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by Russell Mayne
Published on August 9, 2017

"Where do we start" is a common thought when looking as some issues in complex healthcare organizations. An easy initiative, for example reducing patient falls, often stumbles when technology, stakeholders, clinicians, and organizational politics meet. Surely, we all want the same thing? So why is it so difficult, and take such a long time?

The good news is that large-scale organizational change is not a new challenge, and tools and strategies to work through this change are well described. The problem is that healthcare initiatives in complex organizations are not recognized as large-scale organizational change. The result is failure.

We need to take change seriously and deploy the right methodology. This takes time, planning, and collaboration. A quick fix or pilot project will not move the needle.

At Cerner, we often speak about PEOPLE, PROCESS, and TECHNOLOGY. These three factors need to be considered. No change will stick without these three factors being aligned. The biggest challenge is not the technology, but finding a path to support clients with people and processes. Value cannot be done "to" an organization. While serious about measuring, and delivering value, we need to take a lead from our partners who are at the front line delivering healthcare.

The first step to untangle value in complex healthcare ecosystems is to consider the words of a 1990's American poet, Vanilla Ice. Stop collaborate and listen. We need to align 100% behind our client’s aspirations. Large scale organizational change can only be achieved by the organization itself. Value means different things to different players in a health ecosystem. Identification of these different drivers for change is vital for progress to be made.

In summary:

  • All change that delivers value is a large-scale organizational change
  • Healthcare technology companies need to align behind client initiatives to improve patient care and deliver value