Deloitte Director for Center for Health Solutions Shares Advice for Inventors


Harry Greenspun, MD, talks to a captive audience at the Innovation Lab about re-engineering health care.

The Innovation Institute works with several industry partners who specialize in health care innovation, including Deloitte.

Harry Greenspun, MD, director, Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte Services LP, and author of Reingineering Healthcare: A Manifesto for Radically Rethinking Health Care Delivery, shares his advice for inventors.

“Begin by addressing a process that doesn’t work well,” said Greenspun. “Rather than simply trying to do it more efficiently, think about how you might do it fundamentally differently.”

While incremental improvements can come from tweaks to a process, one can achieve dramatic transformation by taking a different approach to an issue. He reminds us that many of the processes in use today are the result of years of evolution, often incorporating workarounds for issues that no longer exist.

“Taking a fresh look at what the end result needs to be can lead to completely new ways of tackling a problem,” advised Greenspun. “One way to get some inspiration is to think about how a similar issue is addressed in another industry like retail, travel, or finance. Health care can be slow to innovate, so one can often see the future of health care in the present day experience of other industries.”

Finally, Dr. Greenspun says one important pitfall to avoid is not recognizing what the real problem is. Innovators will often apply technology or other solutions that address issues that are not truly impeding progress. “Solving these issues does not make much of an impact if bigger factors like reimbursement, physician adoption, interoperability, or trust are the real obstacles. Sorting out what really matters takes a broader view,” concluded Greenspun.