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