Ryan Armbruster on Designing Health Care for Care

Ryan was instrumental in helping the Mayo Clinic to launch the SPARC initiative nearly a decade ago. Now at Harken Health he reflected on the experience of designing for the gaps in healthcare.

Health care in the US has gone through cycles from the 1980s on safety, 1990s on quality, 2000s on access, 2010s on consumerism. Costs have risen to over six trillion dollars in the past 40 years in the US. This is more spending than any other country in the world, but with lower health outcomes.

Ryan asserts that “care” is missing from this equation. It’s something simply assumed but not designed in a strategic way. This leads to frustrated and burned out healthcare providers. His argument was that the system is the problem.

He called for a revolution in service to transform healthcare. Consumerism is about transactional interactions, not relationships.

Care is the foundation of good relationships that build trust between patients and health care providers. Ultimately he argues that this leads to greater health outcomes.

Harken Health is focused on building out those themes from the ground up. They’re exploring how to organize a healthcare system around the theme of “caring.”




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