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Mike Wagner, a healthcare industry executive, recently posted on Harvard Business Review, “Bringing Outside Innovations into Healthcare,” highlighting how healthcare organizations can and should begin looking outside of the walls of medical facilities & traditional academic institutions to bring innovation to the industry.

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He advocates opening up Healthcare’s intellectual borders for “importing new knowledge.” Finally.

Universally, three megatrends are transforming the entire global economy in a shorter amount of time than the average hospital stay, and this time healthcare’s longstanding immunity can no longer combat this epidemic:

  1. Empowered End Consumer – Smartwatches (it’s still showing up as a spelling error!) can instantly snap photos without reaching in your pockets. Google Glasses count your reps at the gym. In healthcare, in brief minutes (or seconds depending on whether you have 4G) a patient can sit in a waiting room to research diseases, drugs, treatments, and find their doctor’s satisfaction ratings. Like it or not, the end consumer, the patient, is integrating & synthesizing, and now has a digital toolkit to (conceivably) make his or her own medical decisions.
  2. Personalization – iPhones now come in five different colors. Even teddy bears are customizable ear to toe. In healthcare, individual patients are seeking and demanding the same level of personalization and will keep demanding and searching until they find the level of patient care that they want in their time, their place, their way.
  3. Big Data Revolution – Netflix’s complex algorithms predict the next movies you will likely watch. Facebook knows everything about you. Everything. In healthcare, the confluence of data will hold healthcare professionals even more accountable and business, health, and legal decisions extracted from this data will revolutionize payment models, patient care protocol, and privacy laws.

So now that it’s infected, what can Healthcare learn from other best-run industries who are proving that they can survive and flourish in the midst of the above three challenges?

  1. Empowered End Consumer – Up to 40 percent of end consumers change their minds because of visual perceptions at the point of service/purchase (Source: McKinsey). Healthcare facilities must especially pay attention to this pattern of consumer behavior as patients become more empowered to shop around for certain standards of care, service, and clinical outcomes.
  2. Personalization – In the Consumer Products industry, 70 percent of annual trade promotion spend is profitable among the top 25 percent of highest performing companies in the industry (Source: SAP Performance Benchmarking). How have they done it? By orchestrating value delivery to customers in real time, increasing promotion spend efficiency, and reducing outstanding customer claims.  If healthcare institutions adapt these techniques, patient attraction, retention, and satisfaction will allow top care providers to remain competitive.
  3. Big Data Revolution – Organizations that are using information to identify strategic and competitive advantages have 20 percent higher revenue per employee (Source: SAP Performance Benchmarking). Up-to-the minute visibility into how your organization is doing shows clear advantages by enabling real-time monitoring, root-cause analysis, predictive modeling, and optimization. These methods can transform healthcare and keep it sustainable.

It’s up to you, healthcare. Learn & Innovate from other industry experts and you will lead once again. Our well-being depends on it.

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