7 tips to champion an AI initiative at your healthcare organization

December 22, 2020

You’re ready for AI and automation at your health system – but is the rest of your organization? Artificial intelligence is a transformational technology that can become the true backbone of your operations. When deployed at scale, it can have an exponential impact on your organization’s efficiency and care delivery. But to ensure that your AI initiative reaches widespread adoption and maximum benefit, you need an AI champion that can communicate the vision and value across every department and every level of employee, to gain buy-in all the way from the CEO to the back office.

Here is some practical advice to help you advocate effectively for AI and automation:

Tie the AI initiative to your organization’s vision, goals, and strategy

An AI champion needs to generate excitement about artificial intelligence and automation. To do that, you need to create the vision of your AI-Powered Hospital and how it aligns with your mission, helping you improve patient care and shifting employees back to meaningful work. Once you’ve painted the grand vision, it’s time to talk about today: tie your AI initiative to current goals and KPIs. Olive can work across the enterprise, so there is certainly a use case to solve nearly any of today’s most pressing challenges.

Emphasize the urgency for artificial intelligence

Your employees and leadership have to understand why AI is needed now. Organizations that don’t invest in AI and automation are at risk for being left behind in the rapidly changing landscape of healthcare. On the tailwinds of COVID-19, your organization needs to be smarter, more efficient, and more cost conscious than ever before. AI and automation are an opportunity to transform how your hospital fundamentally operates, helping you face today’s challenges while providing insights and efficiencies that will help you succeed far into the future.

Create an implementation story

A detailed implementation plan comes later – but in the early stages of gaining buy-in, you still need a rough implementation “story” to explain how you would get started with AI and automation. Which department or process would start? Where would you move next? What timeline can be expected? This step is the “how” you get to your vision of the AI-Powered Hospital of the future. A more concrete explanation will help break down the process of transforming your hospital operations into manageable steps that people can easily visualize, prompting action. When you engage Olive, we help you identify and prioritize your candidate processes for automation, so you can understand the potential roadmaps an AI workforce could take at your specific hospital.

Address perceived risks and fears

Any new initiative, including artificial intelligence, can cause fear and concern. It is crucial to address each audience’s unique fears head-on, making everyone feel heard and understood. For administrative staff, the fear may be that AI is going to take their jobs. For a CFO, the fear may be that the technology will not provide a positive ROI. For a COO, the fear may be that the technology could cause operational lag. None of these worries should stop your organization from adopting the technology given its potential, but by speaking to and planning for the perceived risks, you can gain buy-in from even the most reluctant critic.

Understand the internal politics

In an ideal world, every person at every level would be entirely rational, weighing pros and cons of each initiative for the entire organization, leaving their own priorities and concerns out of the equation. But that’s not the reality; every organization has politics. Understanding them will help you be a better champion for your initiative. You should take into consideration others’ perspectives, competing priorities, or initiatives looking for budgets when discussing AI’s role and potential. You need to be prepared to explain why AI and automation should take precedence and is worth the investment.

Deliver “quick wins” and broadcast results

Once you’ve secured buy-in and a budget, it is time to start implementation. To build momentum, it is best to start with a process that can deliver a “quick win” to generate excitement around the solution. When you automate a process that provides fast, impactful ROI that also frees employees from a mundane task, every level of the organization will take note and start thinking about additional ways to deploy and benefit from AI.

Stay involved in the process of AI transformation

Now is not the time to take your foot off the gas. By staying involved throughout the process, you can keep others engaged, creating meaningful change in the way your health system operates. To drive your AI initiative forward and continue to grow its presence, you need to continue to ask questions, ask for feedback, and share results openly.

Are you ready to get your health system’s AI initiative off the ground?

Active engagement, clear communication and sustained involvement will help your organization embrace artificial intelligence. That’s how you transform care, at your hospital and in the entire system. If you’re ready to get started with AI at your health system, it’s time to read our white paper: Building the Business Case for Operational AI in Healthcare. You’ll learn how to identify and prioritize use cases for AI and automation and create an AI and automation strategy that will set your organization up for successful implementation.