AHA: Christensen Cautions Hospital Leaders on Costs

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , July 23, 2012

Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen, one of the keynote speakers at this year's American Hospital Association Leadership Summit in San Francisco, spoke to hospital leaders about their impossible mission and how they can work to make healthcare more affordable and higher quality.

Christensen, 60, also spoke of his multiple battles with health problems in recent years, and tried to shed light on some strategies hospitals could use to deal with the disruptive innovation that he believes will soon place leaders in the crosshairs of significant competitive pressures.

Having survived a dangerous heart attack, a battle with lymphoma, (now in remission) and a stroke that affected the part of his brain where speech is generated, Christensen speaks from experience with a healthcare system that he says is set up in most cases, by mission, to do "anything for everybody."

That results in tremendous overhead costs which place hospitals at severe risk of disruptive innovation from future (and current) competitors.

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