Yet, the industry still suffers and stagnates. Why? The answer is because the business of healthcare has not kept pace with the practice of medicine. As a result, the industry is vulnerable and increasingly regulated.

To contrast, innovation manifests as a palpable shift that brings organizations together with the people they serve. This doesn’t mean that innovation must always occur on a large scale. It does mean, however, that it is always transformational. These types of systemic changes are what will allow healthcare organizations to truly adapt and compete. After all, healthcare is so much more than medicine.

Other industries have figured this out. Apple invests heavily in product and software R&D, but they also invest heavily in retail, logistics and customer service operations. Car manufacturers invest in performance and safety advancements, but they also invest in production automation, continuous improvement and efficiency. Can you imagine Apple without the intricately woven ecosystem of apps and services that support the product experience. Can you imagine owning a car without a dependable place to buy parts and have it serviced? Can you imagine having surgery without a hospital or getting a prescription without a place to buy the drugs?

This post is the beginning of a series during which I will examine how healthcare organizations can adopt innovation as a business tool to change their trajectory. I’ll share how innovation is cultural, how it’s supported by tools and process and, most importantly, how other organizations are improving the business of healthcare and more successfully serving their patients, employees and communities.