Healthcare Innovation Advice for Technology Leaders

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , October 31, 2011

In the next five years, however, there will be a new force shaping healthcare: global economic dispassion. Financial reality will force healthcare to do a better job of finding greater efficiency through collaboration and networks such as accountable care models. Otherwise, compassion runs the risk of being run over by dispassionately demanding creditors, Leavitt warns.

Like Christensen, he suggested that having general-service hospitals on every corner is not a sustainable model. Having fewer hospitals is not dispassionate, he said, but economic reality.

So what is the role of innovation in this new healthcare landscape?

In the past, healthcare innovation meant inventing a new device or finding a new treatment protocol. There is now a new category of innovation, Leavitt said, and it's all about finding, defining, and demonstrating value. "The future will belong to the people who innovate in that space," he said, and will define healthcare organization's ability to succeed.

Those organizations that resist innovation will fall victim to economic dispassion. Healthcare organizations have three choices, he said: fight innovation and die; accept it and chance to survive; or lead it and prosper.

Six Steps to Innovation
Innovation doesn't just happen—it requires an idea-to-execution process, says Ed Marx, senior vice president and CIO of Texas Health Resources. Done right, innovation can play a role in both developing and supporting the business strategy and can improve clinical and business outcomes.


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