This past July HITLAB faculty, scholars, and fellows taught a weeklong executive education program in New York City to 15 students from the Sauder School of Business Executive MBA Program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Entitled “The U.S. Discovery Tour: Healthcare Innovation in America,” the interactive lectures included 13 faculty and researchers from Columbia University, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the United Nations.

Keerthi Prasad, PDEng, HITLAB’s Manager of Product Development and Research, facilitated innovation workshops designed to help students craft solutions to challenges currently facing the healthcare industry. The program did not end with educational sessions during the day; attendees enjoyed the full Manhattan experience while discussing pressing healthcare issues.

Students explored a variety of subjects over the week, including fundamentals of the U.S. healthcare system, the Affordable Care Act’s impact on average Americans, filing pharmaceutical patents in the U.S., and social media’s effect on healthcare delivery. HITLAB’s Chair and Faculty Director of the program Prof. Stan Kachnowski provided a U.S. Healthcare 101 seminar, led morning reflections, and threaded terms and concepts from the lectures together with readings and assignments.

HITLAB faculty, scholars, fellows, and guest speakers delivered an array of lectures to students that provided unique insights into the healthcare system through the perspectives of industry, nursing, and innovation. David Gruber, MD, MBA, discussed the economics and costs of U.S. healthcare. Adam Siegel, PhD, gave a firsthand account of the California startup culture and how that mentality can be applied here in New York City.

HITLAB’s Manager of Research and Data Analysis, Olga Crowley, PhD, gave an engaging talk on how not to be tricked by statistics. She expressed how the presentation of statistics can be easily manipulated, and she gave insight for intelligently interpreting statistical results. James Major, JD, DPhil, HITLAB’s Intellectual Property Counsel, discussed the inner workings and challenges of filing pharmaceutical patents in the U.S. His talk integrated well with the students’ tour of Pfizer later that day.

One of the highlights of the week came in Uris Hall on Thursday, when guest faculty Dr. Robert Kelly, President of New York-Presbyterian, provided students with an in-depth treatment of the effect of healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act on hospital operations in America.

A unique educational element of the U.S. Discovery Tour included site visits around Manhattan to several of the borough’s leading global healthcare institutions. The UBC students toured United Nations (UN) Headquarters, including the UN Security Council, and learned about its various health campaigns, which help resolve global healthcare issues. Afterwards, the group heard about Canada’s perspective on UN and global healthcare affairs by speaking directly with a representative of the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations.

Students wrapped up the week with team presentations of their innovative healthcare product ideas. Together, they helped devise ways to lower hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), which affect about 5% of patients admitted to hospitals in the U.S.

HITLAB offers executive education programs to provide leaders from around the world with learning experiences that focus on improving transformational healthcare products and services.