Uncertainty is the name of the game for many industries today, including healthcare. With rapidly emerging technologies, regulations and changing consumer demands, companies must manage differently in order to keep up. Jeff Dyer, innovation visionary and co-author of the highly acclaimed, The Innovator’s DNA and its follow-on publication, The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators highlighted the threat to many companies today – predicting that 50 percent of the S&P 500 will be replaced over the next 10 years.

Human-Centered Innovation

As consumer experiences across nearly every industry become more personalized, on-demand and targeted, he encouraged pushing our thinking beyond meeting functional needs by looking at social and emotional ones as well. By doing so, companies are able to identify unmet needs that can be catalysts for more useful solutions that ultimately win in the market.

The GE Adventure Series Scanner, an MRI scanner designed for children to make scanning a less frightening experience, was a prime example shared of human-centered innovation. While advanced in functional features, what was discovered through observing young patients getting a scan was that the former machine was intimidating – the designer learning that as many as 80 percent of pediatric patients had to be sedated in order to sit still long enough for the scan.  Witnessing this, a new approach was taken, ultimately applying human-centered design methods to redesign the experience as a series of “adventures” for children, delighting and no longer scaring its young users.

The Big Picture in Quality Care

While human-centered innovation can be applied product by product and interaction by interaction, we heard another thought-provoking point from the day’s presentations – that it’s really hard to detect poor quality care through one interaction. The path to a poor outcome most likely includes bouncing from doctor to doctor and breakdowns in coordination and communication between interactions. Often, the big picture reveals the flaws.

The reality today is that many people still get prescriptions from multiple, independent physicians, and many hospital admissions come with undiagnosed behavioral health concerns. The healthcare system has an immense opportunity to come together around the whole patient and to better identify needs at a population level to deliver on value-based care that leads to healthier outcomes.

Physician Collaboration

Our physician panel sparked further ideas in how to collaborate with PCP’s, nurses and other care workers to better meet patients’ needs. Often at the front lines of the patient experience, creativity in finding unidentified needs was discussed as pivotal to creating an effective healthcare experience. While concepts of self-directed, consumer-focused healthcare and increasing consumer participation in healthcare decisions have become popular, the role of physicians is also being transformed. Their responsibility is increasingly to supplement and put into perspective available information, manage expectations, and instill confidence. The discussion thus encouraged leveraging physicians as “natural, trained problems solvers”, bringing them into the ideation for a better patient experience, and empowering them with action-oriented data and decision support along the way.

We thank all of our leaders, clients and partners for joining us in a memorable and energizing event. We look forward to our next gathering in January 2017.





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