Healthcare Innovation

Top-Down Approach as a Solution for Diversity in Healthcare Workforce

By | Diversity & Inclusion, Healthcare Innovation | No Comments

Demographics in the United States are rapidly changing. By 2043, the nation will be “majority-minority” according to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau [1]. The nation is already experiencing this shift with minorities accounting for 98% of the population growth in large metropolitan areas [2]. This shift will have significant implications for decision-making and care delivery as the healthcare industry transitions from a physician-led model to a patient-centric model.

As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, the business case for the healthcare workforce to reflect the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds of the total population is compelling [3]. Such a representation is essential in addressing the barriers to healthcare access which ultimately lead to quality and culturally competent service delivery. This is also important in addressing healthcare disparities among minority communities who are often impacted by other socioeconomic factors such as income, education, and lack of insurance [4].

Despite these pronounced benefits, minorities have been historically underrepresented in the healthcare workforce. For example, in 2000, African Americans accounted for approximately 12.7% of the population but represented only 4.4% and 8.8% of physicians and nursing staff, respectively [5]. Furthermore, in 2015, only 5.7% of medical school graduates were African American [6]. This disconnect is expected to worsen due to anticipated physician shortage in the coming years, combined with lack of representation in the pipeline. The latter can be overcome by equipping these groups with preparation and resources for academic success, mentorship programs for talent recruitment, and increased awareness of healthcare opportunities [7]. Some programs, such Winston-Salem State University, have already implemented these changes into their curriculum with a commitment to expand the pipeline with diverse and qualified candidates to reduce healthcare disparities [8]. Also, state and federal policymakers are calling for training programs to encourage underrepresented students to explore health careers through academic support, financial incentive programs, and lectures and workshops supplementing the K-12 curriculum [7].

In addition, diversity in senior management positions can better serve the growing minority patient populations. This broadening would expand thought diversity at the “top” of the organization, and the benefits of this are often underestimated. According to a 2015 McKinsey report, companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean [9]. This report further established that for every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity at the ‘top’, pre-tax earnings rose 0.8% [9].

Yet, minorities are disproportionately failing to attain such high-level positions, specifically at the C-suite level or the Board of Directors. In a 2013 Institute for Diversity survey, minorities represented 31% of patients nationally [10]. However, they represented only 17% of front- and mid-level management positions. These figures worsened with 14% and 12% representation at the executive and board levels, respectively [10].

Companies with diverse executive teams enforce stronger governance practices and increased successes with innovation and operations. These teams are also more likely to remain objective, challenge their conscious and unconscious biases, and apply various perspectives in decision making [11]. In addition, diverse leadership teams also demonstrate opportunities for minority groups.

With minorities’ underrepresentation, the ‘trickle-down effect’ becomes increasingly important. The leadership sets the tone, and the teams follow their example. This executive team’s behaviors and practices drive the underlying interactions between employees and consumers. Such passing down of values-based behaviors can stifle a company’s progress in the diversity of their workforce, management teams, and senior executives. The lack of diversity at this level could lead to unawareness of unconscious biases and unchallenged assumptions. As a result, their perspectives and policies would be inclined towards hiring and promoting those with similar characteristics. This would also influence the front- and mid-level management to adopt similar behaviors and practices, thus causing a domino effect. Due to lack of shared values, recruiting diverse talent and retraining a diverse workforce becomes challenging. This will have a negative impact on the organization’s overall performance. Thus, diversity initiatives must be expanded to both executive management and the workforce.

To further explore the influence of diverse leadership, CHI is organizing the 8th annual Diversity, Inclusion, & Health Equity Symposium on 6/27/18 in Chicago, which is a leading annual, collaborative event focusing on health equity and health disparities in the U.S. The symposium brings together leading healthcare professionals, executives, physicians, patient groups, patients, researchers, academics, clinical trial professionals, and diversity and inclusion advocates to discuss health equity in the life sciences and the health sectors. The symposium focuses on the latest trends, challenges, opportunities in both the marketplace and workplace, with a specific focus on how to best serve an increasingly diverse patient base. We also aim to address the broader health disparity challenges in the U.S., and the symposium equips attendees with the latest insights and ideas. Attendees will learn practical solutions, share perspectives, and meet new industry and marketplace colleagues. Visit for more information and registration.

