Prepare your organisation for the future with 'Beyond the Pill' services
Going “beyond the pill” requires innovation accelerator teams
Providing “beyond the pill” patient solutions requires new organizational structures and mind-sets. Virtual innovation accelerator teams dedicated to the realization of novel commercial projects must replace the “silo” departmental mind-set.
In order to generate the "quantum leaps" required to revolutionize healthcare, pharma will need to break down organizational silos, with multidisciplinary teams working collaboratively, sharing best practice and working more efficiently and more effectively as a unit.
“Change in healthcare requires the ideation and execution of multidisciplinary solutions. We need input from those different groups in order to achieve those breakthroughs. This requires that everyone is on the same page, sharing a vision for what healthcare is supposed to be and how to get there,” adds Samuel Pygall, Patient Services Manager at MSD, ahead of his presentation at Value Added Services 2014.
Innovation accelerator teams
You become more efficient by bringing together people who are not entrenched in a department, but have a network across the organization. It is a much better solution".
The organization of the future needs teams that have expertise in different areas, but whose members aren’t closely aligned to the mindset of each individual department. That means people coming together to execute a project, delivered in a “departmentally agnostic” way with the benefits to the patient at the forefront.
“You become more efficient by bringing together people who are not entrenched in a department, but have a network across the organization. It is a much better solution,” Pygall explained. He terms the new approach to executing projects an "innovation accelerator team", whereby teams have a point of contact with departments to get appropriate support, but each division is not directly involved with the project. “You need to take people out of a departmental mindset,” he stressed.
Breaking down silos
Holding regular well-run meetings with all stakeholders and using software tools where appropriate, which allow ideas to be transferred around various groups for evaluation is a place to start when bringing down silos. As a result, you can get closer to attaining upfront agreement in terms of what ideas can be taken forward, as well as increase the level of transparency. Particularly in the case of value added services, it is essential to roll out products that are medically and legally supported and that have clear advantages to the patient.
“It’s important to get people involved early at project initiation. That way, groups can provide input and ensure that the project progresses quickly,” Pygall explained, quoting a telehealth initiative launched by Merck as an example. “Telehealth was driven by the commercial and services organization to support patients in dealing with their condition. The process was very IT-heavy, but the input from medical and legal enabled the efficient launch of a better service for patients.”
Additionally, involved stakeholders were invited to provide input into the design of the service, which is critical as individuals are more likely to care about the success of an innovation if their ideas are taken onboard. “The key thing is making sure that the key stakeholders have an opportunity to provide input into the design of the service,” Pygall said. “Input from medical and legal is absolutely essential to have a robust product in place. But the timing is important as well. You need to have that input before you’re ready to launch.”
It’s critical to set out a vision and a consideration of a bigger picture, but you won’t get what you want without appropriate incentives being offered to employees. Motivating teams is about explaining how the innovation impacts the bigger picture. It's about conveying how a new product or service enhances the value proposition to the customer, and what the critical role of each stakeholder is in the development of the said service or product.
Generic messages about impact won’t cut it; they have to be tailored to each department. For example, on the one hand, when you’re talking to medical, you need to know exactly what impact the innovation will have on clinical outcomes. On the other hand, when you’re talking to legal, you need to ensure that the proposal you’re presenting is compliant with regulations, whilein order to convince commercial, you have to demonstrate financial viability of the new solution.
“For example, with a diabetes adherence patient service, it’s about explaining to a brand team what impact it will have on the value proposition of a product. With medical, you need to show that it will reduce diabetic complications, and prevent patients from being transferred to secondary care. It’s not straightforward, because success is defined differently by each department.”
Another idea to incentivize workers to embrace the multidisciplinary attitude is allowing them to spend 30-40% of their time on projects that genuinely interest them. That way, much like Google where engineers are encouraged to spend their time on initiatives that spark their greatest enthusiasm, you’re more likely to get employees to fully commit to the success of the new endeavor.
The concept of the “Innovation accelerator team” must replace the mentality of the departmental silos. Individuals, with the appropriate level of support from legal, medical, commercial and other departments must come together to work on a project. In order to execute the change in mindset, people need to be appropriately incentivized by being presented with the impact this attitude will have on the commercial success of an organization, as well as by being allowed to dedicate their time to the projects of their choice.
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