Last year nearly 600,000 patent applications were filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. To put it another way, that’s 600,000 new ideas that inventors and companies believe in and feel strongly about protecting. That’s a fascinating thought.
Some of the inventions patented range from breakthrough, life-saving devices to things that are a little less inspired.
Inc. Magazine put together a list of some of the most unusual (or silly, one might say) things patented. A few that stuck out for me include:
So, not everything that gets a patent is going to end up changing the world. One recent patent however that is changing the world of healthcare labor management involves our scheduling software, Smart Square. The patent was originally filed in 2005 and eight years later patent No. 8,401,884, “Electronic Scheduling for Work Shifts,” was issued.
The following summarizes some of the features noted within the patent:
The point of this is not to talk about Smart Square and its unique value (you can click on the links for more on that), but rather to talk about the future of healthcare and the spirit of innovation we must embrace if we are to make that future as bright as it can (and must) be.
For a while now, the phrase “disruptive innovation” has been getting a lot of use. Coined by Clayton Christensen, an overly simple definition of the term is an innovation (a technology or, more commonly, a business model) that enters a market and ends up displacing established competitors or ideas.
No one can argue that healthcare has experienced a generous helping of disruption over the past few years. You could argue however that the bulk of that disruption has been dictated rather than innovative. I’m referring to the Affordable Care Act and the switch to a value-based payment system. That “dictated disruption” however is forcing health providers to do the most uncomfortable thing for any organization to do: change. That’s were innovation comes in. The landscape is already disrupted. We all know that healthcare needs to change to remain viable.
It’s important to mention here that cultural change is an integral part of innovation – perhaps the most important part. “Innovate” is a verb. “Idea” is a noun. Ideas without people to bring them to life are not innovations. Likewise, technology without adoption is not a “solution.” No software or technology is going to help an organization achieve its goals unless the leaders and employees are committed to learning what they must do to reach their objectives and then make the necessary changes to actually do it.
To learn how we are helping our clients transform their approach to managing labor to realize their operational, financial, and clinical goals, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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