It’s no secret that 2022 has been a year riddled with change and opportunity in healthcare. From rulings made to diminish surprise billing to the controversial overturning of Roe v. Wade to monkeypox outbreaks and the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations across the industry have been challenged by issues both great and small.
Today, we have seen leaders across the industry band together to drive innovation and solve these complexities. Many of them are fueled by learning and collaboration through the Nashville Health Care Council’s Fellows program, a five-month intensive program that connects healthcare’s brightest minds, most influential leaders and top drivers of change across the U.S.
Throughout nine dedicated sessions, Council Fellows are tasked with assessing where they can create solutions and fight inadequacies in the organizations they lead and across the healthcare industry. The conversations they have inside the classroom with their peers are designed to inspire action outside of it and drive the healthcare space forward. They address social determinants of health, transactions in the industry, digital health, the new normal post-pandemic, and much more.
Here are just a few of the areas of focus Council Fellows discuss in the classroom, ones where leaders can engage today to improve the healthcare space broadly:
- Consumerism - From Baby Boomers to Screenagers, general differences are one of many variables stakeholders must consider when trying to reach, retain, and engage consumers. Understanding your market is key. With healthcare consumers’ preferences changing on an ongoing basis, they have different approaches to determining which health plan offers the best coverage, when and where to seek care, how to choose a doctor, and whether a pharmaceutical product offers value. Healthcare market segmentation can help dedicated organizations gain deeper knowledge of the consumer segments in diverse communities. To be effective, organizations must meet patients where they are and get into the flow of their lives. Leaders can enhance value by making the consumer the absolute priority.
- Health Equity - Health equity means everyone has access to the care they need, when and where they need it. Because many factors contribute to a person’s health, this is a complex issue and one that the industry needs to address effectively and urgently. During one Council Fellows session, participants explored issues that drive disparities and the work being done to improve health equity. Participants toured The Village at Glencliff with Founder Rev. Ingrid McIntyre and Executive Director Julia Sutherland to see health equity efforts at work in the community. When unhoused people are “released to home” from the hospital, they have nowhere to land. The Village was created to provide hospital medical respite and temporary housing, so individuals are empowered to focus on healing after a hospital stay.
- Operational Agility - Healthcare organizations must cultivate leaders who will reinvent our industry from the inside out, otherwise disruptors from other industries will do so from the outside in. To achieve this evolution, leaders must seek to understand the many different perspectives of their peers. They must allow space for trying and failing, and be able to subsequently course correct in short order. The future of healthcare requires us to develop, nurture, and promote those who are inventive, collaborative, forward-looking, value-based, customer-oriented and who can pivot along with the needs of the industry successfully.
- Innovation - In healthcare, innovation may be a novel idea, product, service, or care pathway that improves how things are done. Successful innovators ask their customers what they want and innovate based on their findings. They identify the key pain points and work with customers, stakeholders, and experts to solve the issue, develop the strategy for adoption and diffusion, and then deliver it. Such organizations have established a culture of innovation for their employees. To see innovation in action, Council Fellows visited the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (CELA) for an immersion activity. Participants rotated through simulation exercises using innovation and teamwork to prevent medical errors, include patients in healthcare decisions, and develop effective and adaptable communication systems.
- Data and Technology - How can we use artificial intelligence to improve healthcare and humanity? What issues and opportunities exist in using data to improve patient-provider relationships, promote wellness, and achieve health equity? How can we protect ourselves and our nation from cyber threats as circulating patient data grows? These questions, and more, must be addressed within the broader healthcare landscape. Cybersecurity, according to Chandra McMahon, Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer of CVS Health, and Rohan D’Souza, Chief Product Officer of Olive, is critical for both large and small organizations. All who work in healthcare must realize they are responsible for participating in cybersecurity. Leaders can prepare for cyber events by holding tabletop exercises around threat modeling, building security into their culture, and running security tests on all technology. They must also stay updated on current cybersecurity threats and be well-prepared to avoid massive disruption to the business.
It will undoubtedly take leaders – individuals who see the possibility to move beyond the complexity and challenges of the industry to create meaningful change in their organizations and beyond – to actualize the ongoing adaptations needed to improve healthcare in the U.S. If you or someone you know is a leader who fits this profile, our industry needs you! Applications for the Council Fellows class of 2023 are open through October 21st. Get started at https://healthcarecouncilfellows.com/apply/