Innovation’s Challenge In Healthcare


Blog by Joe Babaian

For True Innovation, Don’t Rely On Your Own Ideas.

This is an interesting take from Daniel Terdiman of Fast Company. How often do we consider innovation, both disruptive and incremental, as the life-blood of our journey? This week many are gathering at @ExponentialMed in California looking to reshape health and medicine’s future. This is what all of us are really about – making a difference, not settling for average, reaching all patients, and doing this in a way that’s positive, powerful, meaningful, and sustainable. A tall order for sure – and if you have been around here for a while, you know it’s more than possible!

Back to the idea of true innovation.  We are used to working in an echo chamber, sharing our ideas, getting confirmation, moving forward, and repeat. This cycle of iteration does keep things moving and certainly many good, even great, results have materialized. Let’s look a bit deeper and consider what it means to really be open to other ideas – seeing and listening to feedback from the stakeholders themselves. That means being open in new ways to the communities and patients we serve. Where they are, how they are, and most importantly, based on who they are.

Are we ready to break things? Innovation can’t only be iterative, solely part of the incremental safe-zone. We have to be able to listen and put ourselves to work on ideas that are moonshots and maybe a bit terrifying. Creating a new medical school – looking at you Dell Medical School – is far from a certain outcome, yet it can be done. Just one example of turning active listening into innovation.

Often, organizations take bold steps to create something more than they started with – a risk to be sure, but with an incredible upside. Take a look at the initiative recently shared by Rasu Shrestha, MD, Chief Strategy Officer of @AtriumHealth:

Take a moment and think about your last cycle of innovation. Where did the ideas come from? Roundtable? Conference? How much community and stakeholder engagement took place while the new idea was processing? How is your organization responding to the need for innovations in medicine and healthcare for the communities you serve?

Let’s pause and take a look at how we can spark successful innovation by listening to our stakeholders with a fresh openness and willingness to see things as they are versus solely what we see reflected in our mirrors.

Please join me on Tuesday, November 5th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) for the weekly #hcldr tweetchat where we will be discussing the Innovation’s Challenge In Healthcare.

T1: How have you seen innovation focused solely on incrementalism in the face of greater needs (staying safe)? How about bold, disruptive efforts with equally large payoffs?

T2: What value do you place on deep stakeholder engagement with the communities and patients we serve? How can listening to these groups shape powerful innovation?

T3: Which parts of healthcare need disruptive and transformative innovation most urgently? Which areas can safely continue with incrementalism?

T4: How can organizations, patients, clinicians, and government work together to drive successful innovation and needed change while also maintaining current services in the interim? Are these mutually exclusive?

Main Photo Credit: Alex Knight on Unsplash

References For Further Research

AIS Electronic Library (AISeL) – Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2018 (HICSS-51): Digital Innovation as Design of Digital Practice: Doctors as Designers in Healthcare. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

Carroll, Noel. Aligning Healthcare Innovation and Software Requirements through Design Thinking. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

Cohen, Elliot. Accelerating Digital Health Innovation : Analyzing Opportunities in the Healthcare Innovation Ecosystem. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

Herzlinger, Regina E. Why Innovation in Health Care Is So Hard. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

In High Tech, the Real Innovation Is Real Value. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

Morgan, Blake. Healthcare Innovation – 10 Recent Examples Of Powerful Innovation In Healthcare. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

SMITH, JIM. Where Real Innovation Thrives… and Where It Doesn’t — Modern Impact. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

TERDIMAN, DANIEL. For True Innovation, Don’t Rely On Your Own Ideas. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

Top 10 Health Care Innovations | Deloitte US. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.


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