In their book, Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast: A Blueprint for Transformation from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, the authors provide a healthcare-specific definition for transformative innovation:
Transformative innovation is an evolutionary form of innovation built on an undivided focus on the customer and customer experience. It uses design discipline and scientific methods to integrate and deploy new and existing technologies to improve experiences and efficiencies, and it is often associated with discovering and turning negative experiences into positive ones.
Transformation innovation is innovation that has an impact on the customer irrespective of scale. A transformational innovation substantially changes an experience. It does not matter if the substantial change affects a person, a group or people, or a whole organization. It is transformational irrespective of scale. We use this definition to guide every decision we make in the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation. We constantly ask: Will our actions have the potential to profoundly impact the experience and delivery of health and health care?
A few points.
First, it is INCREDIBLY long. While it is possible to parse it down to its’ essence after reading the definition several times, I’m curious how they clearly communicate the concept to internal stakeholders with such a verbose definition.
Second, while I’m a big fan of having a strong focus on the customer and customer experience in health care, I’m becoming increasingly concerned that such a singular focus is negatively impacting the health care provider experience. I’ll be posting more on this topic in the near future.
Finally, with all that being said, I really did enjoy the book and believe it imparts important information that other health care systems can implement. I hope health care executives will read the book and see the benefits of starting their own innovation centers.
On this Memorial Day I am reminded of family, friends, and strangers that served and sacrificed for our country. To them I say a humble “Thank You.”
May your day be spent surrounded by those you love, appreciative of the life you lead, and mindful of the service members that afforded these opportunities.
On May 17th and 18th, the fourth annual Idaho Healthcare Summit will take place in Boise, Idaho. This years event has a three-fold theme:
- Finding unique solutions to our healthcare issues.
- Creating a sustainable framework that facilitates collaboration and gets results.
- Becoming more flexible and creative in working within shifting federal mandates and healthcare transformations.
I’m looking forward to attending. It should be a great event!
Last week I had my annual physical at the same clinic where I’ve been a patient since returning to Idaho nearly 12 years ago.
It’s interesting to reflect on how the experience has changed over the years; unfortunately, not for the better.
During my first few yearly visits I was greeted by a cheerful receptionist that verified the basics (name, address, insurance, etc.) before handing me off to the nurse to take my vitals. Then I spent much of an hour with my primary care physician where I updated him about my health over the past year while he conducted a detailed physical examination. We even had time to chat about our hobbies!
That’s not the case any longer. The last several years have seen a dramatic change in the interaction between the patient and his or her primary care physician and other supporting health care professionals.
This year, after arriving at the clinic, I first encountered a patient access specialist who stoically received my information and scanned it into the system. Then I was handed off to the nurse who took my vitals in one room before walking me to the exam room. In the exam room, she sat at a computer with her back to me and asked a series of questions where she dutifully entered the answers in the EMR. During the entire Q & A period she only looked in my direction once! As she was leaving the room, she mentioned in passing that my primary care physician was running a little behind.
I spent nearly 25 minutes patiently waiting for my primary care physician (the 3rd one I’ve had in 12 years) to enter the exam room. Finally, she hurriedly arrived and went straight to the computer to review my medical record. During the truncated exam, she spent the majority of the time typing in information I relayed during our discussion. I’m pretty sure she types faster than I can! Honestly, that’s not a skill I want her – or any physician – to need in order to successfully perform her duties.
After approximately 17 minutes in the room, the exam was complete, and I was sent on my merry way until next year.
I want to make it clear that everyone I encountered at the clinic were very professional. But, it felt sterile and impersonal – not something you want in a medical “home.” Moreover, nobody really seemed to enjoy their job. There was no laughter and very few smiles. I really felt bad for all the employees. You could tell they were overworked and stressed and doing what they could to stay on top of the patient load. I think it’s safe to say the provider satisfaction level was also low.
My experience is not unique. I’ve talked with others and they’ve noticed the same changes in their interactions with their primary care physicians.
There are solutions to the problem, but it requires structural changes that are costly and potentially difficult to implement. Nevertheless, this problem must be solved as health care in the U.S. strives to focus more resources toward preventative medicine.
Anyone that follows my blog knows that I’m a fan of Tom Fishburne’s cartoons. Well, he has done it again with his April 1st cartoon poking fun at how the Apple product line has ballooned since the passing of Steve Jobs.
Over the years I’ve become more of a user of Apple products. It started with an iPad, followed by an iPhone, and now I write this on a Mac. For the most part, I like their products. But, I haven’t fully consumed the Kool-Aid. I have no problem being frustrated – and making it known – when their product designs go off the rails. And, in my opinion, removing all ports besides Thunderbolt (USB-C) on the Mac is a perfect example.
I still want a “normal” USB port – or two! And it drives me nuts that they’ve removed the HDMI port. I’ll take a thicker Mac that includes those ports. Now I realize all this can be solved by purchasing expensive dongles, but it shouldn’t be necessary. Plus, I REALLY don’t want to pack them around the country when I work.
What’s interesting is they used to be a company focused on the customer experience. Now they’re transitioning their focus to identifying opportunities – numerous at times – for selling expensive accessories to maintain compatibility with other devices. What a pain! Hopefully this will change, but it’s not looking promising.
On Tuesday, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase announced that they will be “partnering on ways to address healthcare for their U.S. employees, with the aim of improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs.” Currently, it’s unclear how they plan to tackle this important challenge.
What is clear is the announcement had an impact on health stocks. Also, it has already generated numerous pieces on the topic, some of which include:
As you might expect, no one – outside of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway & JP Morgan Chase – have a clear idea what they’re planning. And, if we’re honest, I’m not sure the key stakeholders know, either.
But, changes need to occur to drive down health care costs, and maybe a trio of 800-pound gorillas from other industries are what’s needed to jumpstart the process. Time will tell if they’re successful for their own organizations and whether what they learn can be disseminated to others.
The ECRI Institute has published their annual Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List for 2018. This list is published each year:
“…to highlight new technologies and patient care developments that should be on the radar of healthcare leaders because these topics are likely to enter the conversation as you consider new technologies and infrastructure changes, large and small.” (p. 3)
The list includes:
- Mobile medical apps to improve addiction treatment adherence
- Direct-to-consumer genetic testing
- Acuity-adaptable rooms to minimize room transfers
- Insertable cardiac monitors that communicated with smartphones
- Virtual reality for pediatrics to reduce pain and anxiety
- Noninvasive devices for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
- Microneedles for near painless blood draws
- MRI systems for neonatal intensive care units (NICU)
- GammaTile Radiation Therapy System for treatment of brain tumors
- Microhospitals for health care access in rapidly growing areas
If you’re interested in receiving your own copy of the list, visit this link.