1. U.S. Census Bureau Projections Show a Slower Growing, Older, More Diverse Nation a Half Century from Now. U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed April 17, 2018.
2. White neighborhoods get modestly more diverse, new census data show. Brookings. Accessed April 17, 2018.
3. 2015 Kelly Report: Health Disparities in America. Office of Robin Kelly. Accessed April 17, 2018.
4. Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Institute of Medicine. Accessed April 17, 2018.
5. Fact Sheet: The Need for Diversity in the Health Care Workforce. Health Professionals for Diversity Coalition. Accessed April 17, 2018.
6. Diversity in Medical Education: Facts & Figures 2016. AAMC. Accessed April 17, 2018.
7. Racial and Ethnic Disparities: Workforce Diversity. National Conference of State Legislatures. Accessed April 17, 2018.
8. Improving Diversity in the Health Professions. North Carolina Medical Journal. Accessed April 17, 2018.
9. Why Diversity Matters. McKinsey & Company. Accessed April 17, 2018.
10. Diversity and Disparities: A Benchmark Study of U.S. Hospitals in 2013. Institute for Diversity in Health Management. Accessed April 17, 2018.
11. Why Diverse Teams are Smarter. Harvard Business Review. Accessed April 17, 2018.

New Partnership Could Lead to Disruptive Innovation

By | Affordable Healthcare Act, Collaboration, Data Analytics, Global Healthcare Trends, Healthcare Costs, Healthcare Innovation, Patient Engagement, Patients | No Comments

This morning, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase announced an ambitious partnership to cut health cuts and improve satisfaction for their U.S. employees. They announced plans to create a company “free from profit-making incentives,” with the goal of implementing technology solutions to simplify the healthcare system. The chief executives of all three firms noted the challenges that they are likely to face, but all the while expressed confidence that the vast resources of these corporations will help them achieve this goal. The project will be led by a team of three senior executives, one from each company, with more of the logistical news expected in the coming weeks and months.

This partnership could represent a dramatic change in the healthcare landscape. The track records of these corporations speak for themselves, and they certainly have the financial backing and corporate talent to make a huge impact in the healthcare industry. Traditional players in this industry including CVS, Cigna, Aetna, and United Health all suffered hits in the stock market potentially related to the news, pointing to the disruptive potential for this collaboration. However, much of the details have yet to be released, and any effects that this might have on the healthcare marketplace at impossible to predict at this point. It is also unclear what approach the group will use. Amazon has been rumored to venture into the healthcare space for some time now, and their strengths in logistical and data management, as well as the cutting edge technological innovations we have seen in recent years, suggest that they are primed to tackle the rising costs of healthcare delivery. However, we do not know what any solutions might look like, so we will have to wait and see what they can propose. One thing that we do know is that the complexity and regulatory challenges present in the healthcare industry in unlike any marketplace these companies have seen before, and this will certainly take some getting used to.

Also of note in this partnership is the focus on patient-centered care. Many groups, including our Center for Healthcare Innovation, have recognized that the key to containing the costs in healthcare is to give more autonomy to patients and physicians in making healthcare decisions. Technology can certainly assist patients in making more informed and cost-effective choices, as well as assist hospital systems in reducing spending but utilizing artificial intelligence and information management platforms. These are things that Amazon, Berkshire, and JP Morgan will likely focus upon.

The healthcare industry has been primed for change for some time. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan have announced a partnership to cut health care costs and improve services for their employees, who number over 1 million. However, what they think up could have ramifications that affect all Americans. The name recognition of these players and the highly qualified executives heading the project have boosted optimism that a positive disruption to the healthcare marketplace is on the horizon.

CNBC; “Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase to partner on US employee health care.”

Diversity among Executive Leaders: An Essence for Prosperity

By | Diversity & Inclusion, Healthcare Innovation | No Comments

Diversity in the workplace helps to spark creativity and innovation. A diverse set of experiences and opinions can offer a variety of solutions to business problems. All industries need diversity to bring forth new ideas that lead to innovation, but a lack of diversity among executive leaders is still a common problem across many fields.

