“INBW16: It’s Fragile, That’s My 2017 Roll-up of the Health Care Industry”
by Stacey Richter

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Here’s my roll-up of health care industry in 2017: It’s fragile. And its fragility is standing naked in the spotlight right now. How am I defining fragile? I’m defining it as the opposite of “antifragile” which was a term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Antifragile which was recommended to me by Don Lee. Don, btw, is the host of the HCBiz podcast which is great and you should listen to it.

Back to antifragile for a moment. Here’s the explanation. In the English language there’s no opposite of fragile. Most people, if you ask them what the opposite of fragile is, they say robust, or solid or resilient. But these terms aren’t really the opposite of fragile, they just kind of mean less fragile. You just have to hit it harder to break it. The opposite of fragile would be something that actually strengthens the more it’s smacked.

Stacey is co-president of Aventria Health Group, specializing in helping employer, pharmaceutical, device, and pharmacy clients by creating partnerships with other health care organizations. For 20 years, Stacey has innovated better-coordinated health solutions benefiting all stakeholders, and most of all, the patient.


00:00 The state of health care is fragile.
00:45 Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas
02:20 How easy it is for healthcare systems to break down.
02:40 “You can’t domesticate disorder, volatility, or uncertainty.”
03:15 The requirements of being an antifragile organization.
03:30 “Does everyone on the team understand the end game?”
04:45 Balancing people and processes.
05:25 “There is always judgement involved.”
06:30 Overlap and quality control.
09:10 Allow for small mistakes.
11:45 The need for a feedback group.
14:15 Iatrogenic – relating to an illness caused by medical examination or treatment.
15:20 How rapid scaling slows down the ability to become antifragile.
17:10 Testing if you’re doing something for the wrong reasons.
18:00 “What does the healthy business look like?”
18:20 How oligopolies make health care more fragile.

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