Healthcare is a complicated industry with a lot of facets requiring improvement: quality of care, attainability, cost, insurance, coding, billing, incentives, etc. And there are lots of startups and companies within the industry striving to solve these distinct problems. But true innovation and functional solutions cannot occur through the process of solving these intertwined problems individually in a vacuum. The overall healthcare crisis is more complicated and therefore requires a holistic and collaborative approach.
This is not to say that companies should not attempt to attack healthcare on its various fronts. Companies should be working on EMR solutions, they should be working on better insurance solutions, and should definitely focus on healthcare provider burnout and providing the highest quality patient care possible. At the same time, these companies should be focused on how their individual solutions tie into the entire problem and how they can work collaboratively with other organizations attempting to create solutions for the additional problems. And moreover, the large health organizations can definitely improve when it comes to embracing innovation within the industry.
The healthcare giants are doing a great job thus far of recognizing innovation (especially when it comes to decreasing cost) and purchasing, investing in, or partnering with these companies. But the next vital steps have not been sufficiently accomplished. Most often, the acquisition results in one of two situations. Either the smaller niche company is expected to mold to fit the culture and structure of the purchaser, or the acquired company is left to operate as a separate entity.
Big corporations are missing out on a much more strategic opportunity. If it is agreed that innovation and change are needed in the industry, why are the disruptive and creative companies expected to acclimate to the existing landscape rather than focusing change management efforts on steering the larger ship to face the direction that heads out of the storm? Instead, the smaller and more innovative company should be helping to re-shape the larger company, chipping away at existing bureaucracy and inefficient processes bit-by-bit. Then, with a robust change management program, these giants have the power to re-shape the entire industry. With proper strategic planning and efforts companies could drive better patient outcomes, shorter hospital stays, flip insurance on its head, incentivize healthcare providers to keep their patients healthy, and even change governmental policy.
Alpha Data Strategies is a consulting firm that specializes in developing data-driven strategies to create business solutions.