Excellence is defined as ‘the quality of being outstanding.’ So, when discussing the broad topic of centers of excellence established within an organization, the bar has already been set quite high.
A center of excellence (COE) is a corporate group or team that leads the organization as a whole in a particular area of focus such as a technology, skill or discipline. COE teams work on one mission, one vision, one strategy and one goal.
Our industry believes COEs are important for two primary reasons – to enhance the customer experience (a desire to provide the same user experience across all channels and touchpoints in the organization) and to improve operational efficiency (the drive to streamline operations and reduce costly overhead).
The true concept of a COE is to create key processes and expertise across an enterprise to help the organization adopt these practices and become more efficient. Every industry today is affected by technology changes, and ours is no exception. Technology, specifically in healthcare, is becoming more accessible and this – combined with the rapidly increasing presence of consumerism in healthcare – means healthcare organizations need to significantly step up their game to stay competitive. So, what does this mean for emids and other organizations?
This means that visionary, innovative companies like emids have already established COEs as a core competency of our organization. Simply stated, we are continually finding smart ways to improve our processes in how we work with payers, providers and tech enablers.
Our COEs ensure consistency and standardization across the enterprise, resulting in uniform, dependable interactions with our customers every single day. Several thoughts come to mind as I share our specific reasons for establishing COEs:
- To promote cooperation between IT and healthcare businesses
- To leverage best practices in specific areas of interest
- To create a flexible development environment that supports various teams
- To enable teams to strengthen and expand existing systems and processes
Healthcare providers today face an extensive number of challenges as they continue serving their patient populations. Among other things, financial resources often are in short supply, competition is typically robust, technologies are forever evolving, due diligence is increasing accountability, and patients are becoming more informed and demanding the best care available.
A committed COE can also help drive successful digital transformation in our industry as it merges a deep understanding of internal and market processes, and significant diversity in skills and experience. This is all driven by a clear ‘customer first attitude’ in the healthcare industry. A COE essentially revolves around the business value chain, customer expectations, and company technology. It can, in turn, act as the ‘advisor’ on how to execute the technology, market and method — which is what many experts say are the ‘drivers for digital transformation.’
As our COEs were initiated and adopted across the enterprise, and the applications matured, opportunities within our organization also grew to help us become a better business partner with our valued customers.
From an enterprise perspective, our COEs align with the ‘customer first attitude’ I mentioned earlier. The complexity and diversity of digital transformation is high. But by establishing COEs as part of a digital transformation strategy, it helps ensure that end results will be extremely positive. Leading enterprises take a different approach to digital transformation, creating programs that change how business objectives are achieved in the areas of customer experience, employee experience and business model leveraging digital technologies. These leading enterprises have 30 percent higher CEO involvement in outlining the IT strategy versus other organizations. In addition, 75 percent of leading enterprises are focused on identifying ways technology can drive business value.
Simply stated, establishing COEs essentially brings together the ‘best of the best’ to help ensure an organization’s ultimate success.
Gurpreet Vohra heads up emids Centers of Excellence. Be sure to connect with Gurpreet on LinkedIn.