Innovation in Healthcare

I stumbled upon the Mayo Clinic Innovation blog and was astounded with the amount of research, thinking and ideas that are alive on this blog. My thoughts are random and all over the place so bear with me while I try to make sense of my thesis.

Mayo Clinic was founded on the principle of consistently developing better ways of treating patients and running operations. It would be fair to say that this is the core mission of Mayo Clinic and has been since 1889. Over a century, not only has Mayo Clinic stayed true to its values but become a case-study for other leaders in and outside the healthcare industry to follow suit. This fascinates me because its not very often that you hear about innovations in the Healthcare sector. A revolutionary, disruptive technology might sit in the news for a few weeks before dealing with adoption and scalability issues, but incremental innovations and improvements (esp. in the Healthcare) are overlooked and underestimated. A few months ago, I read Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto and was astounded by the idea that a tool as simple as a Check-list in ER rooms showed measurable results in improving the quality of health-care and saving lives.

I think there are two things that stand out to me most about Mayo Clinic’s efforts:

Transparency: Leaving aside the social media jargon for a second, Mayo Clinic’s efforts with the The Center for Innovation and their approach to communicating it has not only contributed towards elevating its position as a thought leader in healthcare innovation, but also simplifies the complex world of patient care. Here is an example of a post on the design of a stool-collection kit. A very unsexy topic but the learnings shared from Mayo Clinic’s focus groups are insightful.

Accessibility: Mayoclinic.com is a better, more trust-worthy webmd.com. I was very pleasantly surprised at Mayo Clinic’s adoption of the web in helping users learn more about diseases. I prefer that MayoClinic keeps it to the point unlike webmd.com that has now morphed into an ivillage.com lookalike. I think MC is still working out its kinks (there are several different versions of the sites that exist with a different look and feel on each) but I already like where they are headed.

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