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Traditionally, the healthcare industry has been slow to change. Due to layers of administration and regulations, it can be difficult — if not impossible — for networks to be agile and quickly adapt to change. But since the outbreak of COVID-19, all of that has changed.

In order to adapt to increasing demand while keeping their employees and patients safe, stakeholders across all levels of healthcare have had to embrace agility. These efforts have resulted in the application of existing technologies in new ways, the development of entirely new technologies, and reimagined processes, policies and workflows. These changes would have taken months, if not years, to develop and implement under "typical" circumstances.

We've seen a unique opportunity where healthcare, private business and the public have come together to quickly share information and resources in creative ways to address the rising demands and unique circumstances of the pandemic.

As the demands of the pandemic start to soften, healthcare administrators have the opportunity to assess, capture and explore the great ideas that have been implemented since the pandemic began. This rare opportunity should not be wasted. Whether in healthcare or any other industry, let's take a look at how you can embrace these recent changes and promote agility for the long term.

Reach out to your employees

Your employees have been working through the limitations of the pandemic for several months. Now is the time to gather feedback from your employees about how your organization can embrace, abandon or improve upon the innovations that have come to life.

The first step is to capture and document the ways in which your employees have adapted to the demands of their responsibilities during this time. Engage your employees to promote information sharing and collaboration. This will help you uncover and explore the responses and adaptations that will be useful to your organization moving forward.

Our healthcare customers are engaging their front line staff to understand existing technologies that have been adapted to address the needs of patients and caregivers during the pandemic. They are also capturing the workflow changes and process improvements that have occurred. The goal is to make better decisions about what should be promoted, discontinued or adapted to other areas, to increase resilience and adaptability to weather the next "black swan" event.

An example from the trenches

Saskatchewan Health Authority is running several challenges on the Output platform in connection with the pandemic. They are motivated to better understand and capture the changes they have embraced during the pandemic. Among many other examples, they are documenting and exploring:

  • How virtual care technologies can be expanded and applied to other areas of the organization
  • How to improve the use and sterilization of personal protective equipment
  • How workflow and process improvements can promote virtual training, orientation and education
  • How work-from-home policies and procedures can reduce travel times and on-site work requirements
  • How apps and other tools can enhance staff and patient screening on-site

If Saskatchewan Health Authority did not take the initiative to ask its employees for this vital feedback in a structured way, they would have missed out on numerous opportunities to improve the delivery of care and patient outcomes while keeping their employees safe.

Embracing the future

While COVID-19 has been a catalyst for change in healthcare and every other industry, the agility it created should not be lost. Organizations must harness the opportunity to grow and transform themselves by learning from the pandemic and better positioning themselves to adapt to change.

If you'd like to help facilitate and optimize employee engagement and drive new ideas forward, Output is here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

Topic(s): Innovation , Healthcare
 

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