The Norwegian Directorate of eHealth is tasked with ensuring national coordination and direction in the ehealth area, as well as with setting up and managing standards that simplify and improve the healthcare and care sectors. By making extensive use of creative methods, Itera facilitated a process that lasted five working days during which we systematically reviewed the current situation, sketched out and obtained buy-in for a target vision for 2021, and developed an overall plan to deliver this.
All the Directorate’s employees have a target of driving forward high-quality ehealth solutions. The Directorate’s vision is to make the Norwegian healthcare system simpler, and it asked Itera to facilitate a week’s strategy sprint to develop the framework for a long-term product strategy for helsenorge.no, the online portal for healthcare in Norway.
The Norwegian healthcare service is facing major upheaval as welfare technology will inevitably be an important part of future solutions. The current situation is characterised by the existence of many manual processes as well as old and awkward systems that are incapable of talking to each other. There is also a challenge associated with agreeing on a common language and target vision, both in relation to direction and resource use.
By making extensive use of creative methods, Itera facilitated a process that lasted five working days during which we systematically reviewed the current situation, sketched out and obtained buy-in for a target vision for 2021, and developed an overall plan to deliver this. Individual tasks were used to secure a wide range of inputs, while group discussions and exercises led to buy-in for the results and extended their reach. Methods for mapping areas of agreement and disagreement were introduced with the result that the group was able to focus its energy and discussions on those areas that we agreed were the most important. Checklists for product development were drawn up and conclusions written down and refined. And, based on the week’s input and conclusions, Itera developed a recommended implementation strategy with the following basic points:
- Obtain buy-in for the target vision internally and externally
- Build a culture that permits more agile development
- Balance ‘heavy’ and ‘light’ tasks in parallel
- Prepare for active collaboration with external organisations
- Ensure long-term financing
The week was intense, demanding and enjoyable, and was summed up by one individual involved as follows: “We made more progress in five days here than in the previous two years – an impressive methodology well-executed”. For our part, we think that if everyone working in ehealth is as competent and committed as those involved in the project from the Directorate of eHealth, the healthcare challenges we are facing will be solved successfully; it is an area in which many people want to make a difference.