Activating entrepreneurial innovation amongst health care practitioners

Activating entrepreneurial innovation amongst health care practitioners

What’s more important than health? Feeling powerless to change an organization from our position alone is something we can all relate to. In their soon-to-be-released book, Health Entrepreneurship: A Guide, authors Carrie R. Rich, Mark Vernooij, and Seema S. Wadhwa bring together critical innovation and entrepreneurship lessons to empower health care professionals and shift how they provide care from the frontlines. In the wake of more complicated health care reform discussions and UN SDG 3 on health and well-being, this book puts power in the hands of healthcare professionals looking to improve the system from within.

Recognizing the extreme complexity of the healthcare industry, organizations, and different incentives and priorities of stakeholders, this book takes a practical approach to innovate or apply entrepreneurial thinking as a standalone practitioner or in small teams. As a frontline worker, you notice things that could potentially transform how your organization serves its customers. What better industry to bring this opportunity to than healthcare?

Authors Carrie Rich, Seema S. Wadhwa, and Mark Vernooij have created the ultimate guide to activate healthcare practitioners as innovative entrepreneurs in patient care. THNKer Carrie Rich, who holds a Master’s Degree in Health Systems Administration from Georgetown and Harvard certifications in Healthcare Quality and Evidence-Based Design, has trained nurses for several years. Wadhwa specializes in wellness and sustainability, currently serves as assistant VP of Sustainability and Wellness for Inova Health System. Vernooij has spent several years speaking and lecturing on innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative leadership. The three authors, who have yet to meet in person, collaborated virtually for the past eighteen months to combine their knowledge and expertise with nearly a decade’s worth of creative leadership and innovation research from THNK School of Creative Leadership.

Vernooij started out in life as a self-proclaimed platinum card holder of the healthcare system, stemming from spina bifida, a birth defect, which led to multiple complications. In this time he observed over a dozen things health care providers could easily do differently to improve patient care, from reducing wait times and increasing satisfaction during the wait time, to making operations less stressful for the patient and family members. In this book, he hopes to see more practitioners change what they can from within the healthcare system, and sometimes despite it.

“There are actually quite a lot of things we can do. And there are quite a few examples in the book of how small groups of two, three, or four people can make a difference and come up with something great by just taking a little bit of time to explore and try new things. All of a sudden, it becomes within the realm of control among a small group of individual practitioners.” says Vernooij. “In a complicated system, it is possible to make change happen on the frontlines without attacking the whole beast. The book is here to help you do that. It’s very practical; there are different steps you can go through, and you can get started tomorrow with two or three people that work close to you and start trying all of this.”

Health practitioners are uniquely suited to positively affect the lives of their patients. Health Entrepreneurship: A Guide puts the entrepreneurial tools and mindset to create change at the hands of practitioners, those most able to identify patients’ needs and make a positive impact.

Pre-order your copy of Health Entrepreneurship: A Guide here (release date May 21, 2019).

To activate innovation in your own organization, join the THNK Executive Leadership Program.