Key Insights on Innovating the Healthcare System Together

The Nashville Healthcare Council (the Council) is where healthcare leaders come together to deepen their knowledge on the challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. healthcare system.

I was privileged to be one of the 33 healthcare fellows selected for the class of 2022. For the last five months we have explored an array of topics via engaging speakers, simulations and in-person experiences. This has been a life changing experience and has given us all a renewed sense of purpose for creating a better healthcare system.

In this post I’ll share some of the key insights I gained, as well as what U.S. healthcare leaders are thinking about and prioritizing in our industry.

Viewing the U.S. Healthcare System From a Global Perspective

The curriculum at the Council this year explored the complexity of the healthcare system through the lens of increasing healthcare costs, silos, lagging policies and a lack of health equity.

I found it fascinating to take a broader view of the U.S. healthcare system and hear perspectives from clinicians, economists and policy makers.  Many described our system as a healthcare marketplace and perceive it as a “sick care” system where healthcare is not considered a universal right.

The Need for Collaboration & Innovation as Healthcare Leaders

We shifted the focus of the program towards reframing challenges as opportunities to find solutions.  With this shift, I walked away with a new mindset and a better appreciation for the collaboration required between different innovator styles—from radical to adaptive—for true innovation to happen.

The emphasis on collaboration inspired me to work with a classmate on organizing a panel discussion with Emids Founder & CEO, Saurabh Sinha, and Neil de Crescenzo, President and CEO of Change Healthcare, where I previously worked. This panel explored the power of data, as well as the current limitations of meaningful clinical data, which will continue to drive more innovation and policy changes in the US Healthcare system.

Designing the U.S. healthcare market with the patient in mind

One panel discussion from the Council fellowship altered my way of thinking about how to solve the silos and complexities in healthcare. Simply put: if we design a healthcare system with patients and their families (the consumer) in mind, rather than a system that tries (and often fails) to meet the needs of the disparate stakeholders such as payers, providers, and pharma companies, the consumer-oriented system would actually better serve the needs of all, and in the process spurring and driving innovation across the landscape.

Looking Within to Create Dramatic Change as a Leader

My final takeaway was about my evolution as a leader—that to change the healthcare system from within, I must first look at what I can do within my own organization and career.

I’ve learned that in any organization, the top sets the tone, the middle creates the mood, and the bottom creates the buzz.  As CFO, DE&I Executive Sponsor, and leader of the Integration Office at Emids, I am committed to shaping a culture within our organization that values collaboration, inclusion and innovation, and that focuses our DE&I initiative on improving health equity.  I believe there is tremendous opportunity to achieve all these goals at Emids while continuing to transform and scale.

Final Thoughts

Coming from a family of physicians and having worked in healthcare companies for much of my career, I am keenly aware through personal stories and experiences that every country’s healthcare system is complex and siloed, (not just the U.S.)  This is in large part what has motivated me to work in the healthcare industry—to improve health outcomes and ultimately, the quality of living for all. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from and share my knowledge with the 33 thought leaders in the Nashville Healthcare Fellows class of 2022.  I’m especially grateful  for experiencing the  re-imagined curriculum facilitated by Council Fellows Chair, Michael Burcham, the amazing slate of guest speakers, as well as for interactions with the program founder, Senator Bill Frist.

As a leader, I embrace the concept that healthy tension between stakeholders leads to better solutions. I believe that leaning into these healthy tensions can ultimately transform today’s siloed healthcare system into a more innovative healthcare system of tomorrow.

I look forward to partnering with the amazing Nashville Healthcare Fellows alumni with whom I’ve shared this life changing program—to make that happen.

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