09 Feb 2009
Clayton Christensen Writes a Prescription for Health Care Reform
New Book Aims to Disrupt the Status Quo in U.S. Health Care
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Professor Clayton Christensen
Photo: Stuart Cahill

BOSTON — The U.S. health care system is in critical condition. Each year, fewer Americans can afford health care, fewer businesses can provide it, and fewer government programs can promise it for future generations. Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen - author of the pioneering bestseller The Innovator's Dilemma, now offers his diagnosis of this acute problem in his new book, The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care (McGraw Hill).

With his physician coauthors, Dr. Jason Hwang and the late Dr. Jerome Grossman, Christensen applies the principles of "disruptive innovation" to our broken health care system, examining a range of symptoms to offer proven solutions. The Innovator's Prescription provides a comprehensive analysis of the strategies that will improve health care in this country and make it affordable.

By examining health care through the lenses of managing innovation - general models that have emerged from 20 years of studying these problems at Harvard and applying them to a wide range of industries, from telecommunications and computer hardware/software to public education - Christensen and his coauthors explain why healthcare has become "progressively expensive and inaccessible."

Readers will discover how:

  • Rules-based "precision medicine" reduces costs and makes good on the promise of personalized care,
  • Disruptive business models improve quality, accessibility, and affordability by changing the way hospitals and doctors work,
  • Patient networks enable better treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney failure,
  • Employers can change the roles they play in health care to compete effectively in the era of globalization, and how
  • Insurance and regulatory reforms can stimulate disruption and change.

About the Authors
Clayton M. Christensen is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His research and teaching focus on management issues related to the development and commercialization of technological and business model innovation. In addition to The Innovator's Dilemma, he is the coauthor of The Innovator's Solution, Seeing What's Next, and most recently, Disrupting Class, a study of the way people learn.

The late Jerome H. Grossman, M.D., was the Director of the Harvard Kennedy School Health Care Delivery Policy Program, a nationally recognized health care policy expert, and a pioneer in health informatics. He also served as CEO of a major medical center, chaired the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and co-founded four successful companies.

Jason Hwang, M.D., MBA, is an internist and senior strategist for the Healthcare Practice at Innosight LLC, an innovation and strategy consulting firm founded by Professor Christensen. He also cofounded and serves as the Executive Director of Healthcare at Innosight Institute, a non-profit social innovation think tank. Previously, Dr. Hwang was a chief resident and clinical instructor at the University of California, Irvine.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 200 offers full-time​ programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 80 open enrollment Executive Education programs and more than 60 custom programs. For more than a century, HBS faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching to educate leaders who have shaped the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.​​​​