The Disruptive Future of Healthcare

by Larry Emmott on December 10, 2009

in General,Health Care Politics

I think I just experienced the future of healthcare.

In preparation for an upcoming trip overseas I got some vaccinations. I didn’t see my regular physician but I went to a clinic called Passport Health. This outfit does nothing but provide information on travel related health issues and give immunization shots of all kinds.

Interestingly this is not a new enterprise but has been around for many years. What impressed me was the way the business model closely followed what Clayton Christensen described in great detail in his most recent book The Innovator’s Prescription.

 

At Passport Health I did not have to see a physician. I did not have to go to an expensive clinic with high priced emergency equipment or hospital like infrastructure. The office was designed to deliver a single medical related service in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.

On the other hand that is all they could do. I could not have my tonsils checked or my blood pressure taken. As a general medical facility it is a complete failure. As a means to deliver travel related shots it is perfect.

As an aside the business model of Passport Health is very forward thinking but I noticed the technology was horrible. Everything was done by hand, no digital records, no digital communications. It is all done with pre-computer methods. Never the less I loved the concept even if the technology (or lack thereof) pushed all my techno geek buttons.

According to Christensen it is a disruptive business model that delivers a needed service at a price and or convenience that the traditional model cannot or has no incentive to match that will lead to significant change and ultimate cost controls. When people refer to “market forces” controlling health care costs this is what they mean.

I do recommend the book but be prepared, it is not light reading it is pretty heavy going designed for business policy wonks not dentists.

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