NatCon 17, an annual conference held by the National Council for Behavioral Health, is a place for executives in the Health and Human Services industry to come together, at the intersection of innovation and action, to generate new ideas and launch new strategies to achieve their missions.
Each year, more than 43.8 million American adults suffer from mental illness. Roughly 14% of the country’s population are battling agonizing conditions such as depression, bi-polar disorder, and schizophrenia. Many of these mental illness victims heavily rely on mental health organizations for treatment and intensive care. Unfortunately, these services aren’t always easily accessible, leaving many organizations struggling to find ways to innovate their processes to reach more people in need.
According to a study done by the National Institute of Mental Health, serious mental illness costs the United States $193 billion per year in lost earnings alone, as well as over $100 billion in healthcare costs. While this places a huge burden on the U.S. economy, it is even more harmful on the individuals and families impacted by mental illness, especially when you consider their socioeconomic status. The World Health Organization states that low-income groups are 2x more likely to suffer from depression and are at an 8x higher risk of suffering from schizophrenia.
With such high costs being placed on the lower-income citizens, it’s clear that something needs to change. Organizations in the Human Services industry are under pressure to find more efficient, innovative ways to treat their clients, while maintaining a high quality of care. This can only be achieved by finding the right combinations of systems, processes, and people.
Finding the right balance of process innovation and community action is challenging. Focusing too much on how to innovate business processes can distract organizations from their core mission, but ignoring inefficiency and disorganization can be detrimental to a business, preventing them from being able to serve their community. Streamlining communication between departments, eliminating information silos, and implementing tools that ensure compliance are just a few ways in which these organizations can take action and innovate.
Understanding the current industry’s trends can help organization’s find that balance and prepare for the future.