25 hospitals with innovation centers

As healthcare continues along its perpetual evolution, those in the industry are continually trying to get ahead of the curve and find solutions to the biggest issues facing patient care and delivery today. Some hospitals and health systems have made a commitment to innovation by establishing their own centers and institutes for innovation.

While innovation in healthcare is often discussed in the context of new tools and technology, it also applies to new ideas or workflows. From established departments to organizations with their own separate governing board, here are 25 hospitals and health systems with innovation centers.

Note: Innovation centers are presented in alphabetical order. This is not an exhaustive list of all innovation centers. Centers were selected by editorial research. Hospitals cannot pay to be included on this list.

TechSpring coworking space
TechSpring at Baystate Health

At Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass., CIO Joel Vengco launched the system's health technology innovation center TechSpring in 2013. Many tech startups have partnered with TechSpring for product development, including CarePort Health and Medecision. TechSpring features an adoption accelerator, insight through focus groups and co-working space for individuals or teams working in healthcare or technology.

Boston Children's Hospital fosters several initiatives to spur innovation. It established the Boston Children's Innovation Acceleration Program in 2010 as resource for hospital employees to develop ideas. The hospital also opened a Technology & Innovation Development Office, which serves as the commercialization arm for researchers, biomedical innovations and technologies. Boston Children's hosts the annual global Pediatric Innovation Summit, the only annual event centered on advancing innovation in pediatric care, as well.

Boston-based Brigham and Women's launched its Innovation Hubin 2013. The hub, led by Executive Director Lesley Solomon, supports Brigham clinicians, scientists and employees in bringing their innovative ideas to fruition. Called iHub, the center hosts an annual Clinical Innovation Day, which unites clinicians, scientists and business leaders to share ideas for patient care improvements. iHub also hosts hackathons, codeathons and idea labs, where clinicians and scientists brainstorm ideas for a particular theme in healthcare in just 90 minutes.

In Chapel Hill, N.C., UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine share Innovate Health Care @ Carolina. Within the center is an Innovation Council, which functions as a think tank that helps with ideation and selection of innovative opportunities. David Rubinow, MD, is the director of UNC Innovation and Health Care System Transformation. Through a partnership with Forecast Health, the center recently produced an analytical model that helps clinicians predict when patients are at high risk of readmission so care teams can proactively offer support to individual patients based on their risks and needs.

children's hospital los angeles
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Children's Hospital Los Angeles bases its pediatric research in its Center for Innovation. The Center also oversees the Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics, an accelerator that received a $1.5 million grant from the FDA and houses more than 30 active technologies. CHLA also partners with the University of Southern California in an initiative to support development of technology solutions for pediatric patients.

Cleveland Clinic founded Cleveland Clinic Innovations in 2000.Since then, the commercialization arm has worked with 71 companies to move their innovation from thought to product. CCI has been involved with more than 500 licenses and 700 issued patents. It also developed the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center Incubator, a facility to house startup companies focused on cardiovascular disease. Thomas Graham, MD, has served as CIO of CCI since 2010.

Mountain View, Calif.-based El Camino Hospital'sFogarty Institute of Innovationserves as an incubator for early stage innovators, and offers laboratory and engineering space for innovators and physicians to collaborate on ideas and developments. Thomas J. Fogarty, MD, inventor of the balloon catheter and recipient of the Presidential National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2014, founded the institute in 2007. Since then, the institute has worked with 20 medical device startups, five of which have spun off.

The Innovation Lab at Orlando-based Florida Hospital functions as an incubator to foster and test ideas to improve the system's healthcare services. Karen Tilstra cofounded the lab in October 2011, and she continues to serve as its director. In 2013, the lab received the Des Cummings Innovation Award, which is presented each year to a Florida Hospital organization for their efforts in advancing healthcare innovation.

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Henry Ford Health System's Innovation Institute

Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System established its Innovation Institute in 2011. One of the most prominent innovations coming out of the instituteis the newly designed Model G Patient Gown, which prioritizes patient comfort — notably the closed backside — while maintaining clinical function. Scott Dulchavsky, MD, PhD, is CEO of HFII. Mark Coticchia, vice president and CIO of Henry Ford Health System, leads the Henry Ford Innovations unit.

New York-based Hospital for Special Surgery opened its Innovation Centerin September 2014 to support technological breakthroughs for musculoskeletal care, but HSS has been collaborating with commercialization partners since 1979. The center oversees ideas from generation to evaluation, acceleration and commercialization. In addition to traditional biomedical science and technology like implants and biomaterials, HSS Innovation Center also researches process innovations, digital health solutions, wearables and telemedicine.

Intermountain Healthcare opened its Transformation Lab in Murray, Utah,in 2013. Projects at the lab include developing the patient room of the future, 3D printing and sensors to boost hand hygiene compliance. Marc Probst, CIO of Intermountain Healthcare, oversees innovation at the lab.

Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University Hospital opened its two-story, open floor planJefferson Accelerator Zonein January 2015 as the home base for innovation activities. JAZ hosts an innovation engagement speaker series — including a December appearance from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf — and hackathons. People can rent out space in JAZ by zone, floor or building for innovation-related activities.

kaiser permanente garfield
Kaiser's Garfield Health Care Innovation Center

In 2006, Kaiser Permanente opened the Sidney R. Garfield Health Care Innovation Center in San Leandro, Calif., named after the health system's founding physician. Dr. Garfield was a pioneer in hospital designs that improved care delivery and enhanced the patient experience. Though closed to the public, Kaiser Permanente started offering virtual tours of the center in 2012. The center is modeled to look like a real hospital to allow providers to test products in as close-to-reality settings as possible.

Massachusetts General Hospital's Stoeckle Center (Boston). Focused on primary care innovation, The Stoeckle Center offers several programs to test ideas through education, research and policy. The center is named after John Stoeckle, MD, who had a 50-year career as a primary care physician at Massachusetts General.

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic opened itsCenter for Innovation in 2008, making it the first to be integrated into a medical practice setting. The center includes an outpatient lab that allows researchers to observe patients while interacting with providers, as well as a Healthy Aging and Independent Living Lab. The center focuses on design in healthcare — such as patient exam rooms and delivery models — to improve the patient experience.

The Innovation Center linked to 802-bed Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines (Iowa) was established in 2014. Mercy Innovation Center provides observation opportunities, engineering services, simulation labs, project piloting, business plan development and process improvement for individuals engaged in the creative process. Samuel Schone serves as the director of Mercy Innovation Center.

Wyoming, Mich.-based Metro Health Innovation Center houses four departments: the physician hospital organization, IT, security and privacy, and professional billing and pre-arrival. The facility is a collaborative space, allowing for Metro Health employees to gather and work on projects.

Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, has its Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice, one of 13 research centers within the hospital. Researchers at the center seek to discover new methods for care delivery, both through information technology and communication techniques. The center has four key research focuses: depression or suicidal ideation, clotting disorders, drug use and routine preventive care services.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital launched its innovation center in 2014. NYP Innovation Center is based in Blueprint Health, an accelerator and coworking space for health tech startups. The center held New York City's first hospital hackathon in March 2014.

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Parkview Health's Mirro Center

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Parkview Health's Mirro Center for Research and Innovation is among the newest innovation centers the country, having opened in late April. Folded into the Mirro Center is Parkview Research Center, a 25-year-old research hub, and the newly formed Center for Healthcare Innovation where scientists, entrepreneurs and organizations collaborate on new clinical solutions. The Mirro Center also features three simulation labs and classrooms for education and training personnel.

In Burlingame, Calif., is Mills-Peninsula Health Services, a Sutter Health-affiliated organization comprised of a medical center and health center. It operates the Center for Innovation & Research, a laboratory to develop new healthcare models, technologies, products, service and treatments. The center makes use of its proximity to Silicon Valley (25 miles) and San Francisco's (17 miles) biotech industries to partner with entrepreneurs and innovators.

In 2010, the University of California launched the Center for Health Quality and Innovation in Oakland, with representation from six UC medical school deans, five UC medical center CEOs and chaired by John Stobo, MD, the UC Health senior vice president. The center supports innovations in development across the UC health campuses through grants, fellowships and colloquiums.

colorado center for surgical innovation
Center for Surgical Innovation

The Center for Surgical Innovation is affiliated with Aurora-based University of Colorado Hospital and the university's medical school. The CSI has been part of the medical school for about a decade, serving as a training facility for surgeons as well as a development hub for new surgical techniques and technologies. Clinicians from around the world come to Colorado to learn at the CSI alongside UC medical students.

In Pittsburgh, UPMC Enterprises is the health system's innovation arm. Formerly called the UPMC Technology Development Center, UPMC Enterprises features a team of more than 200 technology professionals offering clinical, technical, business and capital resources to develop, test and commercialize new healthcare products and services. Rasu Shrestha, MD, CIO of UPMC, also serves as executive vice president of UPMC Enterprises.

The commercialization and technology transfer arm of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Wake Forest Innovations seeks to transform ideas and inventions into proprietary technologies and inventions to improve healthcare. The organization offers industry relations and business development, product innovation services, and contract research and development services. Eric Tomlinson, PhD, CIO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, leads the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a hub for biomedical science and IT within Wake Forest Innovations.

Editor's note: This article was updated October 2 to adjust an inaccuracy with Dr. Rasu Shrestha's title.

More articles on innovation:

Dr. Robert Wachter: How the growth of hospitalists encapsulates innovation
15 hospital, health system chief innovation officers to know
The innovation paradox: Those who most need it can't get it

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