Innovative Disruption in Healthcare

Innovative Disruption in Healthcare

"Health care's not been very good at partnering with people"... this is partly because, in "how doctors are selected" in their schooling in training, "you're not selected or trained to be innovative. You're trained to be repetitive and maintain the status quo."

Marc Randolph, co-founder of Netflix, recently shared insight into improving healthcare through disruptive innovation at the Healthcare Analytics Summit in Dallas. He shared the story of the fateful meeting with Blockbuster Video, where the offer was made to sell Netflix to the video chain (Lockhart, 2018). The refusal to purchase a fledgling Netflix led to massive success for Netflix, while Blockbuster dwindled down to a single location. The cost for failing to innovate is documented well in this case. What does this have to do with healthcare? Randolph explained that all industries may benefit in a similar manner, and by developing a tolerance of risk when introducing new ideas.

Randolph was joined by other speakers, who also advocated for innovation in healthcare (Lockhart, 2018). This innovation is likely going to be driven by big data, and there are increasing opportunities for data analytics research in healthcare. Access to data will help create a better picture of a patient's health, and will better help a physician adapt a care plan specific to that individual patient's needs.

Innovation in healthcare has been challenging to date, partly due to the way physicians have been trained. Lockhart (2018) reported on Dr. Toby Cosgrove's analysis of this limitation. He said that physicians are trained a specific way, and to provide repetitive solutions. Innovation falls outside of this training.

Innovative care doesn't require taking needless risk, but there is plenty to be done to change the status quo. Once healthcare organization where I worked began using visual assessments to adjust ventilators for comfort, and offered fluid bolus therapy to thin out mucus secretions that could clog a tracheostomy tube. This reduced the time it took to improve a patient's condition, while simultaneously lowering costs for excessive additional tests. The result of simple changes like these included the ability for children otherwise immobilized by the standardized pharmaceutical sedation accompanying their medical technologies to smile, laugh, and play.

There is a wide opening for research on innovative healthcare. Topics may range from quality of life, lowered costs, job satisfaction, and reduced re-admittance, for example. If you want to share some ideas with your fellow CHNR affiliates, be sure to use the CHNR forum. In the forum you can post questions, or share updates on your dissertation or other research projects.


Lockhart, B. (2018). Netflix co-founder urges Utah health executives to develop 'tolerance of risk'. Desert News. Retrieved from

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