"They don't have an entrenched interest," she says. "There's been a ton of resistance from the industry because they want to preserve the status quo. And that's typical of any industry that's about ready to be changed and reinvented."
Meanwhile, if healthcare needs outside help in order to change, it can also help the outsiders who are trying to change it, Lynn says. Healthcare organizations should have a process for investigating start-ups—an innovation committee, if you will. Entrepreneurs need a contact point with people who understand the organization's needs and have the authority to run a pilot and approve promising new technologies more rapidly.
"We can't afford the healthcare industry as it stands. The healthcare industry is—I won't even say probably—it is the most inefficient, unbelievably cumbersome industry that you could imagine," she says. "You [have to] look at ways to deliver better care to patients, increase efficacy, reduce readmissions, and reduce cost. And that is why [healthcare] has to be reinvented."
This article appears in the December 2011 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.