Core Principles

Health care stakeholders have many options for assistance with analysis, evaluation, and implementation.


We believe that what sets VSSL apart from most is an uncompromising commitment to rigor at each step of a given project: from conception (use of design thinking and innovation principles for ideation, framework formation, and prototyping) to analysis (advanced statistical methods, primary data collection expertise) to implementation (application of real-world experience to produce actionable insights).


This principle can be encapsulated in two related notions: if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well; and if it cannot be done well, it's worth pausing to consider whether doing it will cause more harm than good. 

Health care needs changes that are inherently innovative. By this, we are not referring to buzzwords or plumage that are often associated with the notion of innovation: high-tech, flashy, or novel for the sake of being novel. Rather, we conceive of innovation as anything that finds a unique avenue for creating value and meeting stakeholder needs.

To do so, our work may take the forms or sustaining and/or disruptive innovations and address existing, new, or still unarticulated needs. We are committed to an entrepreneurial approach to portfolio and project management in our focus areas.


Efforts to strengthen systems science and health care value can be accompanied by substantial uncertainty. Given this, we recognize the need to nimbly navigate the array of external policy and internal organizational forces attendant to our focus areas and work. We adhere to a disciplined agile delivery (DAD) framework and several tenets -- including adaptive planning, empirical knowledge, and continual improvement -- to enable agility.

Driving change in health care will require effort from cross-functional teams and engagement of clinicians and patients as end users. One key driver of such efforts is an orientation towards learning. Therefore, we seek to manage a portfolio of work marked by curiosity and openness to new solutions, perspectives, approaches, and collaborators.


Part of our definition of success is if and how we continue to learn how to do our work better. Conversely, we view failure in part as the failure to continue learning.

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1959 NE Pacific Street

Seattle, WA 98195