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Studying the Health Care Industry

Center for Innovation in the Business of Health Care

Advancing Leadership & Management in Health Care

At the Center for Innovation in the Business of Health Care (CIBH), we search for revolutionary solutions to the challenges facing the health care system today. We study health care business platforms with the purpose of providing innovative management solutions for business modeling, analytics and leadership. Our projects focus on change management, operations research, digital healthcare and joint problem-solving with industry experts.

Improving the Health Care Value Chain

One of our primary focuses at the CIBH is on identifying and facilitating change in the value chain. The health care value chain includes populations, patients/consumers, providers of care, suppliers (medical devices, pharmaceutical, IT, etc.), and payers and purchasers of care. It is influenced by the government and education.

All these moving parts in the value chain are considered in our research. Our projects seek to apply concepts gleaned from other industries that have developed sophisticated supply chains and organizational relationships to the business of healthcare. Our end goal is to create an innovation platform that revolutionizes the health care value chain.

The Center launched roundtable innovation and salon sessions in 2016. Together, regional health care executive leaders work to bridge health care silos and use collective thinking to reimagine care delivery.


Dan McLaughlin

Dan McLaughlin headshot
Phone Number
(651) 962-4143

Healthcare Executive Public Policy Columns by Dan McLaughlin

Long-Term Care: An Opportunity for Innovation

The impact of an aging population is beginning to challenge the healthcare system’s providers, payers and policymakers. Services for the elderly are undergoing significant change and innovation.


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Supporting Social Determinants of Health

Geographic disparity in health status has been established for many years, but policymakers have found it difficult to enact new, politically acceptable legislation that would address social determinants of health. However, the movement to value-based purchasing and capitation has spurred innovation in both healthcare delivery and policy.


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The Future is Local for Health Policy

The challenge of rising health care costs continues to be a prominent issue. New concepts and initiatives at the state level and in the employment sector are paving the way for healthcare executives to influence health policy.


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CEO members, presidents, managers, entrepreneurs, and other company leaders gathered for a roundtable discussion on sustaining company culture at Opus College of Business.

Roundtable Recap

In 2018, one of our Roundtable Sessions featured Emily Piper, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). She shared information on Outcomes-Based Purchasing Redesign and the Next Generation Integrated Health Partnership Program serving Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) populations. Participants learned about efforts in Minnesota to expand collaborative provider partnerships – working across specialties and service settings to deliver more efficient and effective health care.

Blockchain Technology for Health Care Innovation

To explore how the emerging “blockchain” technology may unlock the benefits of value-based health care models, the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business and U.S. Bank, Innovation Research and Development held a health care innovation salon on December 6, 2016.

Participants shared the learnings from the financial services industry in blockchain prototyping to understand how their experiences could be leveraged to advance technology innovations in health care.

Participants at the meeting left with an understanding of:

  • The definition of blockchain, a distributed transaction ledger
  • The benefits and challenges of blockchain
  • How macro trends in health care – such as consumerism, new care venues and interoperability/security – align with the properties of emerging blockchain technology models
  • Ideas for applying apply blockchain to health care based on financial services experiences
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Technology Enabled Care Services for Peripheral Artery Disease

The University of St. Thomas hosted an innovation session in January 2018 for a network of health care experts from health systems, research and patient advocacy organizations, payors, universities and the medical device industry. The group discussed optimizing the treatment of peripheral artery disease with a focus on patient-centered outcomes, patient activation, an aligned health and wellness network and information exchange.

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Center Leadership

Headshot of Dan McLaughlin

Dan McLaughlin

Adjunct Faculty, Operations and Supply Chain Management

(651) 962-4143

Daniel McLaughlin, M.H.A, is active in teaching, research and speaking at the university, with a special emphasis on health care operations and policy.

John Olson headshot.

John Olson

Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management

(651) 962-4079

John Olson is the director of health care research and also teaches in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the Opus College of Business. His current research is focused on quality management and continuous improvement in health care systems.

Headshot of Marcella de la Torre

Marcella de la Torre

Director of Health Care Outreach

(651) 962-5128

Marcella de la Torre is the director of health care outreach for the Opus College of Business and a member of the Center for Innovation in the Business of Health Care. Prior to joining the University of St. Thomas, she held leadership positions in quality management, LEAN, medical education, and faculty development. Dr. de la Torre is celebrated for her leadership in advancing medical education.