Most healthcare provider organizations have a strategic plan to elevate their performance to the next level of accomplishment. Occasionally, these plans just sit on the shelf, lifeless. To see if your organization has an active strategic plan, let’s do a quick test. Answer these four questions:
- Have you read your organization’s strategic plan recently?
- What are the key goals and metrics of the strategic plan?
- What role does your department play in meeting the plan’s goals?
- What role do you play in enabling achievement of the defined goals?
In reading through some strategic plan examples, there are several common high-level goals which usually include:
- Improving patient care
- Increasing outreach
- Controlling costs
- Improving operational capacity
The goals may sound familiar; however, it is the implementation of them which drives differentiation and brings the plans to life. Strategic plans need to be enabled.
In the universe of health IT, infrastructure is essential to provide the foundation in which the strategic plan can be supported over the long term.
As we discussed previously, sometimes healthcare departments view IT infrastructure as a commodity ; the opposite is true – healthcare IT infrastructure is an enabler of the organization’s strategy.
According to a McKinsey  report, "… two-thirds of executives say further improvements are possible by integrating business and IT strategy more closely. They favor a process where IT strategy and the ‘art of the possible’ in technology influence the development of business strategy, closing the loop in strategy development."
One more key fact from a CDW IT checkup study: "… 71 percent of providers with balanced infrastructure investments report ‘outstanding’ performance from their clinical applications versus only 29 percent of providers who devote fewer resources to infrastructure.”
IT infrastructure plays a key role in the effective realization of your healthcare organization’s strategic plan. Having the right approach to IT infrastructure can make all the difference, especially as many initiatives unfold which are driven by Meaningful Use regulations .
Illustrated below is how the view of IT infrastructure needs to evolve in order to support innovative best practices, raise the level of success in meeting the plan’s goals, and improve operational performance every day. Health IT infrastructure needs to be transformed from being viewed as “just plumbing” to being a platform to support robust initiatives and take patient care and delivery to the next level of performance.
This is done with infrastructure that creates new leverage points to produce new results, leaving the old ways behind and enabling new ways much more effectively. IT infrastructure includes everything from hardware to networks to security to application monitoring to healthcare integration .
Using the right IT infrastructure – a next generation of infrastructure  – can take your organization from average to exceptional, simply by harnessing technology as a backbone for success.
Take a few minutes to review your strategic plan and answer the four questions above. Rethink your approach to health IT infrastructure, with a view of supporting performance transformation and strategic innovation.
Read a white paper on this topic for further details and insights – A Platform for Healthcare IT Innovation – Achieving Your Strategic Objectives with the Right Infrastructure .