Create a springboard not a sink hole – Global Digital Exemplars (GDE) & Optimisation

For those of us who work in healthcare IT the propulsion to constantly innovate is always there. It is in every strategy discussion, every business case, every conversation about IT enabled efficiency savings. Having worked with a few of the GDE sites now what we notice is that those that are taking time to optimise their current systems and processes before implementing ‘innovations’ are creating change springboards rather than change sink holes.

These IT teams have realised that understanding and addressing how they currently work and stabilising and building on these foundations has created a natural energy and pathway towards the next level of digital maturity needed. Those that haven’t are just throwing energy into that change sink hole, taking longer to deliver and spending more money doing so.

The teams we have worked with have started with a core area of focus, for example, the emergency department, and used a review of their practices as a mirror to fully understand key areas such as IT’s relationship with the business, clinical and digital leadership system delivery and support, user experience and patient impact.

Through these optimisation projects the teams are building real, positive relationships with the business, creating the one-on-one relationships needed to support future change projects and maturing, in general, in a way that provides the stable foundations needed to truly deliver innovative IT in the future.

It takes a strong team to sit, observe and improve its current approach before running towards the next exciting innovation project that will get boards excited. A strong team will reflect and will have the courage to acknowledge that improvements can be made to optimise the current before adding the new.

Innovation is about implementing new ideas or inventions and these ideas should only be implemented when the value of the innovation is understood. This value can only be understood when the baseline is accurate and the foundations are strong.

Before moving onto innovation it is therefore useful to truly consider; What are my foundations like? How will the innovation interplay with existing technology? What is the value of the innovation?  Who gains? Are there any losers? Will the way the innovation is being implemented achieve the desired value add? Have we learned from our previous projects? Are my baselines fully optimised? With IT, the innovation potential can be very exciting but unless the innovation is being added to something that has already been well implemented and used to its maximum effect you are going to end up with another new bit of IT that has fallen into the change sink hole.

If you need impartial advice or guidance on your IT Healthcare strategy, call me on 01483 453508 or email me: jilldebene@idealts.co.uk

Jill De Bene, Development Director

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About Jill:

Jill De Bene, Ideal’s Development Director, is an experienced and effective Transformation Consultant who has worked extensively within the NHS and Healthcare industry delivering sustainable and effective change. Jill has worked in the NHS, in healthcare consultancy practices, in Africa and for a global IT company. In these organisations she has lead on programme management, IT and transformation delivery, service redesign and commissioning. Jill is a specialist in achieving large scale sustainable change.

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