It may be the last tenet, but it is not the least. As a matter of fact, it is incredibly important and has spelled disaster for many BI programs. Truthfully, this almost wasn’t a tenet. I had an ‘honorable mention’ for the cultural changes that can impact BI programs. Then my editor asked me why it was different. I thought about it for a while and other than the fact that I really wanted four tenets, there was no real reason not to include it. Moreover, it was actually a tenet, if my definition of tenet is if it is not addressed it will spell disaster for the program.
So, what are the cultural implications for BI programs in a healthcare organization? When done well, BI programs require an organizational-wide change that shifts focus from ‘how we’ve always done things’ to a new world order of ‘data-based decisions’. These changes can terrify the traditional faithful. The ones that say “but that’s how we’ve always done it!” will find this shift difficult to adjust to. The inclination is to just ignore them, but don’t. The important thing is to bring them with you. If you can covert the traditional faithful, your odds of succeeding are drastically improved.
The other primary concern with healthcare organizations is our decision by committee approach to much of our work. I am all for collaboration and when done well it makes a better product. But sometimes those committees are created to pacify a difficult individual and not created to ensure buy-in. Delayed decision-making is the result of this scenario. Make no mistake a delayed decision is just as bad, if not worse, than the wrong decision. It erodes trust and stifles innovation. If you will need a committee to make the majority of your decisions for the BI Program, make sure that it was created for the right reasons and they have the same goal in mind.
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