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May 20, 2011

Healthcare Leadership Council - National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation: Updates Industry-Physician Collaboration

Large board meeting 
Back in October 2010, The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), a coalition of chief executives representing all sectors of American healthcare, hosted the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI), a forum in which leaders from private sector healthcare, government, academia and patient and consumer organizations will work together toward consensus on issues affecting healthcare innovation. 

The coalition is co-chaired by David Barrett, MD, the CEO of the Lahey Clinic, and Bill Hawkins, the chairman and CEO of Medtronic. 

The purpose of NDHI is to bring together a broad spectrum of leaders and organizations involved in healthcare delivery and policy for candid, transparent discussions of medical innovation in the United States, and the opportunities and challenges affecting its progress. HLC President Mary R. Grealy noted that the creation of this coalition is important because “throughout the health reform debate, the aspect of American healthcare often overlooked was innovation. 

Following the summit, NDHI published a summary of the interactive sessions that took place, in which thought leaders identified opportunities and challenges presented by physician-industry collaboration, and began the process of answering some fundamental questions, such as, How to determine when collaboration is necessary and appropriate; How compensation is structure; and How to minimize conflicts of interest. 

Consequently, NDHI recently provided an update since the October Summit on Physician-Industry Collaboration.

The first update was on the Principles Working Group, which is chaired by Dr. David Barrett.  This group is focused on developing cross-industry consensus principles around physician-industry collaboration by late summer 2011. 

The goal is to present these principles to the public and key stakeholder groups to further restore trust in product innovation.  Members of the group represent trade associations, academic medical centers, societies, patient advocacy groups, and industry. The group holds bi-weekly meetings and is using a compendium of existing guidelines and principles (trade associations, societies, and industry) to identify key areas of alignment and consensus. 

The second update was on the Outreach & Education Working Group, which is chaired by Dr. Harry Jacobson.  This this group is tasked with gathering evidence on the value of collaboration and innovation, and developing a public education plan aimed at key stakeholder groups by late summer 2011. 

The goal is to develop a communications framework to educate key audiences on the importance of principled collaboration to foster innovation.  Members of this group also represent trade associations, academic medical centers, societies, patient advocacy groups, and industry.

This group also holds bi-weekly meetings and is developing an inventory of medical innovations to provide evidence and examples of the value of collaboration and medical innovation to patients and the global economy in a principled, patient-centered way. 

The update also noted that NDHI is in the process of migrating the current NDHI.org website to an online community platform that will provide greater opportunity for interaction and sharing of ideas.  The working groups will begin using a secure section of the site this month to share ideas and complete their deliverables. Later this year, this online workspace will serve as a forum for Summit participants to view, discuss and provide feedback on the working group deliverables.

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