Despite an increasing interest in healthcare innovation, few health systems are positioned to innovate quickly, according to new research by the Center for Connected Medicine and The Health Management Academy.
The research is based on quantitative and qualitative surveys conducted in October 2018. A total of 29 executives from 28 health systems participated.
According to the results, only 47 percent of systems have a formal process for scaling innovation and 48 percent have a formal innovation department. Additionally, 62 percent of health systems said they implement and scale innovation somewhat slowly or very slowly.
Although challenges remain, the report from the CCM and The Health Management Academy includes six recommended practices for health systems that want to scale their innovation efforts. Here’s a closer look:
- Define innovation. First, organizations have to set up a system-level definition of innovation. According to the survey, many definitions focus on new approaches to problem-solving that can create more value, particularly for patients. It’s also important to get executive buy-in.
- Align with goals. Innovation efforts should line up with a health system’s existing overall goals.
- Structure people and process. The report suggests that organizations should create a formal innovation department and scaling process to improve efficiency. This structure can help health systems implement and scale innovation faster.
- Empower decision-makers. Healthcare entities can allocate a specific budget to innovation and appoint an executive to oversee innovation strategy. Bigger systems are more likely than small and mid-sized systems to have a separate innovation department, the report notes.
- Simplify sign-off. To increase the speed of scaling innovation, health systems should reduce the number of people involved in innovation-related decision-making.
- Maximize strengths. Organizations can capitalize on their existing strengths and capabilities as they refine their innovation efforts. To fill in the gaps, they can partner with other entities like payers or medical device companies.
“Health systems that will be most effective in executing their innovation agendas will be those that reconcile competing priorities by developing a clear, aligned vision across the C-suite leadership team,” said Sanjula Jain, executive director of research and advisory for The Health Management Academy, in a news release sent to MedCity.
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