I was recently asked “what one thing would I tell someone who aspires to move in to a leadership role in the field of healthcare analytics?” After considerable thought I believe that the answer is somewhat intuitive for most, and yet it is one that can easily be missed if one’s individual career growth is the primary objective.
Becoming an effective leader in this field requires one to understand some keys that can lead to tremendous success for an individual and more importantly an organization. In my opinion, the most important is to understand that you are in a very complex organization that cannot function effectively without numerous teams of experts working together with a clear focus on providing the best possible care to every patient. One measure of effective leadership is the level of success that one enables teams and individuals to achieve rather than what they can accomplish on their own. It takes dedicated professionals across multiple disciplines to make it all work.
Consider the multiple disciplines and specialties of clinical care that each take career level focus. Oncology is one example where clinicians specialize in treating very specific types of cancer. Internal Medicine is another with specialties like Endocrinology, Infectious Disease, Gastroenterology and many others. This pattern also exists in administrative, financial and operational functions. The disciplines within these areas are not interchangeable and all are required to provide the full range of services in a successful healthcare organization. Within each of these areas there are also leaders and staff who monitor, understand, analyze and respond to data that is generated to support the functions within their purview. If your background is anything like mine, you probably have expertise in one or more of these areas but it is impossible to be an expert in all of them. Even if it were possible to master all of them, there are too many critical aspects of a health system for a single team to monitor let alone an individual. My suggestion is to focus on developing strategies that enable experts in their respective verticals to optimize their functions with effective analytics.
Developing effective strategies takes significant time investment to understand the goals of the organization, its leaders, and key stakeholders. Identifying leaders and key stakeholders to begin learning what the most pressing priorities are is a good place to start. Unless in your role you are responsible to develop the enterprise strategy, I would suggest starting this within your department with its leadership and build on that.