The digital economy is here, and sector after sector of the U.S. economy continues to be transformed by technology. Though some healthcare provider organizations have begun to adopt the latest technologies, the healthcare industry overall remains behind. As nonhealthcare disruptor organizations move into the industry, health systems must plan to embrace change and thrive in today’s digital economy. But how should they start?
By using a systematic approach, healthcare leaders can begin to think logically about embarking on a journey toward a more digitized future. The PIVOT process is one such approach, as it provides a framework for the transformation.
The 3 horizons
To begin the journey to successfully thriving in a digital economy, it’s helpful for healthcare leaders to think in terms of three horizons, or main areas of focus, occurring in the industry today:
- Services. People-centric business skills and processes that may standardize operations, revenue cycle, and finance and reimbursement functions
- Software. Technology that systematizes and scales core processes across the enterprise
- Platforms. Automated processes driven by data, advanced data science, and machine learning
To succeed in a digital economy, organizations must succeed in the three horizons, each of which requires a great deal of effort, upscaling, and focus to flourish. The PIVOT process can help organizations get there.
Organizations can increase scalability and profitability by focusing on all three horizons and initiating the five phases of the PIVOT process:
P: Pinpoint important areas for transformation within the organization. Identify the people, processes, and technologies that the organization wants to move from horizon one to horizon two and horizon three. Not all processes, skills, or technologies will be a good fit for this transformation. Taking time to assess and determine which ones fit where is a valuable part of the journey.
I: Inventory the organization’s people skills, processes, and technology. Once leaders have pinpointed organizational areas for transformation, they next need to inventory the necessary assets within those categories. For example, when considering the people who will be necessary to transform the organization into a more digitized, automated environment, leadership might ask, “What skills will be necessary?” Regarding the pinpointed processes, they might ask, “Which ones are the best candidates for standardization?” These should be the best, most successful processes; automating ineffective processes should be avoided. And regarding technology, leaders might ask, “Which systems and software does the organization currently have, and which ones does it need to make the transition to a more automated business environment?”
V: Visualize the future state. This phase is about acclimating the organization’s leadership team to the idea of shifting to a digitized business environment. It involves making leadership and other members of the team more comfortable and confident with this transformation. Creating a visualization, a graphic depiction of how the organization will move across the three horizons, is critical to making the team comfortable with the transformation and, ultimately, completing the journey.
O: Organize. Once leadership has educated team members about the transformation and determined the steps forward and resources needed, then they can begin to organize people and the business around fulfilling the vision of a digital transformation.
T: Track. How will the organization know it is making progress on this journey? During the tracking phase, an organization decides what metrics to create that will help validate that the business is moving toward a digital transformation. It is possible that the historical metrics an organization has about how its business is operating may help somewhat with tracking progress. However, more likely than not, new metrics will need to be created that can track progress. Leadership must decide what the new metrics will be, how and how often they will be measured, and who will measure them.
Preparing for the transformation
The business of healthcare must evolve into the digital economy so that patients – customers – consume and experience healthcare services in the way they have come to expect from other industries. Using the PIVOT framework can help healthcare organizations take the transformative journey toward embracing a more digital economy.
In addition to moving toward transformation, healthcare provider organizations should observe what leading organizations (often their competitors) are doing – and even what they’re not doing – to get a sense of their own place within the industry. They also must consider the types of assistance they need to succeed, including partnering with third-party, deep-subject-matter specialists who have taken this journey successfully themselves.
Much more disruption is coming to the healthcare industry. Healthcare organizations need to be prepared for the transformation.