The health care industry is ripe for disruption, but many health systems don’t have a centralized function devoted to innovation. At Providence, digital innovation happened in silos for many years. The IT department didn’t handle digital innovation, so clinical and operational teams were left to execute on ideas independently. Limited innovation occurred because it was highly burdensome for teams. When it did happen, teams often pursued point solutions rather than products that could solve multiple problems for the wider organization.
Providence is a vertically-integrated, mission-based non-profit health care organization with 120,000 employees, 51 hospitals, and over 1,000 ambulatory care sites.
Providence recognized the need to streamline innovation in order to disrupt from within. They hired the industry’s first Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to lead a digital innovation group that creates products consumers want rather than technology infrastructure. They developed a standardized innovation process to first find and prioritize opportunities and then build or buy targeted digital solutions. As part of their innovation model, this group proactively works with the broader organization to identify problems which are then synthesized into the digital strategy.
Through their innovation model, Providence has successfully commercialized two digital health companies, Circle and Xealth, and are in the process of launching a third. The digital innovation group is a strategic partner with the wider organization, and they’ve built an intentional digital strategy focused on solving problems.