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A Note from Dr. Neuwirth

From the beginning of my career, my professional purpose has been to humanize healthcare. This personal mission was born out of my deep frustration with the incremental progress and subpar outcomes we’ve achieved over the past few decades - in access, affordability, quality, safety and equity of healthcare in the US. But, my approach has been to focus on the solutions, not the problems. To that end, I’ve been looking for positive deviance, seeking out those individuals and organizations that are creating demonstrable transformative change.  My intention is to amplify their voices, share their stories and redirect the resources in American healthcare delivery toward solutions, not the status quo. I believe it is by emulating and scaling their courageously divergent work that we will fundamentally change our system. 

Over the past decade, I’ve conducted hundreds of in-depth interviews with exemplars leading the way in creating a new healthcare. This, along with my vast experience serving as a practicing physician, healthcare executive and national thought leader, have led to three foundational realizations.

  • 1

    We will not solve the healthcare dilemma with a historical approach

    Despite numerous attempts to reengineer the system over the past few decades, healthcare is more costly, more opaque, and more inaccessible than ever before, with outcomes that seem to be getting worse, not better. Simply put, doing more of the same will get us more of the same. We don’t need another ‘fix’. What we need is a reorientation - a reframing, redesign and reorganization of the root problems in healthcare delivery.

  • 2

    We need a market-compatible humanistic mission

    What our healthcare industry needs to adopt is a novel combination of consumerism and humanism - a whole-person and whole-health approach. Health is much bigger than what our legacy approach to healthcare suggests. So in this new system, we must ‘widen the aperture’ and account for the powerful influencers that go beyond traditional healthcare - the non-clinical determinants of health, the real-life contextual factors and the proactive wellness and lifestyle approaches that can take us beyond a  ‘sick care’ system to a well-care system.

  • 3

    There is a way out of the American healthcare dilemma

    If we are to solve the dire dilemma of American healthcare, we must get beyond the walls of our legacy system on three levels - the concrete, the conceptual, and the systemic. We must integrate the dual strategies of the digital tech and data analytics revolution with highly collaborative business model transformations. There are bold entrepreneurs and visionary leaders - exemplars - who are creating a new and better healthcare by adopting a ‘beyond the walls’ strategy that can be spread and scaled. If legacy institutions are to remain relevant and contribute to the advancement of healthcare, they must also adopt this same ‘beyond the walls’ approach.

Dr. Zeev Neuwirth is a healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience in clinical practice, clinical operations, process improvement, population health, strategy and innovation.  He most recently served as the Chief of Care Transformation at Atrium Health, now part of Advocate Health. 

Dr. Neuwirth is the host of an award winning healthcare podcast entitled Creating a New Healthcare, now in its 7th year, with over 160 episodes posted to date. He is also the author of two books, Reframing Healthcare - A Roadmap for Creating Disruptive Change and Beyond The Walls - the Megatrends, Movements & Market Disruptors Transforming American Healthcare.

Dr. Neuwirth is an alum of Tufts University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He received a Masters in Healthcare Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. He lectures at the Yale School of Public Health, and his most recent book, Beyond The Walls, is being studied as part of the curriculum in the executive Masters in Healthcare Management program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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