensure everyone has a voice. Establishing an effective governance model provides a solid foundation to successfully drive the project, improve efficiency, provide sustainability and less corruption. All of this means lower costs, improved quality and satisfied stakeholders.
It’s important that once you spend the resource hours developing the strategic plan and communicating and the overall goals, you then measure progress and understand the components that drive performance. A strategy management system contains an aligned set of objectives, measures, targets and initiatives that describe the strategy. By developing measures of success and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help measure organizational or departmental performance, you can focus on and adjust relevant information, driving your plan to success.
Nina De Los Santos, PMP
VP Operation Delivery