Thursday, May 19, 2016

Improvement is Not Innovation

LISTEN TO: Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA, President/CEO, SoPE

Innovation is a step further 

"So, the issue is what is innovation? If you ask 100 people, you're going to get 100 different answers. So, here is Arlen's two cents..."First of all there is a difference between an idea, an invention and innovation. An idea is something that pops in your mind - that's the end of it. An invention is an idea reduced to practice. You make a sketch, you build a prototype - you actually start conceptualizing how this thing is going to look/taste/feel, it's reduced to practice. It could be a process or service, it doesn't necessarily have to be a product or goods. But innovation is a step further. Innovation is about creating value and value that someone is willing to pay you for, or exchange something of value which is usually money. So an invention doesn't do you any good unless someone is willing to give you money to use it or buy it. That's what innovation is.

How much is the  changes we are seeing in health care due to innovation?  Much of it is improvement, not innovation  according to Arlen Meyers, M.D., who also founded SO.P.E. (the Society of Physician Entrepeneurs). This boot strapped organization provides some meaningful material for those who want to call themselves entrepeneurs.

As recently as ten years ago  Most physicians were entrepeneurs as the head of their own medical practice. Some were extremely successful following unique models for success in health care and medical practice. Some grew into large multispecialty group with governing bodies.

The founders of many prominent industrial size medical clinics and now health systems were conceived by physicians such as William Mayo, the founders of the Cleveland Clinic, Henry Ford Health Systems, Geisinger Clinic and many others.

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