Leonard Achan, Hospital for Special Surgery

Leonard Achan

Creating a Knowledge Factory

Editors’ Note

Leonard Achan has held his current post since 2016. He is also Co-Founder and Chairman of Quality Reviews, Inc. In addition, he has held roles as Chief Communications Officer and Senior Associate Dean, Global Communications, Branding & Reputation; Chief of Access Services; Senior Vice President Digital and Social Media; Vice President and Assistant Dean of Executive Services & International Business Development; and Director of Hospital Operations, Capacity Management and Physicians Relations with Mount Sinai. He received his B.S.N. from Adelphi University and his Master’s in Advanced Practice Nursing from NYU. He is also a fellow of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

How do you define your role and your areas of focus?

Our vision within the musculoskeletal health realm is to create a knowledge factory. It’s not moving from, but complementing our focus factory.

In a world of mergers and acquisitions, with full-service institutions losing focus or being forced to change, combine, or close, HSS has been able to maintain its focus on musculoskeletal health since its inception.

When it comes to innovation coming out of an organization that has been able to remain focused and build knowledge and intellectual property know-how, that ultimately is what we do. This is not because of some marketing position, but it’s evidence-based on our ability to drive the outcomes we have and do no harm. This allows us to improve lives and have the safety, patient satisfaction, and clinical scores that we do.

It’s an amazing foundation upon which to build ideas and innovate, whether in life science, care delivery, drugs, therapeutics, devices, or leveraging digital technologies like mobile, artificial intelligence, and machine learning data to build digital platforms to improve healthcare.

At a very high level, my role is to put the infrastructure, people, and processes in place to get information and knowledge out into commercialized products that impact patients all over the world.

We’re number one at what we do, but there’s also only so much we can do. It’s about our real mission-driven purpose beyond our brick-and-mortar facility, which is to take what we’ve done for our patients and get the treatments to people that might not be able to come to see us. We can only do that through innovation.

How important is it to engage the physicians in these efforts?

What differentiates us is how the organization and its history have been built upon the surgeon, physician, and research verticals. The reason that we have the number one position we do and the clinical outcomes that we do is because we have been able to recruit, train, and retain the talent here.

We have taken a long approach in establishing a culture. Our makeup is really different. Many of our physicians are entrepreneurial in nature, because they’re running private practices. It is the number one priority to get them excited about taking our knowledge and scaling it to help more people.