Hi Liz. So glad you brought this forward for discussion!
There are multiple levels in which we will all be engaged in AI. You can play to your institution’s strengths by deciding at which level you can have greatest impact. You have immensely high quality data and world experts in cancer care. Leverage that and own that power. This allows you to be be highly selective in whom you select as your partners in this domain. There are so many landmines in this field now and we have seen the fallout from that……IBM watson health and MD Anderson, Googles deep mind fiasco in UK….so you will avoid those. In choosing partners decide what you want your focus to be in this domain….that can help guide whom you pick. Are you interested in AI applied to operations, efficiencies, decision making management? Are you more interested in evaluating impact of AI models available now (one set of partners) and or participating in the actual development of models (another set of partners)? My own bias is if you are interested to evaluate the impact of existing models you might move more quickly with industry partners….and make sure you have a high level of control and guardrails on how that is done. Think of Francesca Gino and claim your value! If you are interested in developing new models you should consider the highest level of computer scientists/AI specialists in the academic domain….and they do not need to be connected with your own institution. Academic partnerships with other institutions can be highly fruitful and methods to keep data within firewalls but allowing scientists access to deidentified data within firewalls can be safe and effective. Excited to see where you take this!
What a great opportunity! The two groups bring diverse perspectives which when combined can be infinitely better than either alone. The “town gown” “academic community” splits are increasingly being addressed well in diverse settings. Engaging leaders from both groups together so they understand they are now “one team” is key and allowing the leaders of each to bring their teams along with clear support for the larger vision and mission. Also…look for opportunities that each side can bring forward projects that are meaningful to them that can be spread across the entire new merged organization. Re academic work seen as “unimportant”….two sides to this! As a researcher, I am eager to show our community physicians research projects that have impact in a positive way on our patients. Frankly, “we researchers” can be reminded by our community practice physicians that if our research isn’t having a positive impact on patient care we might consider a different approach. There is some truth in the perspective that academic physicians can be a bit out of touch and some truth to the perspective that non academic physicians can be a bit focused on present rather than future clinical care….creating a culture where both sides respect and listen to each other and find the mutual common ground to build on is exciting. Continually finding areas where “we all agree” and building trust around those domains can establish relationships and positive outcomes to leverage. Finally…..nothing brings people together more than a common “enemy” Do they all understand the critical importance of the merger? Do they understand they need each other to survive in the current healthcare climate? Do they see the increased power they have with insurers/payors as a larger organization?
IT has become a large bucket term that means too many things across organizations. If you were to survey your physicians, managers, administrative leaders…what do they think of when they hear “IT”? Do they associate IT with people who make their jobs easier, more efficient, better….or do they roll their eyes with comments re how the IT “faceless” team makes their lives harder…and is out of touch with their needs? Breaking the concept of IT into subgroups, clarifying added value with concrete examples and being clear on where the IT dollars go and for what purpose can be helpful.
Agree with comments above. Decision making at the service line level is critical and to be effective must have clear guidelines (guardrails). Clear metrics are essential. Mentorship and training to elevate skills in management and decision making are key. “Just Culture” of safety (ok to make mistakes, support from leadership) with accountability (productivity, quality, performance) can support effective service line performance and leadership.
Agree—in words of Peter Drucker—“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” And yes culture is critical.
John Kotter has several writings through HBS series that I have found helpful re leading change (and multiple books). The steps include finding a powerful guiding coalition. Who are the community members who are engaged and excited for the change and transformation to digital (across levels from the organization)? Can you support those groups to have projects for change to begin to tackle the larger goals at hand? Do the staff understand the reason the change is needed? Are the vision, mission and goals articulated well and frequently? Do the understand the “why”?