A study conducted by Harvard Business School interviewed 24 CEOs from around the globe who positively advance diversity in their companies and corporate divisions. All 24 CEOs forcefully affirmed the benefits of diversity and defined it as “a source of creativity and innovation.” When employees with different backgrounds and experiences collaborate with one another, they can accomplish more than they would as individuals. The CEOs praised the remarkable benefits of promoting employee diversity, but they were also disappointed with the shortage of progress on diversity in the C-suite. According to a recent report, there are only 4 African-American CEOs at the nation’s 500 largest companies. A Forbes report last year indicated that only 4.2% of the Fortune 500 firms are led by female CEOs, and 28% have just one female director. Even worse, the inequality at the C-suite level has also promoted intolerance of leaders with diverse backgrounds. Andrea Jun, the CEO of the personal-care-products firm Avon, shared her experience that she is usually the only woman or Asian sitting around a table of senior executives, and people often assume she could not be the boss. Another similar example is shared by Ajay Banga, the CEO of MasterCard, “My passion for diversity comes from the fact that I myself am diverse. There have been a hundred times when I have felt different from other people in the room or in the business. I have a turban and a full beard, and I run a global company—that’s not common.” Executive leaders with diverse backgrounds can be treated unfairly, and their contributions can often be underappreciated. In the study, Harvard Business School also distinguished leadership styles between men and women. The conclusions of the study described women as less political, more collaborative, better listeners, more relationship-oriented and more empathetic and reasonable. Therefore, as George Halvorson, the CEO of the California-based managed-care consortium Kaiser Permanente, said, when dealing with some complex projects involving multiple layers, a collaborative leader is necessary and his experience shows that more often than not the leader turns out to be a woman. Thus, we have to admit that one certain type of executive leader is not able to handle the rapidly changing market, and executive leaders with diverse backgrounds can fulfill the demands with innovation and creativity.

In the end, it is important to embrace executive leaders with diverse backgrounds. They are the talents who can create a culture based on innovation and cooperation, and also have the courage to bring forth new ideas and break the routine.

To further explore the influence of diverse leadership, CHI is organizing the 7th annual Diversity, Inclusion, & Life Sciences Symposium on 6/15/17 in Chicago. The Symposium is the leading annual, collaborative event for life sciences and healthcare executives, physicians, HR professionals, clinical trial professionals and patients, entrepreneurs, patient groups, researchers, academics, and diversity, and inclusion advocates to discuss diversity and inclusion in healthcare. The symposium focuses on the latest trends, challenges, opportunities, and best practices for implementing strategies and tactics to make these industries more diverse and inclusive, as well as understand how to better serve diverse patient groups. Attendees will learn the newest insights and ideas, discuss practical solutions, and meet new industry and marketplace colleagues. See a video at This year’s symposium will include topics such as the role of coaching and mentoring in executive success, diversity and inclusion in clinical trials and research, and expanding definitions of diversity. Please visit for more info or to register.



Connolly, Boris GroysbergKatherine, and Boris Groysberg and Robin Abrahams. “Great Leaders Who Make the Mix Work.” Harvard Business Review. N.p., 27 Oct. 2014. Web. 24 May 2017.

Vinjamuri, David. “Diversity In Advertising Is Good Marketing.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 20 Mar. 2017. Web. 01 June 2017.

Wallace, Gregory. “Only 5 Black CEOs at 500 Biggest Companies.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 29 Jan. 2015. Web. 01 June 2017.

Zarya, Valentina. “Female Fortune 500 CEOs Are Poised to Break This Record in 2017.” Female Fortune 500 CEOs Set to Break Records in 2017. Fortune, 22 Dec. 2016. Web. 01 June 2017.




How Does Patient Engagement Drive Value?

By | Collaboration, Global Healthcare Trends, Healthcare Innovation, Healthcare Value, Patient Engagement, Patient-Driven Healthcare, Patients, Volume-to-Value | No Comments

The 21st-century healthcare landscape is characterized by a consumer-driven, patient-centric model of care delivery, with patients, their caregivers, and advocacy groups playing a vital role in today’s healthcare ecosystem. Patients and their families are taking an active role in their healthcare and proactively interacting with providers and other healthcare stakeholders to improve health and wellness. Today’s patients are better informed and more financially invested than ever before, and they play a key role in decision-making processes that can positively impact health outcomes.


This paradigm shift has dramatic implications not only for patients – but also for providers, biopharma, and payers. As healthcare costs pressures continue to increase, incentives are shifting from a fee-for-service environment to a value-based healthcare system. More than ever, it is critical to understand how patient engagement drives value for patients, providers, biopharma, and payers, and ensure your organization is aligned to operate in the new healthcare economy.


The How Does Patient Engagement Drive Value? Healthcare Executive Roundtable on Thursday, 10/13/16 in Manhattan, NY, is an expert, cross-sectoral collaborative discussion designed to help healthcare stakeholders optimize engagement, communication, and collaboration. The exclusive, limited-attendance roundtable is designed to provide the top thought-leaders, visionaries, and executives from the patient advocate, provider, biopharma, and payer spaces with the latest insights and ideas on how patient engagement drives healthcare value for all stakeholders. The roundtable focuses on pragmatic and actionable ideas designed to empower you and your organization to understand the intersection of patient engagement and healthcare value. Additionally, the Healthcare Executive Roundtable helps healthcare stakeholders build open and collaborative relationships to positively impact healthcare delivery and outcomes.


