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5 key insights from a year's worth of international CEO roundtables

July 4, 2019

    Two weeks after the conclusion of our Global Forum meeting series, I've been reflecting on the conversations and questions your peer CEOs shared.  

    Across the sessions we conducted in London, Toronto, Sydney, and Melbourne, a handful of key insights surfaced. I want to report back to you across all of these sessions, and also extend my team's help across any and all of these areas.

    Insight #1: It doesn't really matter that 'innovation' can have multiple definitions

    I appreciate the need to be specific about the terms we use in strategy, but I think we can all agree the key ingredient we're searching for when it comes to innovation is doing things better in new ways.

    Instead, where I found the most fruitful conversation was around describing what problems we are trying to solve—and then searching for solutions. The caution around "avoiding solutions looking for problems" was one of my biggest takeaways and something I'll continue to ask myself.

    Read more: The New Innovation Agenda

    Insight #2: Despite its technological advances, AI is still a 'human problem'

    We had a lot of discussion about AI—and rightfully so. It has the potential to revolutionise so many aspects of society. But for health care, where our risk tolerance is very low, I question a rapid adoption of AI in all facets of care delivery.

    The clear fear is that AI will replace human clinicians. But I think we're better served is to evaluate other, lower-risk areas where AI is poised to make our logistics, patient flow, and clinician decision making easier, faster, and sharper.

    Read more: The Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem

    Insight #3: Most of us will have to start thinking about non-clinical services

    Nearly every industrialised country is struggling with how to afford the future of health care. With more patients using expensive ED services—in many cases driven by psycho-social risk factors—we are searching for ways to get 'earlier upstream' into the causes of health care demand.

    Our research shows that there are two common ways health care providers are approaching the non-clinical realm. The provider either targets one non-clinical service for lots of patients, or he or she addresses many non-clinical issues for one kind of patient. This scoping is critical since supporting non-clinical services doesn't fall neatly into our provider remit. Very few of us can afford to do more things that don't relate to our core mission.

    Read more: Connected Care Series: Social Determinants of Health

    Insight #4: Even high-risk patients can be experts in their care

    In our study on high-risk patients, we looked at how organisations work with these patients to become the active participant in their care.

    To be clear, not every patient is capable of taking on that responsibility. To find those individuals, our research has found several organisations use a mix of inclusion and exclusion criteria to identify the candidates for which this approach will work. Many organisations start by including high-cost patients and then filtering out—or excluding—patients with episodically expensive conditions or conditions that make behaviour change difficult. Success here is not about rationing care, but rather finding the patients most likely to benefit from models focused on self-management.

    Read more: Strategic Blueprint: Advancing a Super-Utilizer Program

    Insight #5: Patient activation is hard work—but one tool can help every provider out there

    Which brings me to my last point on activation. An activated patient has the willingness, desire, and confidence to take the lead in managing his or her condition(s). Not every patient starts his or her diagnosis ready for that. And it's even more challenging to figure out where an individual is starting from and what we need to do to build his or her activation level.

    The good news is that there is a metric called the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) that helps us both assess a patient's activation baseline and tailor our care models as that patient develops greater willingness, confidence, and skill. We're going to publish all of the various ways we've seen members use this tool with patients, so look out for an email on that soon.

    Read more: Hospitals score patients on their 'activation' levels

    Did I miss the insight you found most important? If so, I'd love to hear what it was. Equally, if you'd like to learn more about any of the insights I shared above, please contact us at gfhi@advisory.com.


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