Articles, PSQH November 2, 2011

It’s All About Jobs

by Barry P Chaiken, MD

What would Steve do? Steve Jobs, the 20th century’s greatest and most successful innovator, engrained that mantra into the heads of every Apple employee. Only those staff members who thought through problems the way Jobs did would offer solutions that were acceptable to their boss. Jobs relied upon his own research and intuition, not focus groups, to guide him. When asked about the research that went into the design of the iPad, Jobs replied “None, it’s not the consumer’s job to know what they want.”

Although physicians employ the iPad in many clinical settings, the tablet computer functions as a front end to existing EMR and other clinical applications. The iPad is not an innovation in and of itself but a tool to innovation, and few healthcare information technology (HIT) vendors actively leverage the “innovation” inherent in the iPad in their clinical applications.

What Would Steve Do?

Therefore, we must ask ourselves, what would Steve do in healthcare? First, Jobs would not be constrained by current practice. Like hockey, solutions come from skating to where the puck will be rather than where it is. In addition, he would consider all problems together in an effort to create an “ecosystem” that binds one product with another, the same way Apple now threads together the iPhone, iPad, and iMac with iTunes and iCloud. Jobs cherished style and ease of use, combining them with function and utility. Any Jobs-inspired healthcare application must be intuitive to use, support efficient workflow, and facilitate the delivery of safe, high-quality care to the patient.

Excerpts from: It’s All About Jobs. PSQH, November/December 2011


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