Dave Chase, CEO for Avado, wrote a great article for Forbes, titled 7 Philadelphia Eagle Lessons Shuffling Healthcare Leadership. As our devoted readers know, I’m a big fan of NFL-Healthcare comparisons. Back in August before the start of the season, I discussed the 5 Lessons Drug Safety Can Learn From the NFL.
Being an active participant in the healthcare conversation AND being an Eagles fan, I was compelled to comment on Dave's article, and then turn that comment into this blog post.
I strongly recommend you read the full article, but the basic premise is that just like football, with Chip Kelly's innovative offense, healthcare is entering an era that will be much more agile, nimble and fast-paced.
Now that we are 3 weeks into the NFL season and the Eagles are 1-2, I think there are 3 more lessons my beloved (and moreso bemoaned...) Philadelphia Eagles can provide to healthcare leadership. See them after the jump.
Lesson 1: Keep your focus on fundamentals.
While the faster pace of Chip Kelly's offense doesn't necessarily lead to more mistakes, the players need to stay relentlessly focused on fundamentals. The pace of the game didn't cause the 5 turnovers against the Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday night, fundamental mistakes did.
The players in healthcare need to keep this in mind as well. Although the pace of innovation is speeding up, the fundamental focus on the patient must remain. As I mentioned in my post from a few weeks ago, I'm Not Only the Executive Vice President of AdverseEvents, I'm Also a Patient, we are all patients ourselves and although a for-profit enterprise, need to keep the patient at the center of whatever we do.
Related Read: My Mother: Mom, Patient Advocate, and now Blogger
Lesson 2: Success can't be judged by one game. It is a long season.
Everyone was incredibly hyped up after the first half display the Eagles put on against the Washington Redskins (are we still calling them by that nickname?) in Week 1. Even being a seasoned and skeptical Eagles fan myself, I was excited. However, as we have learned after the last 2.5 games, the next big thing, is only a reality if it can be repeatedly proven.
All of the new technology, applications and processes in healthcare need to demonstrate consistent ROI for any change to take place. As Brian's post a few weeks ago, Without ROI, Big Data in Healthcare is Doomed, discussed there is so much focus on using Big Data to help improve patient outcomes and quality of care that many are losing sight of the fact that our products and services also have to provide monetary value for the customers who pay for them.
Albeit explosive, and exciting, if Chip Kelly's offense isn't winning football games, it isn't working, and something needs to change.
Lesson 3: Don’t underestimate the power of the status quo.
After 14 seasons with the Eagles, Andy Reid was pushed out of Philly in hopes that a new, exciting coach would come in and change the organization. We might as well dressed him up as Santa and threw snowballs at him.
Now that KC is 3-0 and the Eagles are 1-2, I wonder how many fans are going to be quick to lay blame and wish Big Red was back?
This is bound to happen in healthcare as well. There will be times where new technology and change will seem hard. There will be push-back from the “old guard” and there will ebbs and flows of excitement.
Ultimately, I’m still excited about the long term prospects of Chip Kelly’s innovation and I am committed to seeing the Eagles succeed. Everyone who is pushing the boundaries of healthcare innovation needs to ensure their excitement and commitment outweighs the power of the status quo as well.
Change is hard. It is our job as the innovators to make that change just a little bit easier.
Related Read: Quiz: What Type of Drug Safety Professional Are You?
Take a look at our AdverseEvents Explorer Platform to see a glimpse of how we at are working to implement change.
Executive Vice President