Looking for Healthcare’s Leading Edge

By Peggy Salvatore

Health technology has become massively disruptive. Previously unimaginable leaps in personal healthcare are currently widely accepted, and that has completely changed the trajectory of where health information technology is headed. Yet entrenched entities are clinging to the pre-ordained path set out by CMS and HHS before disruption.

Disruption and innovation are the currency of the healthcare today. What will it cost organizations that ignore this reality?

One writer with HealthData Management has written very insightfully and skillfully about the challenges of achieving disruption when organizations set known parameters, use existing tools, and ask for specific outcomes. As Christopher Surdak points out in his August 14 article “6 Signs You Are Going to Fail at Big Data“:

Much of the recent hype surrounding big data focuses on disruption; how data analytics can lead to insights that allow businesses to completely transform themselves. The definition of disrupt in Webster’s dictionary reads: “To cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way : to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something).”

Businesses have been collecting, analyzing and learning from data for decades, which implies that something must be different this time around… If disruption leads to results that aren’t normal or expected, how in the world can you possibly make a prediction of its business value? How can you possibly figure out how much disruption a given change is going make, if both the disruption and its effects are DISRUPTIVE?  Isn’t unpredictability a synonym for disruption?

…When I meet executives who are developing their big data strategy and they ask me…”What’s the ROI of this project?” I explain to them that any such estimate, if achieved, is the definition of a failure to disrupt. If they don’t get what I’m saying within a couple of minutes I’m usually pretty certain that whatever they subsequently invest in will fail to generate much, if any, disruption.

Can You Create Change Without Discomfort?

Businesses want to confirm their existing beliefs and rely on their projections; they want certainty so they can create a budget, set a goal, meet a deadline, point to an achievement. Those things happen in a world of knowns.

The exciting process that Surdak suggests is that healthcare needs to embrace the uncomfortable and abandon the known in order to see and accept the truly disruptive where massive change is occurring. And why might healthcare want to find the innovative disruptor in the haystack? Simply, the known path has been costly and rambling.

If numbers don’t lie, the answer to the straight path of better healthcare at lower costs can be found in the data. That is, if the business side of the house is willing to let go of their need for certainty and listen to what the data is saying.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>