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Leading digital transformation in a large healthcare organisation – 5 points to consider!

Digital Transformation

It takes courage to succeed with digitalisation in large healthcare organisations. Decision-makers should dare to make the big decisions and stand up for them, even when the road gets rocky. There are several aspects to consider and challenges to address. In this blog post, we go over the most important ones.

Challenges that top-level managers should consider with broad implementation

1. Formulate a common vision and set goals at different levels

To succeed with digital transformation in a large healthcare organisation, it is critical that you have a well-articulated vision and common goals. It’s also important to visualise, follow up and reward different milestones of your change process. Neglecting to create a vision and strategy for digital transformation is a common mistake; following up on goals and daily initiatives is often overlooked. Ensure that resources are available, as the transition will require both time and financial resources.

2. Existing structures should be remodelled

As a leader, it probably pleases you to see that your organisation takes ownership in change management and that the employees drive the transformation. No manager wants to get into detail. Nevertheless, in order to succeed with digital transformation, previous structures should be fundamentally changed, and it will affect the entire organisation. It is otherwise impossible to place the responsibility for change management work further down the organisation.

An example could be a healthcare organisation that has opened a new virtual clinic, which can suddenly be perceived as competition to the reception. If all units haven’t agreed from the beginning on how they should work together, such conflicts of interest would not be beneficial to anyone. Making sure that such conflicts are avoided is indeed a matter of clear communication and top-level leadership.

3. It’s easy to get into too many things at once

When major changes are underway, keep a cool head. There is a risk that you end up with too many balls in the air instead of focusing on one or several key initiatives. It is critical to dare to prioritise and decide to invest in a certain thing – and to do it the right way! Once the highest priorities and objectives are defined, the next step is to give sufficient mandate to appointed employees who will drive change management in the organisation.

4. The existing organisation needs to be redrawn

A common mistake made often in major organisational changes is neglecting to define what the expected end goal of the change is. The risk is that you redraw the map of existing structures instead of evaluating new opportunities. In healthcare, it’s all about analysing what opportunities exist for the business, the staff, and the patients. It is after that evaluation that you should sit at the drawing board and decide how the organisation should be structured. It can be valuable here to get inspiration from other healthcare providers that have gone through similar change management processes.

5. Challenges in the middle layer

Top management and the team members being excited and interested in implementing the change is not enough; It’s also critical to get a buy-in from the middle managers, who may sometimes feel threatened or uncomfortable, because they don’t feel that they have the right conditions to succeed. In this case, strong leadership and clear goals are essential to avoid prolonging out the process or even dropping it before it begins.

Be brave and allocate resources – but don’t forget to celebrate success!

Senior management should dare to make decisions and stand for them even when the road gets rocky. Digital transformation creates opportunities for positive change, but the most important action to avoid falling behind is to get started and not overcomplicate things. Start on a small scale, test, and learn. Involve those who genuinely want to be involved in driving change and have a strong voice in your organisation.

Also, don’t overlook meeting the needs of the businesses; delegate authority and provide sufficient resources to enable the transition. Senior management should emphasise the importance of change, free up resources, and ensure that the organisation doesn’t get stuck in the old ways of working. Don’t forget to uplift the internal heroes – the people who are involved in driving the change – to celebrate them and communicate the success instead of focusing on what needs to be done. Include everyone else in your business and invite them to share what is happening. Finally, share the positive feedback you receive from patients with your organisation, so that everyone can see the value you have all created with your new way of working.

Do you want to learn more about what actions you can take to secure a broad-scale implementation throughout your organisation? Read our blog post!

Cornelia Broqvist

Cornelia Broqvist

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