We have a very limited number of registrations remaining. Please visit for more information. We invite you to join us for a day of thought-provoking discussion regarding patient engagement and healthcare value.

The Economist’s Healthcare Forum: War on Cancer

By | Global Healthcare Trends, Healthcare Innovation, Healthcare Value, Patients | No Comments

While advances in cancer treatment have come a long way, cancer remains among the leading causes of death worldwide. Though the promise of technology allowing for faster, more precise treatment and more collaborative health care models is inching us closer to victory, scaling the progress made thus far remains a critical next step.


On September 28th in Boston, editors of The Economist, experts and thought leaders from across the healthcare ecosystem will gather at the War on Cancer Forum to discuss and debate how innovation can be scaled across policy and financing, prevention, early detection, treatment and long-term management of this deadly disease. Don’t miss the opportunity to network with 200 of your peers and those making major progress in the war on cancer.


Some of our notable speakers participating in the event include:

  • Amy Abernethy, Chief medical officer and senior vice-president of oncology, Flatiron Health
  • Christina Åkerman, President, International Consortium For Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM)
  • Peter Bach, Director, Center for health policy and outcomes, Memorial Sloan Kettering
  • Roy Beveridge, Senior vice-president and chief medical officer, Humana
  • Amitabh Chandra, Director, health policy research, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Sally Cowal, Former Ambassador, US Government and senior vice-president of global cancer control, American Cancer Society
  • Jason Efstathiou, Director, Genitourinary division, department of radiation oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Gilles Frydman, Co- founder, Smart Patients
  • Kathy Giusti, Founder, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
  • Kathleen Kaa, Global head of pricing and market access, Oncology, Roche
  • Kelvin Lee, Co-leader, tumor immunology and immunotherapy, Roswell Park Cancer Center
  • Greg Matthews, Managing Director, MDigital Life
  • Josh Ofman, Senior vice-president, global value, access and policy, Amgen
  • Kyu Rhee, Chief health officer, IBM
  • Lowell Schnipper, Chair, value in cancer task force, ASCO

Save 15% on the current available rate when you register with our special code: CHI15

The Evolving Role of Healthcare Providers

By | Affordable Healthcare Act, Collaboration, Global Healthcare Trends, Health Insurance, Healthcare Innovation, Healthcare Providers, Patient Engagement, Patient-Driven Healthcare | No Comments

The Evolving Role of Healthcare Providers

We are in an age of healthcare consumerism where patients’ interests are more vested than ever. It’s important for providers to accommodate the power shift. This means increasing transparency, finding new ways to facilitate communication, responding directly to patient concerns and questions when raised, and being proactive in staying ahead with new innovations in health and medicine.

Patients are also now more informed than ever, which has helped to create a competitive atmosphere in the world of healthcare. Patients can compare services and prices, so healthcare providers must be able to meet expectations and show how they will work with patients to achieve the best outcomes. Healthcare providers can no longer afford to stay on the sidelines and wait for patients to interact; they must actively engage patients regularly.

Attracting New Patients

In the past, healthcare providers could depend on word of mouth and a small ad in the local phone book to bring in patients. A passive approach like this will not work anymore. It is imperative for healthcare providers to carefully create and refine their online presence, not only providing basic information, but also working to appeal to patients. Social media interactions and patient testimonials may help to make an office or provider seem more accessible and attractive.

Working with Health Insurance Agencies

Most patients now have health insurance, thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act. It is wise for healthcare providers to work closely with health insurance agencies to create a seamless experience for patients. Being “in-network” will help patients with particular plans learn about healthcare providers. Being knowledgeable about what services will cost patients out of pocket and taking steps to make the claims process simple for patients may help to distinguish one in-network provider from the rest.

Facilitating Meaningful Engagement

There are now many different options for engaging with patients, so sticking to only contacting patients via telephone sends a message that a provider is behind the times or not willing to make an effort to engage patients. Providers should find out patients’ favored method of communication when gathering basic personal and health information and use those methods to communicate regularly between visits. Patients want evidence that their healthcare providers truly care about their health.

Anticipating Future Changes

The healthcare landscape is becoming ever more connected and comprehensive. Taking action to keep up with current industry trends-such as making information easily accessible by other providers during transitions of care and allowing patients to access information online – will help healthcare providers to stay relevant and in business. Since healthcare is rapidly changing, it is also important to stay one step ahead and anticipate future changes so that it is easy to continue to adapt as shifts occur.

How Can We Boost Patient Engagement?

