Putting Ideas into Action
We do not just leave the ideas hanging. Certainly, it is important to generate ideas and to show the way across the bridge to healthcare. But it is better to be a good steward and give the ideas their best shot to be put into action. A goal of the book is to provide a framework for the adoption of health analytics.
Ideas are fragile. Eggers and O’Leary think of ideas as seeds. Harkening back to a biblical parable, they note: “Some seeds land on rocky soil. Others are eaten by birds, and some sprout only to be choked by thorns. Only through a fortuitous combination of sun, soil, and water will a seed grow into a plant and bear fruit.”10 And progressing ideas to the endpoint of making a real difference is a long journey, and not all ideas deserve the passage.
The last chapter of this book provides a framework and tools for progressing an innovation from its early beginnings as an idea to the successful implementation of it into the operations of an organization. The Innovation Pathway (see Figure 1.6) depicts the six stages of this journey.
Figure 1.6. Innovation Pathway to Success.
We then concentrate on the adoption of innovations and propose an Innovation Adoption Factors Model (see Figure 1.7), which describes the six areas or domains that need to be considered and mastered in order to persuade individuals to make the decision to adopt an innovation. The Model is composed of two halves. On the left side is the idea stage and on the right is the design stage. The idea stage includes the domains of innovation receptivity, ideation maturation, and urgency/timing. The design stage includes the domains of the innovation’s attributes, the organization’s capabilities, and the readiness to position the innovation for adoption.
Figure 1.7. Innovation Adopters Factors Model.
Adapted from Rogers on diffusion theory,11 Eggers and O’Leary on getting things done in government,12 Kingdon on agenda setting,13 Hasenfeld and Brock on policy implementation,14 Pressman and Wildavsky on program implementation,15 Gladwell on the tipping point model of change,16 and Plsek17 and Stacey18 on complexity theory.
We then break down the six domains into 18 factors and describe each of them. (See Figures 1.8 and 1.9 for a summary.) The factors become the basis for a guidebook that can be used for evaluation and planning for an innovation adoption.
Figure 1.8. Idea generation domains and factors.
Figure 1.9. Design domains and factors.
The final chapter concludes with an application of the model to one of the healthcare adaptations proposed in this book, in the Health Improvement Capability Score, through a case study. The hypothetical health plan evaluated the 18 factors of the model and summarized the results in the Adoption Decision Dashboard (see Figure 1.10).
Figure 1.10. Adoption Decision Dashboard: Health Improvement Capabilities Score.
The evaluation yielded a “yellow” rating on the overall adoption decision index. A postscript reviews how the innovation was adopted after six months of hard work to bring the index to “green” and convince the executive committee to decide in its favor.