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What’s Your Game Changer?

By Kimberly Mitchell | Monday, August 3, 2015
In the following post, IHI Director of Communications and WIHI host Madge Kaplan describes some of the disruptive innovations that have inspired her in the last year. 

Madge

The July 9 WIHI featured Dr. Sanjeev Arora passionately telling us about Project ECHO, which enables specialists to share their expertise with caregivers all over the globe so that patients, anywhere, can receive the best care. I confess that I didn’t fully appreciate the significance of the model until I started planning the WIHI. Dr. Arora, the visionary founder behind Project ECHO, is not just harnessing virtual technology to treat patients; he and his team are breaking down long-entrenched medical silos that keep what specialists know at arm’s length from everyone else. 

This all began because Dr. Arora, a liver specialist, realized back in 2003 that there was no way that thousands with hepatitis C in New Mexico, many from small, rural communities, were ever going to get the treatment they needed and deserved unless specialists like him could mentor a much broader group of practitioners on how to help these patients. From the looks of the July 9 WIHI Chat, everyone who tuned into the broadcast was equally impressed by the idea that expanding access to treatment by democratizing and generously spreading medical expertise is not only an elegant solution to a shortage of specialists for any given condition, it’s also a perfect example of a game changer – a disruptive innovation in the improvement of health and health care.

And, speaking of game changers, I’m wondering whether you have the good fortune of being in the midst of one of your own that you’d be willing to tell me about. Game changers I’ve learned about in the past year include a hospital rethinking its decision to lay off members of its cleaning staff and converting their jobs into community outreach workers instead; and a health care executive who surprised his staff by distributing to them the financial savings everyone was responsible for because of improved care.  

August is when WIHI takes a break, and I scour all my sources for interesting and innovative topics for upcoming shows for the rest of 2015 into 2016. I have some program ideas already in the pipeline, but I’d really love to know what other game-changing health and health care improvements are out there that could be the subject of a future WIHI. 

Merriam-Webster defines game changer as “a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way.” Does this fit the description of something you’re working on or are aware of that’s accelerating improvements in health and health care or taking things in an entirely new, “disruptive” direction? Please let me know. Email me at info@ihi.org and put “WIHI Game Changer” in the subject line. In the meantime, August is a great time to catch up on the WIHI archive.

I look forward to hearing from you! 
 

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