Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Improving Productivity in the Healthcare Industry

A main theme of this week’s readings focused on analyzing environmental and competitive factors.  In “What happens next? Five crucibles of innovation that will shape the coming decade,” Bisson et. al. (2010) discusses how the trend toward increased productivity will push many industries toward disruptive innovations.  These industries will be rewarded for finding smarter, more innovative, ways to operate.  The article specifically indicated that healthcare is an industry where these innovations can thrive. 
An example of disruptive innovation in healthcare is telemedicine.  Within this broad category, there have been specific examples of using technology to improve efficiencies.  Studies have shown that remote patient monitoring (which can be performed for a little as $30/day) is an extremely cost-effective alternative to home care from nurses, stays skilled nursing facilities, and in-patient hospitalizations.  The costs for healthcare in our country are skyrocketing, and the industry as a whole will certainly benefit from using technology to continuously take steps forward with more efficient alternatives to traditional medical care.
The healthcare industry has been slower than other industries in adopting innovative technologies to improve productivity.  With the current issues facing our healthcare industry, hopefully hospitals and other healthcare organizations will seek out more opportunities “do-it-smarter,” thus increasing productivity and lowering costs.  What are some examples of “do-it-smarter” business models that you have seen in healthcare?

Source: American Telemedicine Association.  ATA Telemedicine Cost Efficiency.  Retrieved from: http://media.americantelemed.org/news/mediaguide/costefficiency.htm

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