participants in the Innovative Health Care Leader Program

The Innovative Health Care Leader: From Design Thinking to Personal Leadership


Where does the art of patient care intersect with the business of medicine? How can design thinking help you navigate and innovate through uncertainty?

To survive and thrive in the complex and chaotic world of health care, you need new models and mindsets. The Innovative Health Care Leader delivers them. This program is a groundbreaking academic partnership between Stanford GSB and Stanford School of Medicine.

Program Highlights

Design Thinking for Health Care Innovation

Learn design thinking — a human-centered, prototype-driven process for innovation that can be applied to products, services, and even business and organizational design. At Stanford, we believe that innovation is necessary in every aspect of health care leadership, and that it can be taught.

These sessions will give you a strong understanding of the key tenets of design thinking, and how to execute them within your organization. You’ll start by working with a partner in hands-on exercises to experience how the design process works. Then, you’ll spend the rest of the day in small design teams working on a health care industry design challenge.

Design thinking by its very nature is experiential, so come with an open mind, wear comfortable attire, and make sure you’re well-rested!

High-Touch in a High-Tech Age: Challenges and Opportunities

Technology is critical to quality and safety in the delivery of health care; it can, however, inadvertently create barriers between the patient and the health care team.

How do you still deliver the sense of ‘care’ in caring while delivering cutting-edge science?
Abraham Verghese, Faculty Co-Director

The focus on efficiency can also have an unanticipated impact on social rituals that are important to the well-being of both provider and patient. A thoughtful physical exam performed by an effective listener not only results in a far better experience for the patient, but also can be an important buffer against medical error and delayed diagnosis.

In this session with Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP, from the Stanford School of Medicine, we will discuss the human experience in medicine, using the Institute of Medicine’s 2015 report Improving Diagnosis in Health Care and Stanford studies to guide the discussion.

Controlling Health Care Costs: A Panel Discussion

Health care spending growth in excess of national income growth presents a profound challenge for our society. But controlling costs is only part of the equation. We must also focus on the value of health care interventions and whether the health benefits justify the costs. Payers, policymakers, and providers all agree that we must lower the rate at which health care costs are increasing without negatively impacting clinical outcomes.

In this session led by Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP, we will be joined by panelists from Stanford School of Medicine. We will explore the societal, political, and financial pressures that are driving the need for change and discuss innovative health care delivery models that improve both health and patient experience of care.

Responsible Use of Big Data in Health Care

We finally have the power to transform human health. A tsunami of digital data now surges through medical research and health care – electronic medical records, DNA-sequencing data, biosensor and wearable device data, and the list goes on. By harnessing the power of large-scale computing and data analysis, we can delve into every aspect of health and disease, from the molecular mechanics of individual cells to the behavioral dynamics of entire populations. However, we must do so while fiercely protecting the privacy, safety, and dignity of each and every individual. In this session led by Euan Ashley, Associate Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Stanford, we will discuss the responsible use of big data in medical research and clinical care.

Scaling Up Excellence

Professor Hayagreeva "Huggy" Rao devoted seven years to studying how the best leaders and teams spread constructive beliefs, behaviors, and practices from those who have them to those who need them.

In this session, Huggy will reveal how the best leaders develop and instill the right mindsets in their people, and will unpack principles that help spread excellence throughout an organization. These insights are based on diverse case studies, hundreds of interviews with scaling veterans, and rigorous academic studies on organizations including Johns Hopkins Hospital, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Facebook, Google, Pixar, and more.