IT strategic planning processes have been described in a multitude of ways for different businesses that have structures typical to standard business models. Health care businesses are neither typical nor standard, and IT leaders are faced with unique challenges in defining a good process to follow that will help define an IT strategic plan for their organizations. Not all health care organizations are alike in how they are structured, how they create plans or objectives, who the key stakeholders are, who are responsible for those plans and if IT leadership are trusted partners and active participants as these plans or objectives are developed.
Having designed and implemented strategic planning within a complex transformational health care organizations, our advisors are uniquely positioned to provide practical advice on how to establish an IT strategic planning process that is flexible and enables IT leaders to adapt to the business and technology changes that their organizations face. Hall Render IT Advisory Services can assist health systems with practical IT strategic plans for health care organizations in the following areas:
- Understand the roles and responsibilities of who develops strategic plans in health care IT. This involves both the key business/clinical roles and responsibilities as well as key IT roles and responsibilities.
- Discover and gather key business/clinical strategic documents that exist to help clarify what the business goals and objectives are for the next three to five years. These might be something formal from the business or might involve identifying key stakeholders and interviewing them.
- Understand your current IT environment (applications, data, technologies) and where specific challenges exist in meeting business expectations. A focus on specific IT capabilities that exist in meeting expectations is not enough; you must focus on where challenges or gaps exist.
- Identify the IT strategic areas that the key stakeholders have identified will help the business achieve their goals and objectives. Focus not on specific technology or applications but where the stakeholders are identifying opportunities to focus on (e.g., cloud computing, mobile devise, medical devices, etc.).
- Understand emerging and potentially disruptive IT trends and technologies that could impact culture, health care and society and work with key stakeholders to determine future effects, which could help enhance business goals or create new business goals and objectives (e.g. AI, Internet of Things, immersion media (virtual reality), etc.).
- Define the future state of where the organization wants to be and develop an action plan that identifies the specific technologies, data or applications that are impacted by the future state. This may include roadmaps and timelines on generally what areas the IT teams need to focus on, but they should define a specific project or operational need that is being budgeted or planned.
- Communicate the action plan to everyone in the business and focus on the future state to describe the strategic plan that IT has developed. Follow up with leaders, managers and associates as needed to receive feedback and understand what they are doing to help the organization achieve the future state.
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