Growth in the health care industry has been experienced over the past ten to twenty years. Prior to the Social Security Act of 1965, the term innovation or entrepreneur was not used much in healthcare. Since the introduction of the government 3rd payer system, innovation and entrepreneurship has taken off. So, what is entrepreneurship in health care? This essay is going to look at the effects entrepreneurship has on health care and attempt to describe the positive and negative ways it has influenced health care today.
What is an Entrepreneur?Debated for many years, this vital question to the study of entrepreneurship continues to be criticized and analyzed by some of the worlds leading researchers. “The origin of the word entrepreneurship is derived from the French word entreprende, which means to undertake, as in undertaking a particular activity” (Davison, 2008, p. 1). According to Davison, “the entrepreneur is a creator of value. In health care, this definition would mean that an entrepreneur in a person who creates value in the health care industry.
Affect of Entrepreneurship in Health CareAmerican health care is the leader in the nation for seriously ill patients. The United States has had more Nobel Prize winners for medicine than any other country because of the commitment to innovation in health care. Citizens of American can be thankful for the innovative ideals that entrepreneurs have brought to our markets. People used to just shop for better prices on such items as airfares, lower hotel rates and even computers. Now, shopping for healthcare is a part of living in the United States. Websites such as “WebMD, Revolution Health, and eHealthInsurance, now offer consumers up-to-the-minute information on medial conditions, drugs, and insurance options, as well as basic quality information on doctors and hospitals” (Howard, 2008). With all this information available, patients can intelligently talk with their physicians about the most current treatments available and about their options for treatment.
The Positive and Negative AspectsTechnology has come a long way, especially in health care. To understand what has been happening in the health care industry, knowledge of where it came from is essential. Health care was practically a paper and pencil industry and it was the last to make the change to technology which made it time consuming for health care providers. Not until the passing of the Social Security Act of 1965 was technology fully realized within health care. Since then, technology has been cited “as being the major driver of rising healthcare expenditures worldwide” (Burns, 2008).
The positive aspect of the innovations of technology is the treatments and equipment brought about by innovative ideals that has developed into quality care. This quality of care has created a demand by patients and their physicians for more and more innovation by entrepreneurs. Another positive aspect of the new health care technology is “based on recent scholarly evidence, that such products contribute to increases in longevity and mobility, reductions in disease and pain, improvements in worker productivity and improvements in quality of life” (Burns, 2008).
According to Burns (2008), a negative aspect is that the cost of all this new technology has accounted for “20 percent to 40 percent of the rise in health expenditures over the past forty years” Burns. Aside from better quality of care and increased longevity, evidence has not shown that more and more advanced technology will produce better outcomes or added value.
Example of a Current Entrepreneurial BusinessThe example chosen for this essay falls under corporate entrepreneurship, which is discussed in Barringer and Ireland (2008, p. 6). Most people think of entrepreneurship as someone starting a new business; however, with corporate entrepreneurship an established firm will create new innovative products for their customers. MinuteClinic is one example of innovative ideals that comes out of the need to have quick healthcare available just like going into a local 24-7 drug store such as CVS Pharmacy.
The ideal developed when the founder, Rick Krieger, need treatment for his son’s possible strep-throat. Due to the length of time it took for his son to be diagnosed he came up with the ideal of convenient walk-in clinics (MinuteClinic, 2008). The first MinuteClinic opened in Minneapolis, MN in May 2000. “They focused on seven common conditions. Strep throat, mono, flu, female bladder infections, ear infections, sinus infections and pregnancy testing” MinuteClinic.
The impact that these clinic has had on patients has been so successful that there more than 50 MinuteClinic health care centers that can be found in select CVS/pharmacy stores in Florida (MinuteClinic, 2008). Patients are now able to walk into a CVS Pharmacy and get quick health care. Most visits will take from 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the symptoms of the patient.
ConclusionTo conclude, it is apparent that an entrepreneur is an individual who seeks risk, has the need to work independently and pursues a business strategy of high growth and large profits. Real entrepreneurs thrive on uncertainty and find ways of finding the resources they need to achieve their goals. If they don’t have enough capital, they will find a way to get it. From a health care standpoint, an entrepreneur can be an individual such as Rick Krieger being innovative based on personal experience or it can be large corporations like Johnson and Johnson whose innovations have affect the lives of many. Entrepreneurship in healthcare is a fairly new concept; however, it is one that will continue to get larger and larger.
Barringer, B. A., & Ireland, R. D. (2008). Introduction to entrepreneurship. In Entrepreneurship: Successfully launching new ventures (2nd ed., pp. 3-35). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Burns, L. R. (2008). The business of healthcare innovation in wharton school curriculum. Retrieved January 11, 2009, from http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521547687&ss=exc&utm_source=DOI&utm_medium=MultiLink&utm_content=0521547687&utm_campaign=CDIDavison, E. D. (2008). Entrepreneurship. Research Starters Busienss, 1, 1-12. Retrieved January 10, 2009, from EBSCOhost database.
Howard, P. (2008). Health care’s new entrepreneurs. Retrieved January 11, 2009, from http://www.city-journal.org/printable.php?id=2702MinuteClinic. (2008). MinuteClinic becomes participating provider with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. U.S. Newswire. Retrieved January 11, 2009, from ProQuest database.