The Importance of Collaboration in Driving Healthcare Innovation
by Bradley White, CEO, HHS Technology Group — Dec 19, 2022
Business leaders, including myself, have long recognized the value of intra-organization collaboration to break down company-wide silos and drive better problem-solving, peer learning, shared purpose, and innovative ideas. In today’s fast-paced and complex healthcare industry, there is a growing imperative to leverage external collaborations to accelerate innovation and improve outcomes.
In fact, a 2022 Harvard Business Exchange article discussed the importance of collaboration and its potential to improve U.S. health care drastically. The report noted that “while one of the positive results of the pandemic has been increased collaboration, the value of collaboration isn’t limited to crises” and “can be a mechanism for improving quality and reducing costs in normal times.”
At HHS Technology Group (HTG), we know first-hand how strategic collaborations with industry-leading experts are a cornerstone of business growth and innovation.
Focus On What Your Company Does Best — Partner For Everything Else
We’ve found a solid approach for effective collaborations is to understand the valuable solutions your company brings to the table while leveraging the expertise, services, and solutions offered by stakeholder partners.
A notable example of this approach is the COVID-19 Research Database, a cross-industry consortium organized by HHS Technology Group and other industry leaders. The goals of this timely and unique collaboration were to accelerate real-world pandemic research and inform evidence-based healthcare policy through data sharing and enabling smooth and efficient collaboration across research groups.
We built the database using HTG’s Discover your Data™ platform powered by our AI-driven software solutions. Early in the process, we identified a need for data-science expertise that was missing within HTG. After first exploring the possibility of hiring our data science team (and absorbing the associated costs), we chose to work directly with companies rich in data science expertise, such as Mathematica. HTG focused on improving our software’s functionality, while Mathematica focused on advanced data analytics.
The collaboration enabled critical research findings, including the impact of COVID-19 infection on risk for neurological disorders, published in Nature Medicine, a leading healthcare journal. A separate study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease demonstrated older people infected with COVID-19 show a substantially higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease within a year. Moreover, HTG further leveraged the Mathematica relationship to advance other initiatives, including a population health initiative focused on fighting chronic kidney disease (CKD).
When developing plans for business growth, leadership teams have several options, including growth through acquisition, organic development, or external collaborations. In my experience, strategic alliances with industry experts have delivered proven results, helping accelerate innovation, improve outcomes, generate best practices, optimize resources, and maximize cost savings.
About the Author
Brett Furst is a senior executive with over 32 years of experience in selling and managing technology solutions within the manufacturing, CPG, and healthcare industries. As the founder and CEO of Foresight Ventures, he provides strategic guidance and leadership to emerging health IT companies. Most recently, Mr. Furst was co-founder of Payformance Solutions, where he served as chief strategy officer. In 2012, he became the CEO of ArborMetrix, an industry-leading analytics vendor focused on measuring clinical outcomes in specialty and acute care. Mr. Furst also started and operated the Covisint Healthcare division of Compuware, leading it for eight years as one of the largest and most successful health information exchanges in the industry. Mr. Furst served as a strategic advisor to the Center of Healthcare Transformation with Newt Gingrich and is currently a board member of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association Service Corporation.