6 Reasons Why Healthcare Innovation Is Stuck

The Sad Paradox Of Untapped Ingenuity

As healthcare organisations attempt to adjust to ever increasing demands and tighter financial and other resources, the fact that these pressures might be having a deadening effect on the very people who might have the best potential remedies is a sad paradox.

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6 Reasons Why This Is Happening

  1. Risk Aversion – Healthcare organisations have learnt to be risk averse. This stifles creativity and risks ever greater conformity at the expense of innovation.
  2. Excessive Punitive Regulation – Well intentioned efforts to improve the quality of healthcare through regulation have had a chilling effect on risk taking (see above).
  3. Increasing Workloads – Increasing volumes of patients requiring treatment are forcing many healthcare organisation to prioritise service delivery over research or innovation.
  4. Financial Pressure – tightening fiscal environments are squeezing out the opportunity to experiment with resource deployment in favour of an emphasis on cost containment.
  5. Targets – A proliferation of performance targets and and associated sanctions directs management’s attention toward performance management.
  6. Culture – Too many healthcare organisations have developed a ‘performance first’ culture. This creates an environment where the bottom line of financial results or performance standards is over-taking other important cultural features which might be ‘kinder’ toward more creative or ingenuous inquiry.

The Sad Paradox

As healthcare organisations attempt to adjust to ever increasing demands and tighter financial and other resources, the fact that these pressures might be having a deadening effect on the very people who might have the best potential remedies is a sad paradox.

Is This The Same Everywhere?

No some organisations are managing to keep good ideas afloat. There’s some good examples available here.

What Can Be Done?

Organisations need to see their response to rising pressure as a clarion call for more not less innovation. You can read the 6 essential requirements for a successful clinical innovation system here.

Successful clinical innovation systems have six characteristics which make them work well. You can read what they are here.

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Question: How good is your organisation at fostering a culture of innovation?