January 2nd 2009

The Innovator’s Prescription. A disruptive solution to healthcare. Clayton M. Christensen, Grossman & Hwang.

Hospital room (Denmark, 2005)
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The Innovator’s Prescription. A disruptive solution to healthcare Clayton M. Christensen, Grossman & Hwang. 2008. ISBN 9780071592086. Ten years in the making, this is another very useful analysis by the Christensen team.    I quickly found seven immediate money making ideas for the tech industry in healthcare in this book.  As ever, the book is clear and well written, with fascinating footnotes in every chapter (almost a book within the book) . The author(s) are no fans of govt all in one funded ( ie Canada-style) healthcare – but they have an equal dislike of the present US model.

He echoes one of the results of the Rocket Builders – NRC Healthcare opportunities study – which was that opportunities lie in the interstitials between silos and layers o f the US and Canada system.  He extends it further by illustrating the fundamental and repairable structural flaws in the present systems.  The disruptive opportunities he shows up are very near, real and often just waiting for th erigth group to sieze onto them.

As ever he points out how to start with a less than ideal solution for the unserved market – which is easier in the US vs Canada, where we have a poor but working solution – we then require a dramatically better solution for disruption. He also suggests that a democracy is not the tool to effect change, unless the change is so subtle, few notice.  For every change proposed in a democracy, someone will lose from the status quo, and they have lots of political levers to pull to keep things the same.  He also repeats that it is impossible to effect the change from within- reminding us  that IBM was the only company to survive multiple disruptions, each time through first creating a distinct stand alone division , outside of the corporate culture.

Doctors  will cry out No! when reading the section on commoditization of health care services  – but if they look around they will see that it is happening . Using Christensen’s view, hospitals should finally be able to decide what type of business they are in (He IDs three distinct types)  and then they will be able to carve ot the metrics to help them change to a sustainable model.

A very good book for all of us, expecially if you have any interest in heathcare and healthcare dollars.

Get it here

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2 Responses to: “The Innovator’s Prescription. A disruptive solution to healthcare. Clayton M. Christensen, Grossman & Hwang.”

  1. Reg, where is the author from and what is his background?

    Mark Mawhinney said on 06 Jan 2009 at 1:51 pm #

  2. Clayton first wrote the Innovators Dilemma – which we recognized as the next ground breaking work following Geoffrey Moores Crossing the Chasm. He has five books now all very good. He is still at Harvard and also has a thriving consulting company Innosite (?) I consider him the #1 thinker in this space.

    rnordman said on 07 Jan 2009 at 11:48 am #

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