Synopsis

The cost of health care in the United States must be brought down. At 2 trillion dollars annually and climbing, health care costs in 2007 threaten to destabilize the national economy. But health care quality must not be permitted to decline; it already trails nearly all developed countries. Now 44th among industrialized nations, life expectancy in the U.S. actually decreased in 2007 by 0.3%. The major health care sectors must find ways to change the way health care is administered and delivered — to provide services where quality of medical care is the competitive issue, and results are measured at the medical condition level in terms of patient outcome per unit of cost.

Harvard business strategist Michael Porter and colleague Elizabeth Teisberg have analyzed the competitive health care environment from the standpoints of the five major sectors involved: government, suppliers, providers, payers/health-plans, and employers. Their remarkable conclusions are set forth in a 2006 book: “Redefining Health Care. Creating Value-Based Competition on Results”. Building on their strategic recommendations, five teams from the Institute of Design’s Systems and Systematic Design course have examined how their strategic proposals might be supported in implementation through design.

Design planning and policy planning join effectively in policy design synthesis at the point where policy requires means of implementation. The five projects propose design concepts in a system context to implement strategies uniting the five sectors of the health care community.

Final Results

Sector Solutions

The Government Role
From the government standpoint: A subsystem of concepts for collecting, aggregating, evaluating and/or communicating information to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care.

Report: RHC 02 govtreport
Appendices: RHC 02 govappend

The Supplier Role
From the supplier standpoint: A subsystem of concepts for collecting, aggregating, evaluating and/or communicating information to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care.

Report: RHC 03 suppliersreport
Appendices: RHC 03 suppliersappend

The Provider Role
From the provider standpoint: A subsystem of concepts for collecting, aggregating, evaluating and/or communicating information to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care.

Report: RHC 04 providersreport
Appendices: RHC 04 providersappend

The Health Plan Role
From the payer/health-plan standpoint: A subsystem of concepts for collecting, aggregating, evaluating and/or communicating information to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care.

Report: RHC 05 partnersreport
Appendices: RHC 05 partnersappend

The Employer Role
From the employer standpoint: A subsystem of concepts for collecting, aggregating, evaluating and/or communicating information to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care.

Report: RHC 06 employersreport
Appendices: RHC 06 employersappend