February 21, 2013 | By Guest Blog
We’ve all heard the saying “good health is priceless,” and most of us believe it. But a good healthcare system isn’t. Rising prices, accessibility and patient safety plague the industry. Enter the crowdsourcing organization Enviu, which is launching the Open Health Community Challenge to find a business model that can improve the quality, affordability, safety and accessibility of health care.
The Open Health Community Project
Launching this month, the Open Health Community is a platform for people to share their knowledge, discuss their challenges and work together to co-create world-changing ideas that inspire us all. We believe the best innovation does not always come by inventing something spontaneously but can be a learning process. The idea behind the Open Health Community is to synthesize ideas under development worldwide to produce innovative and economically feasible ways to address the challenges facing the healthcare sector.
In the first phase of the challenge, which has just started, the focus is on finding these best practices and sharing them within the Open Health community. In the second phase of the challenge, which begins in April, we will generate solutions.
To show you what we are looking for, we have prepared a pair of inspiring health-care models from disparate corners of the globe.
Innovation in a Canadian hospital
The small Shouldice Hospital in Ontario specializes in hernia surgeries. According to researchers, between 10 percent and 15 percent of patients with hernias have a second weak spot in their muscle, a “hidden” hernia, which usually requires a second operation. Using a unique procedure, the specialists at Shouldice Hospital are able to identify this hidden hernia and decrease the percentage of patients who need a second operation to 0.5 percent. They have also added elements to the treatment that decrease recovery time for patients, who walk out of the operating room themselves. The result is a treatment twice as cheap and twice as fast. But surprisingly, while elements of the procedure are used in other hospitals, the business model is still unique after 40 years of excellent performance.
Heart surgery in India
At the other end of the world is the Narayana Hrudayalaya Cardiac Hospital in Bangalore, India. Founded by Dr. Devi Shetty, this hospital performs cardiac surgeries at a fraction of the usual cost—and both success rates and after-tax profits are higher than those of comparable U.S. hospitals. The secret lies in a unique combination of high-risk cardiac surgeries and a mass approach. The hospital maximizes economies-of-scale advantages by focusing on operational excellence through standardization. Building strong relationships in the procurement market, the highly specialized staff has already treated people from 73 countries, with almost 40 percent treated at or below break-even costs.
But while the success of this hospital has led to a lot of attention, the accessibility and affordability of high-quality healthcare still remains a problem in many countries.
Becoming a member of the community
Do you feel inspired? Do you know of innovative practices in use in your area, or do you have an idea of your own? Join the Open Health Community, and share your wisdom. We are offering 10,000 euros to the team or individual with the most innovative business idea for the purpose of developing, and the person who comes forward with the most inspiring best practice will win a journey to India in the company of health experts. Sign up here and start changing the world.