Adapting to change: Clalit's response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Gil Lavie, Orly Weinstein, Yoram Segal, Ehud Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant global health event of the past century. The profound and unexpected changes that it brought about have forced healthcare organizations to make far-reaching adjustments to accommodate the new reality. With the outbreak of the pandemic in Israel and the understanding of its consequences, Clalit Health Services (Clalit), the largest healthcare organization in Israel, rapidly mobilized in order to provide the best response possible from the perspective of both its patients and its employees. In the short term, four designated workgroups were established just days into the pandemic. Their task was to prepare operational work plans to achieve the following goals: providing the best possible treatment for COVID patients; maintaining the level of care for non-COVID patients; protecting healthcare personnel without compromising their competence and level of functioning; and beginning the process of post-crisis planning. In the context of the long term, and with the understanding that the changes in healthcare brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic would be long-lasting and irreversible, and would act as a catalyst in Clalit’s preparations for the future, Clalit has carried out the called-for modifications in its organizational strategy. This was based on the need to shift service and treatment foci from the hospitals to the community and the patient’s home and his cellular device, by means of strengthening Clalit’s strategic abilities to become more proactive, more digital and more home-based. In this article, we present a survey of Clalit’s preparations for the new reality in the short and medium terms, as well as the leveraging of insights gained during the first wave of the pandemic, with goal of revising Clalit’s long-term strategic plan. We conclude and point out the organizational abilities required for optimal response to future large-scale emergencies: The ability to quickly identify the need for change, respond quickly while harnessing the various parts of the organization in order to provide an agile and adaptive response, and facilitate long-term planning activity in parallel to providing an operational response in the short and medium terms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Home-based
  • New normal
  • Organizational strategy
  • Preventive
  • Proactive
  • VUCA
  • Virtual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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