Whether in business or our personal lives we need to reflect and as needed shake things up a bit. Healthcare is no different and now that technology and big data are widely available and accessible, disrupting healthcare analytics for the better is really possible. As the industry moves to a value-based model disruptive innovation applies to healthcare like never before.
Take for instance the integration of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). No doubt they will prove to be a game changer in helping expand the way we understand and interact with diverse patient populations as part of value-based healthcare. And if that’s not big enough SDOH exploitation is perfect for kick-starting the next chapter in healthcare innovation.
The article “Disruptive Innovation for Social Change”, by Clayton M. Christensen, et. al. was a Harvard Business Review article of December 2006 that caught my eye. Christensen’s message is relevant for me now because I have been working on a new service idea and was wondering how best to enter the competition. The article pointed out a type of thinking that, I believe, will give me excellent ideas for the new effort. What Christensen said was that competition requires a fundamentally different approach — a disruptive innovative approach. Disruptive innovation (DI) challenges the status quo. DI solutions are typically simpler, more convenient, and less expensive. For example, mini-health clinics found inside drug stores provide inexpensive, convenient, and good enough care for basic needs. Such clinics are disruptive to traditional medical clinics with their large overhead costs. Here are Christensen’s key points regarding catalytic innovations, a subset of DI. Catalytic Innovations (CI) have five qualities:
- They create systemic social change through scaling and replication;
- They meet a need that is either over-served or not served at all;
- They offer products and services simpler and less costly than existing alternatives, but users consider them to be good enough;
- They generate resources, such as donations, grants, volunteers, or intellectual capital; and
- They are often ignored, disparaged, or even encouraged by existing players for whom the business model is unprofitable or otherwise unattractive.
Disruptive innovation applies to healthcare and my goal is to see how I might use this concept and the five qualities of CI to define our new service idea of providing SDOH data insights on-demand to providers holding risk contracts. If we are successful in aligning with CI to define our new service, then we can provide additional insights not seen before through analysis of just claims and clinical data alone. By disrupting data analysis and including SDOH data sets and geography we can give providers a fresh, new and reasonable expectation that investments they make in SDOH utilization will position them to win and achieve higher ROI associated with their contracts. I believe that this approach will work.
So shake things up. Disruptive innovation applies to healthcare and while it might seem uncomfortable to change the rewards are there. Value-based healthcare is perfect for disruption and SDOH data sets are just the beginning.
©Gregory T. Reinecke with Dr. Baldwin H Tom, FIMC