Dr. Nicholas Horney - Interviewed by the Editor of Finland's
Executive Education Magazine - Profile
"Will your industry disappear?" January, 2013
Dr. Horney was interview by Profile Magazine's editor, Thomas Freundlich, to gain some perspective on how organizational agility can be a valuable asset in a rapidly transforming health care industry. Despite amazing advances in medicines and medical technology over the past 50 years, health care is in crisis. Costs are skyrocketing, health outcomes are uneven, and the patient experience is unacceptable. Developing strategic agility and differentiating on value are two recommendations included in the recently released report from Health Care Finance Management Association's Value Project: Defining and Delivering Value.
Does agility sound like something that a health care organization today-a provider organization, a payer organization, vendors, researchers, a medical school-might find valuable? From a very narrow perspective, some health care providers can claim to have been agile for a long time. A hospital emergency room, after all, sounds very much like an agile organization. A small staff of highly trained people work cooperatively, self-configuring the range of skills and knowledge appropriate for responding to each patient's needs. They reach out, as those needs require, to engage the wider pool of expertise available within the emergency room, in the hospital, on call, in other hospitals, and even worldwide, through global medical databases and access to superstar specialists and researchers. The agility of the emergency room is, however, a special case. It is the product of a mission rather than of market forces. But imagine a hospital, a rehabilitation facility, a managed care enterprise, a medical device or pharmaceuticals manufacturer, or a national health care system whose routine operations were as dynamic, as collaborative, and as customer centered as the emergency room's.
Profile's editor indicated that there are a number of high profile people suggesting that health care, as we know it, will not be around for long. "Silicon Valley investor and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla made waves in the medical community last autumn by predicting that in a few years technology would replace 80% of doctors. According to Khosla, machines, powered by unprecedented processing capacity and feeding on vast data sets, would be not only cheaper but also more accurate than human doctors. Khosla sees transformative innovation in the health care sector coming from entrepreneurs outside the industry, but it is not a view shared by all. Some feel this scenario is outlandish, while others see it as obvious to the point one wonders why it took so long to come up with the idea. Certainly the risks to the industry itself are a real possibility and need to be considered. Examples of this change include AliveCor, a clinical-quality low-cost ECG heart monitor for the iPhone, and 23and- Me, a DNA analysis service that allows people to research their own genes and is available as an online subscription for $299. Hundreds of start-up companies are looking to change the face of health care in the coming years." (Thomas Freundlich, editor, Profile Magazine, January, 2013.) >> READ MORE