Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Clinical Innovations - Five Health Care Innovations: Shine Your Light in Different Places

Well, 2008 is here. It’s time to shine the light of innovation in different places, to do things differently, to look at medical practice in a new light.

In the 1980s, the Eveready, the company that makes those inexpensive red lamps and metal flashlights, then sold mostly to men in hardware stores, was in trouble. Ralston bought Eveready. A Ralston executive suggested Eveready change the color of lamps and flashlights from red to pink, light blue, and lime green and sell them to women in supermarkets. Sales took off. Same product, same light, different colors, different places.

For doctors, the moral of this tale is four fold:

• Bring in people from outside for new ideas.

• Place your services in different places.

• Paint your services in a different light.

• Think of where your patients’ convenience

Venture outside your practice box. Use your same training and expertise. Shine light of That same knowledge in different places. Here are a few thoughts that have worked in the past and may work in the future.

1. Create and own your own retail clinic. Many medical groups are doing this as an extension of their practice or in partnership with retail outlets. Entrepreneurial companies are marketing franchises for physician-downed retail outlets. Rushed consumers, short on time and money, will appreciate it.

2. Think about approaching companies to set up worksite clinics. This is already happening. Primary care practitioners run these clinics, offer preventive services to employees, prescribe generic drugs, and create their own specialty referral networks. Employers will save money, and employees love the convenience.

3. Consider partnering with hospitals to set up a Big MACC (Multispecialty Ambulatory Care Centers), also called Big Boxes, in convenient suburban or rural settings, with ample parking and with shared receptionists, laboratory, x-ray and imaging, and pharmaceutical services. Place your practices in these New Big Boxes. Your patients will be impressed with the one-stop-shopping convenience.

4. Brainstorm about getting into the chronic disease game. It’s a known fact five diseases – diabetes, depression, asthma, depression, coronary artery disease, and congestive heart failure – gobble up 70% of total health costs. You are probably doing this already. But you might consider adding a new wrinkle or two – such as offering home house calls or monitoring electronically patients who are homebound. People want to be treated at home. Make it easy for them.

5. Fill prescriptions in your office. It’s convenient for your patients, cost them less, saves them time and driving, and makes for better compliance. Office prescribing is permissible in 36 states, and software is out there for you to check on drug interactions, prescribe from your office, and build and maintain your inventory. You’re using the same knowledge, you’re prescribing the same drugs, you’re profiting from your knowledge, and you’re making thing easier for your patients. If you find this commercial, unethical, or a conflict or interest, don’t do it. But keep in mind there’s a national movement propelling pharmacists prescribing , and it’s taking off in states like Florida.

Happy New Year!


Natho47 said...

Abrirse a nuevas prácticas es fundamental en la innovación,yo cada vez más gçhago controles vía mail,es muy potente.

Tony said...

great post - would you be willing to have me repost this on my blog - www.hospitalimpact.org. I would link and cite your blog, of course.


technologygirl08 said...

I enjoyed reading your post. Did you know the University of Michigan is now offering innovation fellowships? I believe they are still accepting applications. I though about applying...it looks pretty amazing. http://www.med.umich.edu/ummic/fellowship/index.shtml