Berkeley MBA Team Pinpoints Pain Points to Take Second in Health Care Competition

Second Place in Emory’s Leadership in Healthcare Case Competition: Felice Espiritu, Christine Chu, Alana Tucker, and Alex Leung.

Taking pains to understand the different needs of health care executives and doctors garnered second prize for a Berkeley MBA team in the Emory Leadership in Healthcare Case Competition Feb. 15 at Emory University's Goizueta Business School.

The Haas team, which took home a $2,500 prize, consisted of full-time students Christine Chu, Felice Espiritu, and Alana Tucker, all MBA/MPH 14, and evening and weekend student Alex Leung, MBA 15.

The team was asked to provide a strategy for implementing a computerized provider order entry (CPOE) system at a hospital in the Emory health care system. A CPOE system provides for electronic entry of physician instructions for patient care.

Recognizing that administrators and physicians might perceive such a system differently, the Haas students were the only team to completely revamp a round-one presentation made to administrators for a second round in which the judging audience was physicians.

“Physician resistance appeared to be the biggest hurdle, so we conducted root-cause analysis to understand underlying concerns and developed corresponding recommendations,” says Tucker. The team’s ideas included providing on-the job training rather than classroom training to save physician time and engaging peer champions to promote adoption.

The Haas team topped Emory and USC; Vanderbilt came in first.

Judges also praised the Berkeley-Haas team for having a solid grasp of current health care regulations, for good interaction with each other and the room, and for not being “afraid of the tough questions.”

Tucker says the Haas course Healthcare in the 21st Century enabled the team to speak knowledgeably about health care reform and its specific implications for different players. She said the design thinking tools gleaned in Problem Finding Problem Solving helped the team map the customer journey to understand pain points for patients, administrators, and physicians.

The team also tapped their own work experience as well as that of their classmates. “These included a physician who had practiced in the UK’s National Health Service and a former employee of a leading electronic health record software company," Tucker explains.