Inoculating Healthcare Businesses with Enterprise Resilience

At a time when the nationwide debate over Health Reform has no clear endpoint, executives in the health related sectors should take a pragmatic approach and guide their organizations to prepare and plan for change.  While uncertainty is at an all-time high, providers, insurers and pharma/biotech businesses should embrace a posture of resilience.  For example, the Enterprise Resilience model enables business in different sectors to prepare, plan and align their efforts to address the implications of various scenarios related to health reform.  It is a defensive posture in which they must understand the known and take steps to prepare for the unknown.  This can involve taking steps to shore up businesses and focus on strategic decisions and markets where companies can invest regardless of policy outcomes in Washington DC.

Executives and other professionals at various organizations have shared with me that they feel paralyzed by the uncertainly surrounding the healthcare debate.  But it does not have to be that way.  One solution is for businesses to focus on their core success factors, their constituents and their mission.  The various scenarios they must prepare for may include cost reductions, reimbursement reductions, navigating a new market, exploring strategic alliances with other organizations, and investing in their technology and people.

The healthcare world is getting riskier and more uncertain every day. Healthcare organizations are increasingly vulnerable as their businesses become more complex, virtual and interdependent. Building and sustaining a resilient business is an imperative. I like to think of it as a corporate immune system.  Businesses need to find ways to inoculate themselves to build a strong, resilient immune system that protects their business from illness. Only the organizations that enhance their immune systems are able to tackle challenges, fend off illness and bounce back more quickly.

Sam Hanna, MBA, CISA, CBCP, CRISC is the program director for the Masters of Science in Management of Health Informatics & Analytics (HealthInformatics@GW) program at The George Washington University.  Prior to this role, he held leadership positions at global professional services firms where he was responsible for creating and leading large multidisciplinary health industries practices, as well as an investment portfolio in new technologies, solutions and startups.  He is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to entrepreneurship and innovation, health IT, analytics, and the intersection of translational sciences and the business of health.  He can be reached at

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