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Dementia and Cost-Benefit Analysis

May 20, 2022

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Robert J. Brent, Professor of Economics. Fordham University, New York, USA

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The collateral damage of lockdowns and the cognitive biases that explain support for them

April 26, 2022

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Ananish Chaudhuri

Ananish Chaudhuri is the author of “Nudged into lockdown? Behavioral Economics, Uncertainty and Covid-19” published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

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Transforming Healthcare Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship

January 18, 2022

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Dr Claudine Kearney explores the leadership of innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare.

Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are important concepts and critical for the global advancement of healthcare. Within healthcare it is important to recognize that creativity is the first step for innovation, which can emerge anywhere and at any level within the organization. Innovation is a necessity for healthcare now and in the future particularly with the growing demand on the healthcare system driven by an aging population, an increasing prevalence of chronic disease and illnesses, and changes in patient needs with requirements for more personalized patient care. Scientific and technological advances are at the centre of healthcare innovation. Therefore leaders of healthcare organizations need to develop a climate that supports and empowers individuals and teams to be creative and innovative and in doing so nurture the entrepreneurial spirit and apply core business principles to bring new ideas into commercially viable medical innovations that will change the world of healthcare.

Over the last number of decades the field of healthcare has experienced significant innovations developed to enhance life expectancy and quality of life. The development of innovation in healthcare is a response to the critical needs of patients that can emerge over time or as a result of certain unprecedented circumstances that quickly emerge and need to be addressed urgently. This can be a result of the aging population and growing needs to address certain chronic diseases or the unprecedented global pandemic of Covid-19. Understanding innovation and the different types of innovation and the opportunities for innovation is significant for the field of healthcare. Healthcare organizations that support and nurture the innovative capability of their individuals and engage in open innovation can lead to the effective process of innovation that will result in new product, services, processes, technologies and delivery methods that generate patient value and enhance the healthcare system. It is the effective link between scientific and technological advances and meeting the diverse needs of stakeholders that leads to successful innovations that generate value in healthcare.

Leadership is the role of all healthcare professionals

Leadership is no longer focused on formal senior positions, but the role of all healthcare professionals throughout the healthcare organization. Traditional hierarchical practices have more recently given way to recognize leaders as part of a group and leadership as a more interactive process. Leadership style and practices have a significant impact on healthcare organisations and their engagement in innovation and entrepreneurship. Therefore, it is paramount to ensure the right leadership practices that will improve patient experience and care; reduce medical errors, infection and mortality; increase staff retention and morale; decrease staff turnover, absenteeism, stress and burnout. On this premise the integration of entrepreneurship and leadership to achieve entrepreneurial leadership can make a major contribution to the field of healthcare.

The challenge facing many healthcare organizations in today’s complex and unprecedented environment is how to effectively develop creativity and innovation among individuals and teams. Healthcare organizations need to meet the demands of a diverse group of stakeholders but most importantly address patient needs. The ability of the organization to address the daily healthcare needs, while at the same time having a futuristic approach to innovation, is challenging yet imperative. Innovation and entrepreneurship requires people. Therefore healthcare organizations need to utilize the competencies and creativity of their people to work together to identify opportunities for the betterment of healthcare. This requires leadership that drives innovation and entrepreneurship, and facilitates continuous engagement, collaboration, teamwork and effective communication.

To transform healthcare, innovation and entrepreneurship needs
to start with patient needs at the forefront

In the 21st Century, women represent 70 percent of the healthcare workforce, yet globally leadership roles particularly at the more senior level continues to be highly skewed towards men. This continuous underrepresentation of women in leadership roles in the healthcare sector is a global norm that needs to change. Women in innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare are also experiencing gender bias. Healthcare organizations are not adequately addressing the disparity of gender equality in leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. To transform healthcare, innovation and entrepreneurship needs to start with patient needs at the forefront. This can be best achieved when there is supportive leadership and equal opportunities for all qualified healthcare professionals to hold leadership roles and engage in the innovation process utilizing competencies and experiences and addressing fundamental gaps and defficiencies in healthcare delivery.

Innovations in healthcare products, assessment procedures, diagnoses, treatments,  and delivery of care have been significantly developed in recent decades. Such innovations increase patient quality of life and life expectancy and enhance the delivery of high quality and safe care for all patients. The development of innovations in healthcare also increases efficiency, effectiveness, accessibility and reduces medical errors and costs. The growing emphasis on the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship to healthcare should encourage leaders in healthcare organizations to support and facilitate more innovative ways to generate greater patient value into the future. Innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare needs to have a future oriented mindset that understands ‘one size does not fit all’. A more personalized approach is needed, through effective interaction between healthcare professionals, stakeholders and other key experts internally and externally to develop future innovations that will further enhance healthcare and lead the world to better health.

Healthcare needs creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, courage, resilience, passion, compassion and strong leadership. Be the healthcare leader that drives innovation and entrepreneurship, has a vision that accomplishes the imaginable, and who makes it happen – and keep it happening!


Claudine Kearney is Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Graduate School of Healthcare Management, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ireland

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Elgar Companion to Social Capital and Health

May 21, 2021

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Summary Blog Post from Sherman Folland

The Elgar Companion to Social Capital and Health, edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg, presents new research from each of the social science disciplines: sociology, epidemiology, political science, economics, and history. The contributing authors are from a wide geographic area – Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. Each of the 18 chapters have been summarised and posted on Elgar.Blog. The list below contains links to each chapter’s blog post.

This book can be purchased in print via e-elgar.com and is also available online via Elgaronline.

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Do Network Members’ Resources Generate Health Inequality? Social Capital Theory and Beyond

May 10, 2021

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Lin Song, Cleothia Frazier, and Phillip J. Pettis explain how network- and resource-based social capital leads to positive health consequences or inequalities in people’s health status in that people with more social capital are more advantaged in the maintenance and protection of health.

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