If you have not yet read The Innovator’s DNA by Dyer, Gregersen, and Christensen, you are missing out on an opportunity for personal and professional development that is crucial for leaders in healthcare today. Our healthcare system is failing us. It is estimated that $760 billion per year in healthcare spending is waste. According to a 2016 study by John Hopkins, “More than 250,000 people in the United States die every year because of medical mistakes, making it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.” Here at the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science, we believe that the old phrase (of debated origin) is true: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” NOW is the time to change those statistics by being innovative in improving the quality of care we provide.
2 Tips for Innovative Thinking in Healthcare
- Get in the habit of asking more questions!1 As clinicians, you likely already know the importance of a good research question in finding the answer to significant problems. On page 68 of The Innovator’s DNA, the authors note that, “Questioning is a way of life for innovators.” Is questioning a way of life for you? It is fair enough as clinicians that we sprint to find solutions when our patients’ health is on the line. But be careful not to base important decisions on faulty assumptions. It is a lack of questioning that has gotten our healthcare system to its current state, burdened by processes and practices that result in waste and poor experiences.
- Foster diversity. The authors also note that, “Leaders of highly innovative organizations understand the critical need to attract creative people…” Innovative companies start with their hiring process by looking for creative people (See pg. 195 of the book!). Is your hiring process helpful in finding innovative thinkers? The 5 innovator’s skills discussed in The Innovator’s DNA are great starting points when considering candidates for your care teams. Having care teams made up of diverse thinkers will ensure that your organization maintains innovative approaches to overcome the array of new challenges faced each day in healthcare.
Innovation is a key ingredient that is missing far too often in our healthcare system. It is an industry’s ability to be agile that makes it sustainable… and as the above statistics show, our current system is not sustaining quality results. You can help us develop an agile healthcare delivery system by becoming an agent of change! If you are interested in surrounding yourself with healthcare leaders who are also innovative and passionate about delivering quality, patient-centered care, be sure to check out our website at http://www.hii.iu.edu to learn how you can connect with the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science at the IU School of Medicine! Now, go read The Innovator’s DNA!
- Frakt, A. (2019, October 7). The Huge Amount of Waste in the U.S. Health System. Retrieved October 8, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/07/upshot/health-care-waste-study.html.
- Sipherd, R. (2018, February 22). The third-leading cause of death in US most doctors don’t want you to know about. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-america.html.
- Dyer, J. M., Gregersen, H. M., & Christensen, C. M. (2011). The Innovator's Dna: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
- See above.