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Taking healthcare innovation to scale

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Aaron Martin of Providence St. Joseph Health discusses  in NEJM how to achieve scale in digital healthcare innovation.

Among his remarks:

“The process starts with answering the following question: ‘What’s really going to move the needle for our consumers and for ourselves as providers?’ At Amazon, where I managed Kindle’s North American publishing business before coming to Providence St. Joseph in 2014, we focused on three goals for online retail: lower prices, better convenience, and broader selection. No project was approved unless it would move the needle at scale in one of these areas. In healthcare, solving big problems should help to achieve the Quadruple Aim: lowering costs, achieving better clinical outcomes, and improving the patient and clinician experience.”

“A common organizational trap is funding technology before internal processes are ready to accept it. In a lot of situations, we’ve identified big problems that could be helped with technology, but we’ve recognized that we need to work on core processes further before we deploy technology. Many organizations also make the mistake of funding a technology rather than solving a problem. This leads people to focus on the vendor ultimately selected, instead of the problem the organization is trying to solve. The solution set then becomes constrained to the selected technology vendor’s capabilities.”

“Once the focus on the big problems is established and the problem statements are created, the next step is to develop product ideas, build small pilots called Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), test and learn around those MVPs, gather data and take measurements, and then repeat the process until you can determine what will deliver demonstrable value when extended at scale. Along the way, it’s critical that we incorporate consumer feedback — the consumers being both our patients and our providers. This approach ensures that we build the right things that satisfy the needs of our customers and our system.”

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