Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Stephen Klasko, President and Chief Executive Officer for Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

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Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.

On April 2nd, Dr. Klasko will speak at Becker's Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place April 1-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Dr. Klasko's session, click here.

Question: What do innovators/entrepreneurs from outside healthcare need to better understand about hospital and health system leaders?

Stephen Klasko: We need coordinated solutions, not single apps. As we move from a model where the physician and administrator is the boss to one in which the patient is the boss, we need technology and innovation “partners” not single app vendors. We also need more interaction between the engineers and developers on the entrepreneurial side and those of us on the front line. We have begun embedding our solution partners into our ecosystem and vice versa.

Q: What one strategic initiative will demand the most of your time and energy in 2019?

SK: In an age of too much stuff, being in a commodity business is a failing venture. As large businesses increasingly decide to compete in health delivery, legacy health systems are becoming a commodity. In a commodity business, the only way to survive is to diversify and differentiate. That's my job in 2019.

Q: Healthcare takes a lot of heat for not innovating quickly. What's your take on this?

SK: To be clear, doctors and scientists are infinitely innovative at the bedside. We all know people who wouldn't be alive only a few years ago, but for medical innovation. But we administer Star Trek medicine grafted on a Fred Flintstone delivery system. It's time for a new cycle of innovation around common platforms for patient engagement. We need the same passion we have for curing individual patients to be targeted on curing the fragmented, inequitable, expensive and occasionally unsafe healthcare delivery system.

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