What’s your Vision for 2020 and Beyond?

Jumpstarting Healthcare’s Digital Transformation in the Year of Vision

This was originally featured in Healthcare IT Today.

When the ball dropped in Times Square on New Years Eve, most were optimistic and embracing well-wishes and slogans that “20/20” would be the year of “vision.” I did a quick Google search and some evites for New Year’s parties popped up — one in particular caught my eye with the enticing, “2020 is the Year we have all been waiting for and the vision is clear!”. Well, here we are in October 2020 and it’s taken on a very different tone than those created-in-2019-invitations predicted.

Everything has changed. Many are evolving. Most are revamping strategies. It seems as if everyone and every company in healthcare is scrambling to pull together a digital strategy — many while deploying pieces and parts along the way.

In September 2020, ZDNet published an article co-authored by Salesforce executives Dr. Geeta Nayyar and Vala Afshar with a powerful statement, “COVID-19 accelerated a shift that was long coming. Suddenly, patients had access to physicians through virtual care apps. Many started accessing retail clinics and urgent care centers. Healthcare largely went digital, and it reinforced a consumer preference in the process: Give me convenience or I’ll find a company that can. And part of delivering convenience is understanding that in the Next Normal, decentralized business models powered by digital technologies is the only viable path for sustained relevance.”

Super timely for Edward Marx and Paddy Padmanabhan to bring us the book, “Healthcare Digital Transformation — How Consumerism, Technology and Pandemic are Accelerating the Future.” It’s an excellent guide, as a supporting resource, as we embrace the Next Normal. Edward Marx’s upcoming talk and live Q&A with Healthcare IT Today, focuses on the “5 Keys to Developing a Digital Strategy” and will be a great opportunity for learning. If you have already read the book, it will serve as an opportunity to share your perspectives, and for those that have not yet read it, it will be a great forum to share experiences. The interactive virtual session will explore the five keys and strategies to include in your digital transformation project:

  • Create a Compelling Vision

  • Establish a “Team of Teams”

  • Collect Multiple Inputs

  • Organizational Alignment and Buy-in

  • Resource for Duration

Create a Compelling Vision

According to the book, the definition of healthcare’s digital transformation varies based on who is asked. A recent article by Healthcare IT News quotes Dr Anne Snowdon, executive director of clinical research at HIMSS Analytics, “When you talk about digital health, there’s actually very little evidence and literature in terms of what it actually means.” It also varies based on the healthcare organization: who are their patients, what resources exist, what financial models are in place, etc. Understanding that there isn’t a one-size fits all approach and also using shared wisdom outlined in the book, starting your digital transformation with a shared vision is critical to success. And just like there is not a universally accepted definition to digital transformation — there is not one vision statement that is going to hold true for all healthcare organizations as they begin their digital transformation either. But, you can and should seek inspiration from others.

Oxford Dictionary defines vision as, “the faculty or state of being able to see,” and, “the ability to think about or plan the future with wisdom or imagination.” I believe the best vision statements incorporate components of each definition: the organization’s ability to see clearly by leveraging wisdom and imagination.

The most powerful vision’s are bold, simple, articulate, and widely embraced by members of the organization. The future of healthcare is bright — but only because the bold are determined to make it so. It’s important to keep in mind that a vision statement is an articulation of the organization’s future state; a mission statement is the organization’s current purpose and state. Wikipedia defines a vision statement as “an inspirational statement of an idealistic emotional future of a company or group. Vision describes the basic human emotion that a founder intends to be experienced by the people the organization interacts with, it grounds the group so it can actualize some existential impact on the world.”

Innovative and Iconic Brands to Inspire Your Vision

As many of you begin to craft your vision statements, I thought it would be inspiring to first look outside of the healthcare market to explore the vision statements of some of the most innovative and iconic brands. I found this collection of vision statements from influential companies inspiring for those seeking a vision statement for their healthcare digital transformation project.

All of these examples inspire, align, and articulate the shared vision of the organizations, the people behind them and the customers they aspire to serve. As healthcare organizations plan their digital transformations, articulating a positive, unifying message is essential. Digital transformation projects encompass all portions of the organization and are aligned with the organization’s strategic initiatives. Finding powerful brands as examples serve as positive beacons to guide yours.

Now, let’s look at a collection of vision statements from some of the inspiring healthcare brands. Similar to the organizations highlighted above, I find each of these healthcare organizations to be leaders, innovators, and strong examples of what the future will be. Each by their current state, but amplified by their aspirational visions statements.

We’re at the end of 2020 and no doubt it’s been a dark year, however, on the brightside, it has been a powerful catalyst for change — in every aspect of our lives. As a healthcare community, many of us are entrenched in healthcare’s digital transformation.

In my role at Carium, a leading patient-centric platform for virtual care, I get the privilege of partnering with some of healthcare’s brightest leaders as they bring our innovative technology into the strategic roadmaps of their healthcare organizations. Many opt to start small with one use case and build upon the successes — adding more use cases and spreading to additional services lines. A common theme we see with our customers is their commitment to their patients — keeping their patients at the center of everything they do. Patient centricity aligns us.

Our vision at Carium is to lead the digital-first, patient-centered transformation of healthcare.

I hope to see you at the Digital Transformation Experience with Ed Marx on October 6 at 1:00 PM ET. I also look forward to seeing a huge influx of health digital transformation vision statements in 2020 and beyond!