Of all the industries poised to improve with innovation, none are more promising than healthcare. However, many organizations struggle to move forward due to a lack of strategy and a lack of employee and leadership buy-in. Here are jut a few ways to address those issues as you work on overcoming the barriers to innovation in healthcare:
Establish a Strategy
This first step is perhaps the most difficult, but also the most valuable. Establishing a strategy means setting expectations, defining metrics, assigning responsibility (if everyone’s responsible, no one’s responsible), defining a process, and more. It also means familiarizing yourself with the regulations and rules when it comes to new ideas. It’s also not a bad time to revisit values and mission so that you can align the problems that you want to solve and the solutions that you find to your overall organizational goals. With established goals in place and a defined strategy for innovation, your healthcare group will be in a far better position to curate ideas, evaluate those ideas, develop them further and allow them to flourish.
Make Innovation a Shared Responsibility
Innovation shouldn’t be the realm of the elite – don’t be trapped by your own department or even your own industry: look everywhere for new ideas. Also look for ideas that are already successful in other parts of the business and see if they can’t be rolled out elsewhere. If everyone is in charge of finding and sharing great ideas- the likelihood of you finding them is far greater. But if innovation is everyone’s responsibility then you need to honor that commitment by setting aside some budget for implementing new ideas and designating a point person who can steward all those new ideas through to success.
Deliver on Ideas Across Multiple Horizons
Not every idea is transformative. Some save a few minutes on the hospital floor, some create a slightly improved patient experience and you should pay attention to those ideas, as well. The worst thing that you can do is ignore ideas. So get started on those easy-to-implement, quick wins right away to build credibility and traction. You’ll find that when you start working on those transformative concepts that you’ll have marshalled far more resources to your side.
Continue to Improve
The barriers to get started on a crowdsourced innovation program are actually quite low. But you’ll learn a lot just by starting a program. Don’t be afraid to change, update, and improve. In fact, you must. Innovation is an agile process. You’ll learn a lot along the way. So change your goals, shift your process, update your communications strategy, invite new people to participate, re-launch and always find new ways to make a difference.