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Monday, August 7, 2017

Time to Stop Solving for Healthcare

As the recent failures to pass a healthcare bill in the U. S. Senate suggests, the biggest problem facing healthcare is not a lack of good ideas, it is a lack of good problems. Tom Fisher and I co-authored an article recently published in The Huffington Post entitled, “Biggest Threat to Health? Solving the Wrong Problems.” In it, we discuss how the standard approach to problem solving is “elegantly solving for the wrong problems over, and over, and over again” an approach that is not only inefficient but also dangerous. We describe how the default for addressing wicked problems (complex and dynamic problems), “is to quickly pick an aspect of the problem to focus on or worse, jump directly to a technical fix,” which has more potential to compound the problem than to solve it.

In the article we note, ‘there is little doubt that the best way to arrive at new and creative solutions is to start from new and creative ways of understanding your problem.” To do so, we outline 5 tangible design strategies for reframing problems: “Outsider Input,” “Adjust Your Scale,” “Get Uncomfortable,” “Ask Different Questions,” and “Change Your Format.” As the article notes, “making the “familiar unfamiliar” is the key to reframing or identifying different problems, and it may just be the new lens we need when looking to change the healthcare conversation in this country. Jess Roberts

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