By | Healthcare Innovation, Healthcare Quality, Informed Patient, Patient Engagement, Patient-Driven Healthcare, Patients | No Comments

Young smiling doctor consoling patient sitting on wheel chair outdoor

Many industries today focus on strengthening consumer engagement with their products and services. Whether it’s via social media, websites, mobile apps, video media, or televised commercials, companies across the globe know the importance of marketing their products, services, and technological advances in maintaining profit margins and consumer satisfaction levels. The healthcare industry would be wise to follow similar industry strategies in order to strengthen patient engagement.

There are a numerous views on what exactly defines patient engagement. Broadly speaking, patient engagement is defined as the degree to which patients are involved in their own care. A generally accepted, comprehensive definition provided by HIMSS Analytics states “An organization’s strategy to get patients involved in actively and knowledgeably managing their own health and wellness and that of family members and others for whom they have responsibility. This includes reviewing and managing care records, learning about conditions, adopting healthy behaviors, making informed healthcare purchases, and interacting with care providers as a partner.1 Essentially, patient engagement refers to the tools and technologies healthcare organizations use to engage patients before or after acute episodes of care and during the time between in-person visits.

The time between visits is a particular challenge in patient engagement. During provider-patient visits, discussions with care providers and increased involvement with the patient tends to lead to higher levels of engagement. As months pass after visits, active participation is no longer necessary and engagement becomes less of a priority. The result is often forgotten instructions provided during the visit. The effectiveness of continuous engagement with patients after their treatment was tested with a program that delivered text messages three days a week to 700 gastroenterology patients who were trying to lose weight during a six month period from November 2012 to April 2013. The objective was to analyze the effectiveness of prolonged engagement by comparing the success of the treatment between those who received texts and remained engaged with a control group who was left alone. The results showed that patients who received the text messages dropped 0.5 more on the Body Mass Index (BMI) than patients who did not participate.2 This simple example of increased communication depicts the drastic impact that engagement can have on the patient’s long-term, perceived value of the treatment and instructions given.

The ability to remain in contact with patients through text messaging is an example of how changes in technology offer new opportunities to increase patient engagement. Yet, despite numerous new systems used today, raising patient engagement remains a challenge. In part, this is due to the complexity and scope of effective long-term engagement. According to Dan Housman, Director at Deloitte, the biggest challenges of the historically accepted model of provider and patient relationships stem from assumptions which fail to account for the uniqueness of the individuals involved. These assumptions include that a patient must be obedient and that a physician should act with authority.3 This way of thinking undermines patient-centricity and fails to develop a healthy relationship which promotes patient engagement. By addressing the flaws in the traditional model and revising those to better reflect trending patient-focused values, healthcare providers can more effective communicate the value of continued patient engagement, which ultimately results in its increase.

IBM Watson Health is an example of one of the countless companies in healthcare making efforts to change this model and enhance patient engagement initiatives. This September, they launched a population health program, expanding their online cloud capabilities to provide a more accessible, relevant platform for accessing industry-specific trends and innovations. It is staffed with a team of professionals that engage with users, answering any questions very quickly. This results in more informed patients and addresses the issues with the assumptions in the traditional provider-patient relationship model. Furthermore, the program promotes and records user feedback on treatment which can be used to further improve the methods of care and provide tangible results in healthcare outcomes. Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President of IBM Watson Group, stated in a press release “This newest expansion of the IBM Watson Health Cloud makes it an even more robust and flexible platform for the life sciences and healthcare industries and explains its rapid adoption among leading organizations in these fields.4 The value added to the interaction helps to promote further patient engagement over time.

Patient engagement is an important aspect the healthcare. It leads to better health outcomes for patients by increasing their understanding of the value in instructions from providers and promotes adhering to suggested preventative measures. Healthcare providers must continuously reach out to patients, keeping them motivated and increasing both parties understanding of the other. CHI will be further exploring patient engagement and its challenges in today’s dynamic healthcare industry at its upcoming Healthcare Executive Roundtable on October 15, 2015 in Manhattan. For more information, please visit


  1. Noteboom, Michelle Ronan. “From Patient Engagement to Telehealth, What Does It All Mean?” Healthcare   IT News. 18 Sept. 2015. Web. 2 Oct. 2015
  2. Fellows, Jacqueline. “Meeting the Challenge of Patient Engagement.” HealthLeaders Media. 26 Aug. 2015. Web. 2 Oct. 2015
  3. Gruessner,Vera. “What Obstacles Stand in the Way of Patient Engagement? ” MHealth Intelligence. 16 Sept. 2015. Web. 2 Oct. 2015
  4. Gruessner, Vera. “Could a Population Health System Improve Patient Engagement?” MHealth Intelligence. 14 Sept. 2015. Web. 2 Oct. 2015.