The patient's role in innovation: Do you want to know what your patients are thinking? Try asking them

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Author: Jeff Helton
Date: Feb. 2021
From: Healthcare Financial Management(Vol. 75, Issue 1)
Publisher: Healthcare Financial Management Association
Document Type: Article
Length: 973 words
Lexile Measure: 1140L

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So many ideas we have on how to improve healthcare come from our running into issues that we see a need to address--things like staffing, technology, supply chain. No doubt that some of the best ideas have started in a "why don't we do ..." context to improve our processes. Regina Herzlinger, a leading healthcare management researcher with the Harvard Business School, posed a six-factor framework for evaluating how innovation really addresses challenges we see in the industry. (a) Many of the ideas in Herzlinger's research touch on things that immediately come to mind: How do we get paid? How do we work innovation through our accountability structure? How do we leverage technology? Herzlinger mentions one more stakeholder we don't often consider in innovation--the patient. Maybe it is time to examine the patient's role with innovation.

CHOOSING TECHNOLOGY OVER HUMANITY

Many innovations in healthcare seem to start with some technology idea. The electronic health record (EHR) is an easy example of that idea. We make great investments in technologies to refine documentation of care, and increase reimbursement, order tests more efficiently, optimize care options and hopefully improve care.

But what is the patient's view of such investments? Often, they are left looking at the top of a clinician's head as data is typed into a computer. The face-to-face interaction between the patient and caregiver gets lost in the pursuit of a technical improvement in care.

I'm not here to suggest we dispose of...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A653040669