It’s no secret that the American healthcare system is one of the most expensive, bloated and ineffective of any developed nation. Americans pay over two and a half times the average of other OECD countries’ citizens for healthcare outcomes that are, on average, significantly worse. While it is true that the U.S. leads the way in many specialist fields, including organ transplantation and cancer treatment, it is also true that the level of care provided to the average American is worse than even some second-world countries like Mexico. While the reasons behind these failings are multifarious, Drew Madden, one of the leading figures in healthcare technology today, has some extremely interesting takes on the nature of the problem.
Madden first started working in the healthcare IT field when he was fresh out of college. Working first at Epic Systems and then at Cerner Corporation, the two dominant software providers to the U.S. medical industry, Madden went on to join Nordic Consulting Partners. There, he eventually moved up through the ranks, becoming the company’s CEO in 2011.
He was able to build the firm from a relatively small consultancy into a powerhouse of the medical IT field with more than 750 employees and 150 of the largest clients in the country. But it was while serving as the company’s president that he realized that the entrenched corporate culture, which generally took a software-centric view, was probably too ingrained to be meaningfully reformed. He realized that the entire approach that he and his firm had been taking all along missed the most important factor in whether or not healthcare could be effectively provided to patients at the ground level: healthcare professionals themselves.
As a software geek, Madden still understood the power of the sophisticated technologies that he had both helped to design and had sold. But he also came to see the people who made up the healthcare system as being a far more important element in the provision of top-quality healthcare than the software. In 2017, he created Evergreen Healthcare Partners with the people-first philosophy that now defines everything the company does. It is Madden’s contention that this will usher in a new era of efficiency within the U.S. healthcare space.