1. Evolve through evaluation and feedback
To ensure solutions deliver results and keep pace with the organization’s evolving needs, a mechanism for continuous feedback and improvement is required. On Providence’s DexCare project, staff can provide continuous feedback on the tool and are also looped in for future developments. Periodically, feedback is sought from clinical staff and providers on specific launches, ideas and pilots.
At LBBD, feedback from front-line staff drives improvements to One View. Service Manager Jill Gallagher says: "You need to get feedback from staff because they are the people using it day in and day out, and they are very honest. Front-line staff give us some great narratives around what’s going on for them and how the needs have changed from the people they’re serving. We are able to take that information and then adapt One View to meet that need.”
Another tactic is to recognize that failure is an intrinsic part of eventual success. Dr. Nathalie Bloch of Sheba says the organization continuously evaluates its analytics solutions against the original goal and revisits them if they are not working. She says: "Be ready to fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, and only then to maybe succeed. … You need to be very patient to see results.”
2. Incentivize fresh thinking
To fully leverage the potential of data and analytics, organizations will benefit from fostering an innovative and entrepreneurial culture. One way to do this is by rewarding individuals when they try something new or think beyond the traditional ways of planning and executing programs. During 2020, Sheba handed out 10 grants of up to US$50,000 each, to staff initiatives in big data and AI. Sheba’s Dr. Robert Klempfner says the culture is one of “curiosity and entrepreneurship, innovation [and thinking] ‘you can’t just complain, you need to try and do something about it.’”
3. Harness technical capabilities
Key to success is the ability to build blended teams that combine tech expertise from outside with in-house experts who really understand service users. In the US, Providence’s Digital Innovation Group (DIG), which oversaw the development of DexCare, is formed of longstanding employees who understand the organization, leavened with external hires who have extensive experience of working for Big Tech companies. David McAughan, Executive Director of Express Care and Line of Business Leader, says: “I think that blending of capabilities has really set them up to being great partners.”
Sometimes it is difficult for local authorities to hire top talent from tech companies. In these cases, partnerships can help to fill the gap. For example, LBBD partnered with Big Data firm Xantura to deliver the expertise it needed.
4. Foster a network
Organizations can consider sharing their experiences with a diverse range of global partners, creating a community where organizations learn from each other, rather than having to start from scratch when developing new solutions or entering negotiations with prospective partners. Sheba’s innovation hub engages with the wider ecosystem, such as data companies and global academic institutions, to design, develop and deploy new projects. Dr. Robert Klempfner says: “The ecosystem is crucial. … It’s important to have partners across the world, where you can collaborate, you can cross-validate your projects.”