Wharton Executive Education and Penn Medicine Launch Health Care Innovation Program

Top Experts Will Help Health Care Leaders Create a Culture of Successful Innovation in Their Organizations

December 7, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA: From the first-ever coronary artery bypass to today’s dramatic advances in precision cancer treatment, medical innovations continue to revolutionize health care. Novel ways to deliver patient care, and new reimbursement models, are also transforming the landscape. Now, through a partnership of the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine, leaders in health care and academic medicine will acquire a powerful, strategic approach to innovation to help speed their organizations forward in a rapidly evolving field.

The program, titled Health Care Innovation, is designed for senior-level clinicians and health care executives from a variety of settings — large established health care organizations, private practices, and startup companies — both within and outside the U.S. The four-day program will be offered April 25-28, 2019 in Philadelphia, and will guide participants to become catalysts for innovation in their organizations. This is the second program for executive health care leadership members to launch from Wharton and Penn Medicine — building on the first course, Leadership in a New Era of Health Care.

Changing an institution’s mindset can be challenging, notes Roy Rosin, Penn Medicine’s Chief Innovation Officer and one of the program’s two academic directors. “Even when you have deep and interesting insights on the front line, changing the way people work and getting into these uncomfortable areas of trying something different, is actually very hard to do.” Rosin says the program guides participants to identify and overcome this kind of roadblock by taking a systematic, results-oriented approach.

Innovating in health care isn’t just confined to new medical treatments, according to Christian Terwiesch, a Wharton Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions, who also has a faculty appointment at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and is co-academic director of this program. It can also mean fundamentally changing the care model and patient experience, he says, in terms of where medical care happens, who delivers it, and how it’s paid for. For example, connected devices and remote home monitoring combined with algorithms tuned to only engage care teams when necessary mean patients’ health can be efficiently tracked between doctor visits to see what has traditionally been missed, enabling better outcomes at lower cost. Moreover, innovations in business models can lead to new revenue streams and retail trends. The program participants will be delving into all of these possibilities.

Health Care Innovation delivers a unique blend of lectures, experiential exercises, small group conversations, and class discussions with Wharton and Penn Medicine faculty as well as with distinguished industry thought leaders. Participants will acquire three crucial perspectives to support them in leading the innovation activities of a health care organization. First they will explore the power of design thinking to stimulate health care innovation. Next, they will receive tools and techniques for managing the innovation process. Finally, they will learn to more successfully manage an innovation portfolio, and to direct the process in a way that aligns with strategic priorities.

A notable feature of the program is the Health Care Innovation Tournament. Attendees will generate new ideas based on a specific clinical challenge. The ideas undergo numerous rounds of vetting, and only the most promising ones make it to the final round. This type of tournament has been shown to generate remarkable opportunities. Moreover, it’s a “stepping stone to thinking of innovation as a process as opposed to just kind of ‘magic,’” says Terwiesch.

“If you think it’s like a bolt of lightning insight and then you have innovation, that’s not the case,” agrees Rosin. “It’s a deliberate process.”

The program builds on ideas from a New England Journal of Medicine article authored by Terwiesch and Rosin along with Wharton Professor of Health Care Management David Asch and University of Pennsylvania Health System EVP Kevin Mahoney, titled “Insourcing Health Care Innovation.” “Rather than seek solutions to health care’s problems in facile recommendations from management gurus with experience in unrelated industries,” they wrote, “we’d do better to find a solution process to use from within. And the process for high-impact innovation can in fact be learned.”

For more information, visit WhartonPennMedInnovation.com.


About Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $7.8 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $405 million awarded in the 2017 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report — Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital — the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, a leading provider of highly skilled and compassionate behavioral healthcare.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2017, Penn Medicine provided more than $500 million to benefit our community.


About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 13,000 participants in executive education programs annually; and a powerful alumni network of 98,000 graduates.


Media Contact

Eleena de LisserDirector of Marketing CommunicationsAresty Institute of Executive Education
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
+1.215.898.7239 execed-pr@wharton.upenn.edu