Health Wildcatters hosted its spring Pulse breakfast series addressing hospital innovation and startups during the 2017 Dallas Startup Week. D Magazine’s Matt Goodman moderated a fireside chat featuring Nikhil Reddy from Baylor Scott & White Health, Dr. Justin Smith from Cook Children’s Health Care System, and Darshan Gandhi from Methodist Health System.
The panel discussed the challenges of implementing tangible healthcare solutions into hospital systems at a time when hospitals are striving to be at the forefront of innovation in care delivery and the patient experience.
Reddy said one noticeable problem in healthcare is that all solutions are incremental: “Everything we try to do adds to the cost,” he said.
For startups trying to penetrate the healthcare innovation market, Smith said another problem is that proposed solutions by startups tend to focus on the wrong perspective or angle. “Most healthcare startup solutions [I’ve seen at Cook’s] aren’t made with the child-patient in mind,” he said. “They’re made for the parent.”
“We’re really focused on not being an airline of pilot programs that are not scaleable,” he added about Cook Children’s.
Another topic was the influence of technology driving hospital innovation. Reddy challenged the panel members, asking: “If virtual health is successful, how impactful will it actually be in healthcare?”
Gandhi said driving “community engagement” would be “crucial” to local success. “Take Nordstrom, for example,” he said. “The company yields high employment satisfaction through incentives used to improve physician engagement and customer experience.”
As healthcare employers, providers, and customers attempt to navigate innovation advancements, Gandhi said, another “key [to success] is to help the physicians mold to the changes in the technology and finance fields.”
The final talking point addressed how to effectively pitch a startup idea or product through a hospital lens.
Reddy said entrepreneurs should be forward in sharing their perspective. “We’re in an economy that is powerhoused by entrepreneurs,” he said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have a $15 trillion economy.”
While Smith acknowledged the need for entrepreneurs to improve and further hospital innovation, he advised, “If your pitch is hazy and unsure, we will most likely say no.” He added: “Being clear and pitching in a creative way is the best way” to reach the hospital audience.
Gandhi agreed, stating that once a startup had one hospital system on-board, it would incite a chain reaction. “Articulate the problem you are trying to solve,” he said. “If you do so successfully, you’ll build an audience of hospital systems that will support you.”