Pandemic Population Health Navigator: Navigating Risk
In March 2020, a physician in southwestern Ontario, Canada began working on the development of an innovative digital application called the Pandemic Population Health Navigator, designed to help mitigate the pressure on Ontario's health care system due to the rapid increase and spread of COVID-19 infections. The founder worked quickly to engage local health system partners, trusted advisors, the provincial government, and a digital health vendor to support the development of his innovation, which was intended to act as a COVID-19 triage tool. The project garnered widespread support and benefited from unprecedented quick approval times by the provincial government, which was undergoing a provincial transformation to a new health care system. Six months later, however, unexpected issues and risks began to surface. A key stakeholder was threatening to terminate the project's agreement due to increasingly complex customization demands from users of the Pandemic Population Health Navigator. The physician realized that he quickly needed to find a way to alleviate these complexities and associated risks, while maintaining the trust of his health care collaborators. David Barrett is affiliated with Ivey Business School.