Blog: Intrapreneurship and Innovation from Within

Health information technology specialists and managers need to know about intrapreneurship, the ability to act like an entrepreneur from within a larger organization.  We all know that healthcare information technology is an area in serious need of improvement, and intrapreneurship may just be the best way to effect change in our industry.

The healthcare information technology professionals who are well suited to become intrapreneurs are generally highly motivated and action-oriented people who are comfortable with taking the initiative to implement change within healthcare organizations.  At a time of increased competition, public policy changes, and technology advances, intrapreneurship can benefit both the individuals who make the effort to identify better ways to achieve health information technology and management goals, as well as the companies that have the vision to support this kind of innovation.

An intrapreneur’s goal is to find the best resolution to an issue, and existing employees are arguably in the best position to understand how and why issues that they identify as potentially benefiting from the solutions they suggest exist.  They are also in a very good position to know what kind of improvements – or even outside-the-box approaches – are worth trying.

For intrapreneurial ventures to thrive and be sustained requires certain organizational values.  The healthcare organizations who benefit from intrapreneurship are able to tolerate risk.  They are also able to empower intrapreneurial employees and then get out of their way. 

It is the intrapreneur’s job to frame the business problem and his or her potential solution in a way that makes clear why the solution is worthy of consideration.  Their presentation of their solution should include a reminder about their skills as well as details explaining why they are a good fit for solving the problem, and why they are motivated—even driven—to attempt it. 

My presentation from the recent HIMSS ’18 conference in Las Vegas, which includes advice on key steps for building and sustaining new intrapreneurial ventures, will soon be posted below.

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