Agile is a popular approach in the software development industry that focuses on effective adaptability. If embraced by healthcare organizations, the agile approach could allow care to be more adaptive and responsive to new knowledge, improve care processes to deliver greater value, and more effectively adopt new technologies to improve the care of their patients. Here are some ways Agile principles could change how healthcare centers operate for the better.

Agile Principles

In recent surveys among healthcare facilities, nearly 80% of healthcare executives said they need to be more Agile, yet more than half said they are not familiar with formal Agile methodologies and tools, and are not yet using them in their companies. (source: bain.com) These methodologies and tools were founded on twelve guiding principles that encapsulate the heart of what it means to be Agile.

Here’s a quick run-down of a few of such principles:

  • Customer satisfaction should be made manifest through expeditious service.
  • Adaptability at any stage of development will ensure the customer stays ahead of the competition.
  • Teams ought to be centered around motivated individuals, department collaboration, face-to-face communication, continual refinement, and self-organization.

The Need For Agile

60% of healthcare executives agree that over the next three years, companies will need to adapt rapidly to evolving customer needs; only 38% said that rapid adaptation was necessary during the past three years. (source: bain.com) Since executives are noticing a greater need for adaptability, healthcare practitioners ought to seriously consider adopting Agile principles and practices. Also, due to its adaptability and efficiency, Agile could help halve administrative costs which, in turn, could save the United States $175 billion in healthcare costs.

Only 8% of healthcare executives agreed that the best product no longer wins; instead, innovating in the services, information, and customer experience around the product is critical. (bain.com) Agile is centered around last-minute changes and consistent delivery to reach maximum efficiency.

Effective Indeed

As an example of the benefits of a more agile and efficient operation, patients who received a hybrid mix of virtual care and in-person visits — as determined by a reasoned care plan based on agile principles — saw a decrease in cost by 47%, while 93% of those patients experienced a decrease in pain and 98% reportedly made functional progress. (source: allianceptp.com)

Now, more than ever, it’s important to invest in what will make our healthcare services affordable and efficient. Implementing Agile practices will help raise the bar for healthcare practices and ensure patients are set on the path toward a speedy recovery.