We recently co-hosted a webinar with OPEN MINDS titled: “From Strategic Planning to Tech Strategy—How to Select, Implement and Leverage the Technology your Organization Needs to Succeed.” We invited Monica E. Oss, Chief Executive Officer of OPEN MINDS, and Bill Keyes, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing of CoCENTRIX to share their wisdom and experience on how behavioral health, and health and human services organizations, need to rethink how they view their technology deployments.
Monica Oss started the presentation highlighting the fact that technology has moved from the back office to the front office. Technology decisions now have a critical impact on the business side of an organization and its competitive advantage. Technology must bridge the gap between strategy, sustainability and competitiveness. It’s up to the organization to select the right platform to make it work long-term as part of the strategic and operational plan.
Best practices in tech strategy deployment
She identified three executive challenges when changing technology: Selecting technologies for investment, the timing of tech investments, and continual organizational change and speed of change.
To select technologies for investment, Oss explained that it all comes back to delivering value to the customer, whether it’s the consumer or the payer. A technology investment should accomplish at least one of the following:
- Reduce cost per unit
- Reduce cost per case
- Improve payer preference
- Improve consumer preference
- Improve operational performance
- Improve convenience
- Improve consumer outcome or functioning
- Facilitate new consumer service
- Facilitate new payer relationships
- Facilitate larger scale of current services
She outlined a value equation to consider when evaluating a technology investment: Product Benefit + Brand Equity + Marketing Benefit divided by price = Value.
For the timing of tech investments, OPEN MINDS recommends a three-phase process: the strategic review phase, clinical review phase (for treatment technologies), and the business model review phase. An organization should start with the strategy and positioning of each service line. They should develop a short list of technologies for each service line, performing a clinical review that must include clinical leadership.
Finally, the business review should define the revised service line business model using the new technology, determining both the financing model and reimbursement for service, with established KPIs to track performance.
Once deployed, technology must keep pace with continual organizational change and speed of change. The following questions should be answered: How is the marketplace evolving? What do payers want? How is the competition affecting the local business market?
Why it’s all in the implementation and what you can do to speed brining new technology on board
OPEN MINDS outlined a plan to meet the executive’s challenge in continually managing change. As the shelf life of technology gets shorter every year, organizations must manage change faster, and that means project planning and implementation management is key. Typical change management principles definitely apply here. An organization should also provide personalized and continuous training within the real-world environment. Support should always be readily available, and there must be recognition that the implementation phase is not a fixed period of time.
Oss highlighted that you need to maintain realistic expectations when working with vendors. Do not assume vendors will understand internal strategic processes, and always allow time for customization, set-up, and unexpected hardware and tech issues.
Using technology for competitive advantage—how to gain market leverage from your tech investment
Bill Keyes outlined how to really start using a technology investment to drive long-term competitive advantage for the enterprise. He identified key opportunities including:
- Medicaid expansion
- ARRA/MU incentives
- MD/health system alignment
- Data-driven decision support
- Population health advantages for health homes/ACOs
To address these issues and capitalize on these opportunities, Keyes outlined technology must haves, including:
- Care coordination across the continuum with shared plans of care and a single platform
- Proactive care tracking—the ability to engage and follow high-risk to predict behavior and plan an intervention if necessary
- A configurable, flexible solution to tailor workflows to increase business efficiencies
- An industry standard technology that increases scalability and adoption
- Clinical decision support
- Analytics and predictive modeling
The goal is to break down silos and create open systems. “We strongly believe that EHRs are commodities,” explained Keyes. “What is enterprise-wide and strategic is a care coordination solution. You need to be able to share plans of care across the continuum.”
Interested in watching this webinar? Visit here to download the presentation.