Thanks again, ILNX, Austin, TX USA

2016.10.26 ILNX Austin TX, USA 08467
2016.10.26 ILNX Austin TX, USA 08467 (View on

As the title of the post says, thank you people of the Innovation Learning Network (@HealthcareILN) for a truly just-in-time learning experience in Austin, TX, USA.

There is a lot to be gleaned from this group, because of the people, and also because of the way they structure time.

Not everyone needs or wants to be sitting to learn (some do wall sits, though :)) and it seems hard for many conference organizers to think of learners as actual adults. Not so here. The best announcement was made before the meeting, “The venue is two miles away, feel free to walk to it.”

Innovation continues to be difficult, I still don’t know exactly what it is, I just know what I am, and therefore a network serves a great purpose.

Speaking of knowing who I am, I believe every attendee checked themselves with Crystal (@CrystalKnowsMe), AI to the rescue….

Also thanks to the team at Dell Medical School (@DellMedSchool) for hosting us for a tour on the last day, in collaboration with our other hosts Seton Health and Ascension (@setonfamily @Ascensionorg). Photos of our time at Dell Medical School are below.

ILNX: Innovation Is Never Easy

2016.05.12 ILNX Day 2  04773
2016.05.12 ILNX Day 2 04773 (View on

This week is the 10th year of the Innovation Learning Network (@HealthcareILN) and its in person meeting is at the Kaiser Permanente Garfield Innovation Center (@KPGarfield).

I think the theme from interacting with the people here is that innovation is hard, and (not but) there is a lot of passion. It’s really helpful to hear the scripts that organizations use to either support or control (or is it “center”?) innovation. A lot of them sound the same, almost down to the word. To me, that validates the existence of a network like this.

More photos below, enjoy.

ILN14: NASCAR, Health Care and Hendrick Motorsports

We were allowed to take this one… (View on

I come for the innovation safaris… and to meet new amazing friends….

As part of Innovation Learning Network’s (@HealthcareILN) in person meeting, I visited Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) with colleagues, who have very little experience with NASCAR, and now that we’ve visited, we have a healthy appreciation, as can be seen from the Wikipedia entry about them:

All Hendrick race cars are constructed start-to-finish at the 100-plus acre Hendrick Motorsports complex in Concord, North Carolina. More than 550 engines are built or re-built on-site each year, with the team leasing some of those to other NASCAR outfits. Hendrick Motorsports employs over 500 people that perform many day-to-day activities. In 2009, Hendrick Motorsports made history by having three out of the five drivers finish in the top three places in the point standings (Johnson, Martin, and Gordon).

That’s just to orient people who are not familiar with who Hendrick Motorsports is. 312,000 twitter followers are 🙂 .

Lots of takeaways:

  • The concept of team – the pit crew are the athletes here. They are on a regular workout program, monitored for their fitness, in a pretty complete gym on site.
  • The concept of accountability – we watched as precision parts were stamped with the initials of the staff who created/worked on them. Everything is traceable back to the person. When there are problems, human error is easier to manage than a problem that’s systemic to an automobile part.
  • Respect for the customer – in this case, the sponsors – the vehicle haulers are immaculate and great care / attention is given to supporting the sponsors image and reputation (you could say the analogy is the employer who sponsors an employee’s health insurance)
  • Quality control and winning – there’s a prize (a win) that results when everything is done right – a goal that makes people want to innovate and incrementalize as much as possible
  • Innovation through constraint – there are things about the NASCAR cars that are specified and must meet specification. There’s a process that is gone through to change this spec. For example, 2015 will be the first year where digital gauges will be in the cars. Right now they are analog, and there are very few allowable sensor technologies. There are 2 3D printers on site as well….

We were not allowed to take photographs in any of the production areas so we’ll just record this with our minds. The facilities were clean, orderly, and showed to my eyes a respect for the job at hand.

As usual, I saw many analogies to health care…Thanks Hendrick Motorsports for the tour and the ability to imagine how the discipline here could be applied to health care.

ILN14 Day 3 – This is the Military Health System: 20-20-20, 3-3-3

Lt. Gen Douglas J Robb, Director Defense Health Agency , “This is Why” View on

We closed out the Innovation Learning Network (@HealthcareILN) in person meeting with our host Military Health System (@healthdotmil) at the iconic National Defense University (@NDU_EDU) at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC (of course).

As you can see from the video below, Military Health System has made great strides in the care of our defenders. It is also transitioning, like the rest of health care, to become a health oriented as well as a health care oriented system.

Colonel (Dr.) Brian Masterson, a specialist in internal medicine and psychiatry and Chair of Global Health at National Defense University presented a simple set of statistics: 20-20-20, 3-3-3

  • 20: % of GDP spent on health care in the United States
  • 20: % of youth out of high school who are fit for the military today
  • 20: % of the outcomes of health that come from health care

The delta on average between our expenditure on health care and other countries is about 12 %, with which 

  • 3: % of the GDP is spent on defense today
  • 3: % of the GDP would fund every eligible student to attend a state university
  • 3: % of the GDP to make Social Security solvent for every American alive today
  • 3: % left over

The Military Health System is nearly the size of Kaiser Permanente, at about $50 billion per year. It is good and reassuring to know that it is dreaming, as we are, for a healthier society, as we did together on this day, the 50th anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” speech. (see: The Great Society at 50 | The Washington Post) There are a lot of 50-year anniversaries happening these days, what are we going to say about the 50th anniversary of this year, in the decade of the patient?

Last day always includes the official robe ceremony, which was presented to Chief Innovation Officer Rachel Foster. Thank you for the awesome collaboration and connection to an incredible group of people. Thanks a ton to Rebecca Solomon from Deloitte and Stacey Dula also from Deloitte for being part of our awesome ILNdc planning team!

It’s Here! Innovation Learning Network Insights, Volume 8 (2014)

The annual Innovation learning Network (@HealthcareILN) insights issue is a great quick way to catch up with the thinking of the people powering the 30+ health systems and other organizations that are part of theInnovation Learning Network. I didn’t write a piece this year (Now Writing: Seven Visual Insights of Social Determinants and Behavior Change – ILN INSIGHTS 2013 | Ted Eytan, MD), but my CEO, Jack Cochran, MD, did. It’s clipped out below.

Although I didn’t write a piece, I am in a piece, that’s also clipped below, which covers a very interesting “pitch session” (that’s with a “p” not a “b”) that was hosted at ILN13 in Boston. My/our pitch was with Paul Tarini (@PaulTarini) and Marilyn Chow (@InnovationChow) and it was called “Carbon War Room” (changed to “Carbon Green Room” – get it?)) see: The Innovation Learning Network Carbon Green Room – putting the ME in AwesoME | Ted Eytan, MD.

Curiously, I much prefer to have someone do the writing than me, even though I write this blog. I’ll need to understand that some time… :). Enjoy and check out the other articles!