I was reading Beckers and decided my response deserved more than a tweet. Merriam-webster defines Imitation as something produced as a copy. Perhaps Oscar Wilde has the most famous quote:
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”- Oscar Wilde
Healthcare is an interesting field, constantly pulled between those who think its an art vs science. Those attempting to protect everything intellectual they do and those that want to just impact and improve lives. Those that want to organize everything into a single approach (clones) and those that want to innovate to improve the status quo. Our innovation is often perceived as stillborn from other industries because we operated with a mandate of first do no harm.
Our innovation is often perceived as stillborn
Vendors are a different breed. They fiercely protect their intellectual property (IP) but want the systems they serve to share their own widely. They view it under the argument they were formed to be a services company and need IP but healthcare organizations were formed to treat people and their focus should be narrowed to just that and if they can help others than they should disseminate that widely. In situation after situation hospital IT departments implement an approach that no one has envisioned before and share as widely as possible because it helps improve real patients lives.
In situation after situation hospital IT departments implement an approach that no one has envisioned before and share as widely as possible because it helps improve real patients lives.
Imitation though has some real downsides. See the clone troopers above, they didn’t understand what they were doing, they were programmed to follow their commanders. When we introduce imitation without understanding it frequently results in poor outcomes.
I have spent years publishing in industry circles without attempting to wrap intellectual property around what I’m doing pushing the cutting edge of research implementations and analytics in EHR’s because I believe these approaches will allow us to make the world a better place. It gives me a unique perspective though as some of those processes become standard and some fall to the wayside. I watch some of my largest successes fall away because they relied on complicated infrastructure or logic that others couldn’t replicate.
I watch some of my largest successes fall away because they relied on complicated infrastructure or logic that others couldn’t replicate.
Should we imitate? Yes. We should also innovate, we should be an industry that the best and brightest should flock to not due to the monetary rewards but because what we do should have a positive impact on the world.