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ValueU: Disrupting Health Care and Higher Education

It's the $64 million question. Borrowing LEAN manufacturing principles from the auto industry, we've trained and empowered 2,536 of our front-line health workers - arguably the greatest do-gooders around - to do the good, hard work of redesigning health care. They've brainstormed hundreds of cost-cutting, quality improvement projects. But to build on our success and realize value for all patients, we need to get these tools into the hands of our entire workforce: 16,000 staff, faculty and medical trainees.

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Case Studies

  • Total Joint Replacement

    The huge blue dot on the scatterplot cried out for attention. The report indicated a variation of $10,000 per procedure among the 10 surgeons....

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    Twenty years ago, Jim Livingston saw an opportunity he couldn't pass up. Anyone who wanted data had to request it from the owner, which could take months....

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  • Unnecessary costs

    Health care is the only industry in the United States where we don┬┐t talk about costs. "No one would ignore financial details when buying a car or a house."...

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Algorithm 1: Flow of Money

Right Mission. Right Margin.

It may be as true today as it always has been: No margin. No mission. But has our focus on the former confused our understanding of the latter? That's what we've been working on clearing up this year. Figuring out who we are and who we want to be so that the right alignment, incentives and money will follow.

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Algorithm 2: Flow of Patients

Streamlining Care

A hassle. That's how many patients, and providers, describe the U.S. health care delivery system. From the time patients enter, we're asking them to wait longer, return more often, and navigate their way through a Byzantine maze of fragmented services to receive the care they deserve. Streamlining the flow of patients isn't about hiring more people or adding more beds. It's about listening to patients and then working together to create a seamless continuum of care.

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Algorithm 3: Flow of Data

Liquid Knowledge

Every day, our scientific and medical communities generate torrents of data. Most of it, however, is trapped behind floodgates. From valuable clinical trial research to lifesaving genetic information to the wellness data patients generate with their Fitbits, much of the knowledge we need to transform health care is out there. The challenge is getting it to flow.

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Algorithm 4: Flow of DNA

Outlive your family history

That was the promise when the first human genome was sequenced 11 years ago. That we would be able to change, perhaps even direct, exactly where the proverbial apple fell. Today, sequencing our genome is the easy part. The hitch is how to draw meaning from the flood of genetic information.

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Algorithm 5: The Flow State

Happiness 2.0

The 20th century and its Golden Age of Medicine are over. And while some - excited about the opportunity to create something new in the 21st century - might respond, "good riddance," many more health care providers and biomedical scientists feel stressed and discouraged. Their collective malaise isn't just affecting individual careers, it's impacting the quality of our health system - jeopardizing everything from scientific discovery to patient safety. If we ever hope to fix health care, creating a new version of happiness should be on top of the to-do list.

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