Monday, September 15, 2014

Cultivating Innovation instead of Conformity

I had the opportunity to see Neal Patterson speak at the American Royal scholarship lunch. For those of you non-Kansas City people who read my blog – American Royal is a foundational aspect of Kansas City which is facing a momentous challenge….but I will close with my thoughts on that…
Neal has an interesting way of communicating, if you haven’t experienced him in a large venue you should. He speaks as if looking at a whiteboard – where he can see how everything fits nicely together yet he is searching for the next white space that he is supposed to identify and fill. As he moved into a segment on Healthcare (industry) he made several statements that have sat with me for the last few days.
Here was my take away: We as a culture/ industry have moved from innovating in healthcare to finding a way to work within the constraints the government has put on us. This has created a mantra of focusing our creative efforts towards efficiency and conformity to squeeze the turnip. Many have resigned to the idea that government provided healthcare will be our new way of life. I believe this will strangle and destroy the ability for the innovators to create a new way of being.
Gut check… is the product we have created and our roadmap conforming to the government constraints? Are we answering the problems of today without considering the opportunity of a future that is NOT created by Obamacare?
As a company, Sphere3 has been tagged in number of different buckets. Early on people continuously called us a “bolt on reporting software for nurse call” which always annoyed me. Their short sighted understanding of what “reporting” is and what the impact of patient generated data could be on the care delivery model….if you can’t see beyond “reporting” then you are stuck in the early 1990s and need to get your head out of the sand. Reporting is dead – it is a post mortem and if your company is still focused on reports…..then to quote my 10 year old “dude”.
Most recently, we have been tagged as a survey tool…..ugh….while our tool can gather everything from patient experience to site specific data. The FUNCTION of survey is really meaningless without a true intersection of patient behavioral and caregiver engagement information. When we try to use “feeling” to define process we lose the ability to have long lasting impact.
I believe that a product category will emerge this year that will even go beyond Alarm Fatigue. It will identify how the patient generated data produced in a useable format at the point of care beyond dashboards and beyond that of an alarm or alert. I believe the category will be AS impactful as Electronic Medical Record. This spider web of information produced BY the patient will be AS important as information produced ABOUT the patient. The information produced BY the patient must be compiled and visually produced in a useable manner as engageable digestible information…at the point of care.
Hospital Leaders, do me a favor the next time a sales person shows you their reports….ask them “How do you expect me to use that at the point of care? How do you expect me to create an environment of quality care that is actively evolving with a piece of paper?” The next time a sales person shows you their survey tool…… ask them “How do the actions of the care team compare to that patients perception?” The next time a sales person throws the word “Alarm Fatigue” make them really tell you how their tool will impact care….how will they really engage and change the behaviors of your care team other than a Pavlovian response to yet another alarm…….
I promised a close on the American Royal….so if you are not from here then the end is not for you but I welcome you to read on.
Our city has a lack of vision accompanied by a lack of appreciation for our Agrarian roots that should be seen as a strength and not a weakness. Do you not see that the American Royal is part of who we are? Or are you trying to define us by the music concerts and monster truck rallies at the Sprint center?
My personal rant which is shared in good company by Neal Patterson..…children today do not understand how food gets to our tables, but there is an uprising of individuals who believe in buying local or even producing their own food. I live in a rural area. (Across the street from cows and surrounded by farming) I desire to know where my food originates. We have an obligation to our community and region to continue to support and promote those who feed us. There is a slippery slope and danger to a community that fails to recognize where our food originates. We have an obligation to our area to encourage and enable young people to learn how to be the next generation of farmers.
Agriculture has become a growth industry again in our economy. The promise of technology and innovation as America feeds the expanding population of the world is a great opportunity. Our youth have an opportunity to cultivate promising careers in a sector of our economy undergoing great change.
My question back to the AR is how are you cultivating growth in the city which birthed you? How are you innovating beyond rural to impact the local community beyond merely brining in additional attendees to your events? How are you reaching into the schools to provide education and perspective?
Don’t you agree city leaders……or do you think that your food comes from a grocery store?

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