There are many challenges in the fast-moving data analytics field of the changing healthcare industry. Our biggest challenge is not data, not technologies, not even budget but the right talent and a sustainable high-performance team. There are 30+ team members in the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) Decision Support and Business Intelligence Team, with highly specialized expertise in hospital internal and external reporting, data analysis, knowledge creation, knowledge distribution, as well as internal consulting. There was a need for course correction, as although staff were working very hard and produced large quantities of reports and BI products, customers were dissatisfied and disconnected. In order to create capacity, we needed to prioritize automation by leveraging our BI data warehouse, standardizing our toolsets, empowering people, and really listening to clients. Our initial deep-dive analysis pinpointed root causes; for example, it was apparent that our traditional hospital leadership structure and approach were ineffectively engaging knowledge workers, which contributed to the lack of innovation and inspiration. We have since recognized that technical subject matter experts should be formally included in our leader team structure, where they have accountability to contribute to and help develop our departmental vision, business strategies, proactive planning for training, capacity building, team building, and mentoring team member professional development. A Team Lead model was established with the recognition of the daily technical and operational workload and the fast-growing professional and technical knowledge needs for data analytics healthcare. Three Team Leads (Decision Support and Knowledge Transfer, Data Analytics and Community, BI Services and Products) were promoted within the department to establish a core professional team structure to work on team vision, strategies, branding, promotion, and operational priorities. The following were the key deliverables of the new team structure in place for 12 months:
- Developed a Strategy Roadmap with five key initiatives (Reporting Infrastructure, Corporate Reporting, Re-Branding & Operational Models, Building Data Community, Research, and Innovation). Several projects with timelines fall under each category.
- Implemented Power BI as a reporting infrastructure to effectively and efficiently deliver comprehensive clinical and operational data to clinical units daily to support the enterprise-wide initiative of Continuous Improvement of Care
- Implemented projects that aim to automate and maintain regular reports and expand self-serve reporting to leverage Power BI to efficiently deliver the right information to the right people at the right time
- Established a centralized intake and task assignment tool process to allow measuring activities and workforce efforts, ensure knowledge distribution among team members and improve communications with clients.
- Established regular meetings, retreats, formal regular check-ins, and focus group discussions to systematically analyze the evolving situation and challenge the leaders, the team, and the hospital to do better and continuously improve