News Release

PHILADELPHIA – From the first-ever coronary artery bypass to today’s dramatic advances in precision cancer treatment, medical innovations continue to revolutionize health care. Novel ways to deliver patient care, and new reimbursement models, are also transforming the landscape. Now, through a partnership with Penn Medicine and the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, leaders in health care and academic medicine will acquire a powerful, strategic approach to innovation to help speed their organizations forward in a rapidly evolving field.

The program, titled Health Care Innovation, is designed for senior-level clinicians and health care executives from a variety of settings—large established health care organizations, private practices, and startup companies—both within and outside the U.S. The four-day program will be offered April 25-28, 2019 in Philadelphia, and will guide participants to become catalysts for innovation in their organizations. This is the second program for executive health care leadership members to launch from Wharton and Penn Medicine—building on the first course, Leadership in a New Era of Health Care.

Roy Rosin

Changing an institution’s mindset can be challenging, notes Roy Rosin, Penn Medicine’s Chief Innovation Officer and one of the program’s two academic directors. “Even when you have deep and interesting insights on the front line, changing the way people work and getting into these uncomfortable areas of trying something different, is actually very hard to do.” Rosin says the program guides participants to identify and overcome this kind of roadblock by taking a systematic, results-oriented approach.

Innovating in health care isn’t just confined to new medical treatments, according to Christian Terwiesch, a Wharton Professor who also has a faculty appointment at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and co-directs this program. It can also mean fundamentally changing the care model and patient experience, he says, in terms of where medical care happens, who delivers it, and how it’s paid for. For example, connected devices and remote home monitoring combined with algorithms tuned to only engage care teams when necessary mean patients’ health can be efficiently tracked between doctor visits to see what has traditionally been missed, enabling better outcomes at lower cost. Moreover, innovations in business models can lead to new revenue streams and retail trends. The program participants will be delving into all of these possibilities.

Christian Terwiesch
Christian Terwiesch

Health Care Innovation delivers a unique blend of lectures, experiential exercises, small group conversations, and class discussions with Wharton and Penn Medicine faculty as well as with distinguished industry thought leaders. Participants will acquire three crucial perspectives to support them in leading the innovation activities of a health care organization. First they will explore the power of design thinking to stimulate health care innovation. Next, they will receive tools and techniques for managing the innovation process. Finally, they will learn to more successfully manage an innovation portfolio, and to direct the process in a way that aligns with strategic priorities.

A notable feature of the program is the Health Care Innovation Tournament. Attendees will generate new ideas based on a specific clinical challenge. The ideas undergo numerous rounds of vetting, and only the most promising ones make it to the final round. This type of tournament has been shown to generate remarkable opportunities. Moreover, it’s a “stepping stone to thinking of innovation as a process as opposed to just kind of ‘magic,’” says Terwiesch.

“If you think it’s like a bolt of lightning insight and then you have innovation, that’s not the case,” agrees Rosin. “It’s a deliberate process.”

The program builds on ideas from a New England Journal of Medicine article authored by Terwiesch and Rosin along with Wharton professor of health care management David Asch and University of Pennsylvania Health System EVP Kevin Mahoney, titled “Insourcing Health Care Innovation.” “Rather than seek solutions to health care's problems in facile recommendations from management gurus with experience in unrelated industries,” they wrote, “we'd do better to find a solution process to use from within. And the process for high-impact innovation can in fact be learned.”

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Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.6 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $494 million awarded in the 2019 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 43,900 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2019, Penn Medicine provided more than $583 million to benefit our community.

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