Top 10 from ILN X: 2 THE FUTURE IS NOW

Brittany Weinberg, MBA, MSG

November 18, 2016

The future of health care was the topic of the most recent meeting of the Innovation Learning Network, but its clear that we have to acknowledge the past and respect the present in order to create a better future. Here are my top ten insights:

1. Engagement is key…  Employee engagement, patient engagement, clinician engagement, stakeholder engagement. In order to address the complex and complicated issues we are facing in healthcare and advance health in a positive direction, we must engage.

Gary Hoover, Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Bookstop & Hoover’s Business Information Service, Teacher & Author advised:

  • “Consumers drive innovation.”
  • “Whenever the customer is involved, you will get more innovation. Engage your customer!”
  • “Veterinarians are the most innovative people in medicine because their customers are engaged (& paying).”


2. Design and Design Thinking are everywhere…..  I cannot think of a presentation or workshop that did not mention or allude to design or design thinking. In Claudia Perez’s opening remarks, she said that Design Thinking is the first facet of Seton Innovation’s approach. They are currently using design thinking in order to redesign complete knee replacement surgery in order to reduce readmission, increase patient loyalty, to improve patient outcomes, and more.


3. Patient Experience is essential…  We even learned how other industries are focusing on patient/consumer/customer experience. For example, the safari to IBM Design emphasized the new and profound focus on customer experience:

“There’s one key to our future grown: the client experience” – Ginni Rometty, CEO/IBM


4. “Things are getting better & better and worse & worse” –  Jake Dunagan, Director of Design Futures & Professor of foresight at California College of the Arts & Research Affiliate at the Institute of the Future


5. Honest and respectful communication about design is difficult, but possible & essential…  Adam Connor, Design Advisor from MadPow presented “Discussing Design Without Losing Your Mind”, which gave #ILNX attendees tools to critique design, give feedback, and facilitate conversations around design. For example:“If the objective is for users to seriously consider the impact to their bank balance before making a purchase (the challenge being addressed), placing the balance at the bottom of the screen at the same size as all the other numbers (design solution) is not effective because it gets lost in all of the other information (feedback).”


6. Look outside…  There is much to be gained from looking outside MedStar Health. What challenges and opportunities are other healthcare systems facing? What approach are they taking to address these challenges and opportunities? What insights have they gleaned? What are others doing that we could learn from and apply directly to our work?


7. Keep looking further outside… What other industries can we learn from? At #ILNX, we learned from various industries including technology, restaurant, retail, housing and investment.                         look-further-outside

8. Questions are powerful…  As Dr. Ed Tori has said before, questions are extremely powerful. At the IBM Design safari, ILN attendees were asked to design a vase: Will you design a flower vase? Everyone drew essentially the same vase, just decorated differently or designed with slightly different angles. Next, we were asked to design a product that enhances users’ flower experience. The beauty of this second question was that it challenged us to think in terms of the user experience. Thus, the results were completely different, even though both answers served to hold flowers. Below are my two drawings, which illustrate the power questions and, consequently, their answers.

Responses for #1 and for #2

answers-to-question-1-and-2                                                                  questions-are-powerful

9. Design for the future…  Jake Dunagan, Director of Design Futures, Professor of foresight at California College of the Arts, and Research Affiliate at the Institute of the Future challenged us to come up with a strategy that would get us to a preferred future and then work our way back to the present. He said that it is important to understand the mental models of the past that led us to where we are now. The present is a strange and fugitive place, but it was not inevitable that we would get here. Honor and understand our history and use it as a springboard to get us to the desired future.  “We cannot make decisions without the emotional component” – Jake Dunagan         design-for-the-future

10. The following quote sums up my takeaways of the #ILNX Innovation Learning Network In-Person Meeting:

“Our grandparents’ generation modernized healthcare. Our parents generation industrialized healthcare. Our generation needs to humanize healthcare.”

– Stacey Chang, Executive Director of the Design Institute for Health at Dell Medical School


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