Healthcare is a service setting where meeting the needs of customers (patients and their families) is uniquely challenging. But the necessity, complexity, cost, and high-emotion nature of the service, as well as technological advances and competitive dynamics in the industry, make the imperative for service innovation in healthcare especially urgent. Forward-thinking healthcare institutions around the United States are succeeding in establishing a value-creating innovation culture and in implementing operational and strategic service innovations that benefit them and their stakeholders. They view continuous innovation as a non-negotiable goal, prize institutional self-confidence, and include patients and families on the innovation team. Cancer care, in particular, faces a pressing need for service innovation, and some progressive oncology centers are demonstrating what is possible to improve the patient and family service experience. The imperatives, now, are for service innovation to become part of the fabric of how all healthcare institutions, not just the groundbreakers discussed in this article, operate—and for academics in the field of marketing to play a crucial role in that effort.

 

Read more about the urgency of service innovation in healthcare here.