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Thursday, 07 December 2017 07:57

Influence of Entrepreneurship in Health Care Featured

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Introduction

According to Timmon (2009), entrepreneurship is a process that results in the creation of new venture that meets certain needs and create value. Entrepreneurial activities are critical to the innovation of new organizational forms. In the past, entrepreneurship was not visible in the healthcare industry. Today, entrepreneurship has extended its root into the healthcare delivery system. This paper reflects on the influence of entrepreneurship on the healthcare industry.

Positive Influence

Entrepreneurship in healthcare has led to the rapid development of new ideas and new products. The entrepreneurship approach of providing healthcare services provide incentives for services providers to invest in research and development activities and focus on developing new products. For instance, pharmaceutical companies have invested heavily research and development of new drug because they stand to reap returns for their investment. Similarly, established technology companies such as General Electric, Siemens, and Kodak are now willing to venture into the development and manufacture of medical equipments thus introducing new technologies into the healthcare industry. This new ideas and products have enhanced the service delivery process.

Entrepreneurship has also improved the quality of care and delivery methods (Wilson, Whitaker & Whitford, 2012). The entrepreneurship view has made the healthcare industry patient centered. This is because entrepreneurship emphasizes on meeting the needs of consumers. Thus, the industry is now driven by the needs of consumers thus enhancing the quality of care. Similarly, entrepreneurship has also introduced an element of competition within the healthcare industry. This has motivated healthcare providers to enhance the quality of their services in order to improve their competitive position.

Entrepreneurship has also decreased the cost of healthcare services. As already stated, entrepreneurship has increased competition within the industry. Increased competition has, in turn, made service providers highly efficient. Service providers are forced to improve their efficiency in order to avoid being driven out of the market. This has resulted in low costs for healthcare consumers. 

Negative Influence

Commoditization of healthcare services is the most significant disadvantage of entrepreneurship in healthcare. Initially, the goal of establishing healthcare organization was to promote the wellbeing of society. Entrepreneurship in health care has made the care delivery system more profit oriented rather than service oriented. Healthcare services are viewed as commodities for sale. Practitioners within the industry are more focused on making profits rather than promoting the wellbeing of society. Pharmaceutical companies are making investments in the development of new drugs with the objective of making profits. This has made drug least accessible to a majority of the citizens.

Application of entrepreneurial laws such as intellectual property laws within the healthcare industry has aggravated this problem. Today, pharmaceutical companies that discover new drugs obtain patents for their innovation thus giving them an avenue for exploiting consumers. Similarly, it has become common for practitioners to advertise health care services in order to promote consumption rather than promote wellbeing. This is because these practitioners view these services as commodities for sale. Consequently, consumers are being driven to purchase services that they do not need.

Array Health

Array Health is a health insurance provider that has changed the way consumers receive services. Array Health has developed insurance products that encourage a shift from employer-driven model to a consumer-driven model (Array Health, 2013). This is an innovation that has been driven by the need to make healthcare insurance industry consumer focused. Array’s products shift management and coverage decisions from employees and large groups to individual consumers. The individual-payer insurance model is intended to compel insurance providers to increase attention on the needs of consumers as opposed to the needs of employers.

Conclusion

Entrepreneurship is a process that results in the creation of new products or ventures that meet a certain need. Entrepreneurship has influenced the healthcare industry in both positive and negative ways. The entrepreneurial process in healthcare has promoted the development of new products and ideas, enhanced the quality of services, and reduced the cost of care. However, entrepreneurship has also led to the commoditization of healthcare services.

References

Array Health (2013). Private Health Insurance Exchanges. Retrieved from http://www.healthcarepayernews.com/sites/healthcarepayernews.com/files/Array_Health_Private_Health_Insurance_Exchanges_101_Visual_Industry_Primer_Oct2013.pdf

Timmons, J. (2009). Opportunity Recognition. Retrieved from http://www.aitel.hist.no/fag/ent/lek02/Kap2.MBA.pdf

Wilson, A. Whitaker, N. & Whitford, D. (2012). Rising to the Challenge of Healthcare Reform with Entrepreneurial and Entrepreneurial Nursing Initiatives. The Journal of the American Nurses Association. 17 (2)

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Prof. Richard Brixton

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