Applying the entrepreneurial mindset to healthcare: an interview with Taylor McPartland

October 20, 2021

When you hear the words “entrepreneurship” and “startup,” what comes to mind? The West Coast, “failing fast,” elegant technology — and maybe even an office with ping pong tables.

“Healthcare” likely conjures a different type of image — one of waiting rooms and fax machines.

Historically, these two worlds have looked different and seemed far apart. But providing equitable, affordable healthcare for everyone is one of the greatest challenges of our age. It needs our most forward-thinking innovators and boldest ideas.

That’s something Taylor McPartland, an entrepreneur and CEO at ScaleHealth, recognized. “What mattered to me most was doing work that could positively impact people … on a daily basis,” he said. “From my standpoint I looked at healthcare and said, ‘If we don’t have our health, we don’t have much.”

If we approach healthcare with the entrepreneurial mindset, we can successfully address the big issues facing the industry.

What is the entrepreneurial mindset?

Being an entrepreneur is so much more than just creating new technology or starting a new business. Instead, it’s about rejecting the status quo and searching for new ways to attack problems, according to McPartland.

“There’s a sense of, ‘I know a better way to do this thing,’” and not stopping until progress is made, said McPartland, speaking of how entrepreneurs approach challenges.

The entrepreneurial mindset can apply to almost every aspect of our daily and professional lives. In healthcare, it can help find new ways to process invoices or close care gaps. When employees, teams and leaders adopt this mindset, they embrace a way of thinking that enables them to innovate and move their organizations forward.

The next step is spreading ideas that work to other organizations so they can improve, too. This can be particularly difficult in the healthcare industry, which remains siloed technologically and geographically.

To address these silos and transform care, healthcare needs the entrepreneurial mindset. Each step of the care cycle and every touchpoint offers an opportunity for improvement and innovation. And when entrepreneurs and employees embrace new technologies and new ways of thinking, healthcare will be able to build solutions that impact the industry at scale.

The entrepreneurial mindset in healthcare, today.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced healthcare to adopt new practices quickly, proving that the industry has what it takes to incorporate new ways of thinking to make healthcare better for everyone.

Healthcare innovation and healthcare technology is on fire right now: Investment and funding for health tech innovators has skyrocketed, nearly doubling from 2019 to 2020. From alternative forms of care delivery to platform innovators to automation, entrepreneurs, investors and healthcare organizations are investing resources and brainpower into solving problems that have long plagued the industry.

At ScaleHealth, McPartland has brought together a global team of operational healthcare experts to help healthcare startups overcome obstacles to innovation across the entire spectrum of the industry.

“Running a startup is hard enough, and running a startup trying to tackle an industry like healthcare is even harder than that,” McPartland said. “I want to do everything I can to do the blocking and tackling so those entrepreneurs who are dedicated and passionate enough to fix an industry like healthcare can focus on doing just that.”

Healthcare is now at a turning point. Industry leaders must choose whether to remain stagnant with the status quo or to look to the future and push innovation forward.

Healthcare needs to embrace the entrepreneurial mindset to solve its biggest problems.

By continuing to push the boundaries and refusing to accept the status quo, we can transform the industry.

“There are a lot of big problems and a lot of small problems,” said McPartland. “I don’t want us thinking that we can suddenly say, ‘Cool, we’ve checked the innovation box, and now let’s keep doing what we were before but in a slightly different way.’ We need to continue to have that mindset of growth and improvement.”

McPartland recently sat down with Mike Biselli, a health tech entrepreneur and Olive’s Evangelist, to share his perspective on how the entrepreneurial mindset shapes the future of healthcare and the challenges to innovation in this industry. Watch the full video to hear his thoughts.