I am a pediatric cardiologist and have cared for children with heart disease for the past three decades. In addition, I have an educational background in business and finance as well as healthcare administration and global health – I gained a Masters Degree in Public Health from UCLA and taught Global Health there after I completed the program.
“Today many businesses leave the decision of how, or even whether, to use AI solutions to their individual business units. Often little action is taken beyond developing proofs of concept. When action is taken, major problems can arise when these units do not collaborate on AI strategy, leaving the company with a host of incompatible or competing AI implementations. Not only can this cost both time and money, but the resulting lack of standards can undermine the ability to transform at scale.”
Rashed Haq, Enterprise Artificial Intelligence Transformation
Strategy can be defined as a continual and creative process in which one goes from where one is to where one wants to be.
In The Strategy Book, Max McKeown succinctly defines strategy as the best route to desirable ends with available means. Michael Porter, the Harvard Business School guru on competitive strategy, reminded us that the root of the problem with strategy is that there is consistent failure to distinguish between operational effectiveness and strategy. He also delineated that strategic positioning achieves sustainable competitive advantage by preserving what is distinctive about an organization, and that this is done by performing different activities from rivals or performing similar activities in different ways (both would be even better).
An AI strategy (or the lack of) in most if not all healthcare organizations is usually not much more than introducing AI technology in the form of one or a few projects in the organization without coherence nor insight. AI strategy should instead be an approach and even philosophy that accommodates the AI technology in a substantive and transformative way to create synergies within the organization.
AI can therefore be an available central resource that is imbued in all sectors in a myriad of ways throughout the entire organization. In other words, AI needs to be embedded in the entire organization’s DNA and not in just a few selected members or sectors but in all stakeholders and their departments.
AI should therefore be a fundamental change in the organizational culture so that it becomes a part of the mindset of members from business development to marketing as well as operations and executives in the C-suite and clinicians.
In essence, AI strategy should create a centralized AI focus that is interwoven into the many areas of the organization rather than a fragmented AI approach that is frequently observed in healthcare organizations.