What They Won’t Teach You in HA school, Medical School or Residency

by Arlen Meyers

What They Won't Teach You in HA school, Medical School or Residency

I think “health administration” is an anachronism, since we have a sick care system masquerading as a health care system and the last thing we need is more administrators, rather than leaderpreneurs.

Consequently, those offering programs to students interested in being health systems administrators offer courses and measure competencies designed to fight a phony war.

Instead, they should be requiring graduates to demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies:

  1. How to hire physician intrapreneurs and what to do with them once you have
  2. Understand AI and machine learning and what to do with the results of algorithms.

3.How to overcome the barriers to US and international biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship

4.How to lead innovators

5.Success factors for successful organizational innovation

6.How to address the social determinants of adverse health outcomes

7.How to recruit, train, promote and retain a diverse talent pipeline

8.How to win the the 4th industrial revolution

9.How to improve the health professional, health care team, patient family and friends care team experience

10.How to change doctor and patient behavior and transform sick care to health care.

11. How to break down innovation silos in regional clusters

12. How to eliminate sick care worker burnout

13. How to reconcile the ethics of business with the ethics of medicine

14. How to switch from fee for service to value based care

15. How to give white coats the pink slip

Pillay, et al, have defined the healthcare innovation competencies as:

Opportunity recognition pertains to one’s ability to scan and search for new information, connect the dots between incidents that appear to be unrelated with limited cues, and recognize patterns or ideas that suggest potential opportunities in the myriad cues or signals that they receive (Baron, 2006).

Conveying a compelling vision/seeing the future reflects an individual’s proclivity for effective communication where he or she can translate his or her vision into condensed, clear, and intriguing messages to important stakeholders (Chen, Yao, & Kotha 2009).

Ability to maintain focus yet adapt speaks to the entrepreneurial experience. This ccan include considerable ambiguity and uncertainty, significant obstacles, ongoing emergence of new opportunities, and continuous change in circumstances (Morris et al., 2012). The entrepreneur must continuously adapt, change, modify, and switch while maintaining a self-regulated focus in the midst of volatile conditions (Haynie & Shepherd, 2009)

Resilience captures the cognitive tendency of an individual to cope with stressful, adverse, and devastating situations, to be able to recover from failures, and to constructively sustain his or her efforts to pursue goals. In reality, successful entrepreneurs are not easily beaten by distress or rejections. Instead, they are able to remain or resume a calm state of mind, to tactically frame and analyze problems, dig into the root cause of failures, and to search for ways to get back on track again (Sinclair & Wallston, 2004).

Interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration refers to the ability of individuals to form partnerships with a team of professionally diverse individuals in a participatory, collaborative, and coordinated approach to share decisionmaking around issues as the means to achieving improved health outcomes (Orchard & Curran, 2003).

Assessing the feasibility of an opportunity emphasizes the need for innovators to make evaluations or judgments on whether emerging information or changes would lead to viable opportunities with profit potential (McMullen & Shepherd, 2006).

Self-Efficacy/Confidence relates to an entrepreneur’s self-confidence and selfassurance about his or her ability to take on challenges, to perform certain set of tasks as needed or expected, and to control processes, contingencies, or consequences in the entrepreneurial pursuit (Bandura, 1997; Baron & Markman, 2005; Tierney & Farmer, 2002).

Building and using networks concerns one’s ability to establish, maintain, and structure his or her contact network(s) in ways that foster relationships, enhance access to opportunities and/or resources, and potentially lead to realization of his or her objectives (Aldrich, 1999).

Tenacity/Perseverance refers to the extent to which entrepreneurs are committed to seeing their vision through, to endure the long journey to carry out venture creation, to work fervently despite challenges or adversity, to maintain interests, and persist with efforts in achieving goals (Duckworth & Quinn 2009; Hmieleski & Corbett, 2006).

Understanding of healthcare systems entails having a firm grasp of the various components of the health system and an understanding of the major issues faced by the stakeholders.

Resource leveraging/Bootstrapping describes the need to overcome resource constraints by leveraging resources from others. It also reflects a tendency for innovators to demonstrate an inclination towards effectual rather than causal reasoning in bringing together unique resource combinations (Greene &Brown, 1997; Honig, 2001; Politis, Winborg, & Dahlstrand, 2011).

Creative problem solving/Imaginativeness is characterized by Schumpeter (1942), who posited that creative destruction plays a key role in the innovation process. Innovators who start something are engaged in a process of creative imagination in which opportunities are exploited by continuously combining resources in new ways (Kirzner, 1973; Chiles, Bluedorn, & Gupta, 2007).

Design thinking is a human-centered, prototype-driven process for innovation that can be applied to product, service, and business design. It is the process of questioning, observing, and experimenting, so that you can become better equipped to capture valuable information and develop new business ideas. It requires experimentation in order to understand how things work, to test new business ideas or different approaches, and to look for valuable insights that may emerge in the process (Brown, 2008).

Guerrilla skills is a label adapted from a warfare context, describing approaches that center on clever ways to take advantage of one’s surroundings, do more with less, to rely upon unconventional tactics, and to utilize resources not recognized by others in accomplishing tasks within entrepreneurial firms (Schindehutte, Morris & Pitt, 2008).

Risk management/mitigation involves the systematic monitoring, assessing, hedging, transferring, and/or exploiting multifaceted risks encountered as an innovation initiative unfolds. Risk-aversive attitudes discourage individuals from innovative activities (Cramera et al., 2002), while successful entrepreneurs are willing to first recognize and bear the uncertainty or risk needed to take entrepreneurial actions, and are able to manage risk rather than simply trying to avoid risk (McMullen & Shepherd, 2006).

Cross disciplinary knowledge refers to an understanding of the connections, interrelations, and interactions between different fields of knowledge (Mosseri, 2006).

Change management is the ability to understand and manage driving forces, visions, and processes that fuel large-scale transformation (Kottler, 2011).

Information management is the collection and management of information from one or more sources and the distribution of that information to one or more audiences.

Behavioral economics refers to an understanding of psychological, social, cognitive, and emotional factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions, and the consequences for market prices, returns, and resource allocation (Lin, 2012). It is the understanding that drives decision making.

Whether you get an MD/MBA/MHA/JD/MPH or some other concoction of credentials, it is likely that you will have blind spots and that they won’t be filled in your formal training. Try not to let school get in the way of your education.

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Arlen MyersArlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org and co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship

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