Since 2012, Algorithms for Innovation has been asking questions and searching for solutions to some of the most impossible problems facing health care today. We believe there’s an unprecedented opportunity to invent a new vision for health care, and academic medicine is poised to lead the way. Algorithms for Innovation is designed to spark conversations, highlight best practices, and foster collaboration to help transform the future.
Our Leadership Team
When it comes to our health, there’s no simple or straightforward answer to the question, “Who’s responsible?” In Algorithms for Innovation, we like to start with a tough question that will help uncover clues to solve an impossible problem. Figuring out who’s responsible for health is complicated. It’s also key to understanding how to develop the right models of care, the right policies, the right incentives and the right partnerships. If we get this right, all else follows.
In the past, we’ve considered it our responsibility to focus on health care—curing disease and training the future generation of providers. Today, academic health systems are embracing a commitment that is monumentally more complex and important—taking care of the health of our patients and communities.
To do that, we will have to redefine who we are and what we do because patients don’t live their lives in our offices or exam rooms. They live at home and at work and with friends and family; and they do and eat and breathe things that we have no control over. If it’s true that only 10 percent of a person’s overall health is affected by clinical care, 20 percent by social determinants of health, another 30 percent by genes and biology and a whopping 40 percent by individual behaviors, then we need to rethink who else we want to bring under the tent of responsibility.
Shifting our focus to health invites us to come down from the proverbial ivory tower and partner with patients and organizations way outside of our usual thinking. And that’s exciting. We may not agree with the external factors that are forcing us to change, or the direction they’re taking us. Yet I believe that the opportunity to really take on health, and not just sickness, will get us much closer to what we signed up for in the first place.
In this issue of Algorithms, we explore some of the ways we’re thinking about shifting and embracing responsibility—for defining outcomes, partnering with the community, discovering cures, preparing tomorrow’s leaders and, importantly, taking care of ourselves. We hope that you’ll join us in asking these questions and finding the answers.
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