5 big ideas in healthcare innovation

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From their thoughts on predictive analytics to how they define digital transformation, here are five quotes about the role of innovation in healthcare that hospital executives shared with Becker's Hospital Review in October:

Editor's note: Responses have been edited for clarity and style.

Andy Lehman. CIO at Kettering (Ohio) Health: Transformation implies an order of magnitude improvement in performance, as opposed to incremental improvement. Digital implies the convergence of technologies in which the total is greater than the sum of the parts. Thus, digital transformation unlocks breakthrough or innovative business performance through the synergistic use of technology. Said another way, digital transformation is what turns the lead into gold.

Daniel Durand, MD. Chief Clinical Officer at LifeBridge Health (Baltimore): The greatest health innovation of 2021 was unquestionably the mass vaccination efforts worldwide utilizing the world’s first mRNA vaccines. It was also the year that health equity truly became our industry’s "fifth aim," taking its rightful place beside improved outcomes, reduced costs and enhancements to the patient and provider experience. 

Deb Muro. CIO of El Camino Health (Mountain View, Calif.): As a healthcare industry, we have focused for years upon the creation of EHR platforms in support of interoperability. The outcome of automating vast amounts of patient information has resulted in expansive and at times unwieldy "data lakes" fraught with challenges to bring value or drive actionable results. It is important now, more than ever, to realize the benefit of the tremendous investments in data automation to harness the power of information to predict and forecast aspects of the patient experience and care.

Tom Barnett. Chief Information and Digital Officer of Baptist Memorial Health Care (Memphis, Tenn.): With respect to healthcare, I see digital transformation as a formula:  simplified patient journey + streamlined employee workflow = a memorable experience. The ability to distill the patient touch points down to only what is necessary, make the behind-the-scenes workflow less cumbersome (reducing silos and friction points) and accelerate the entire throughput with carefully selected and complementary technology is the essence of digital transformation. Process is always upstream from technology, and any digital effort should take that into consideration.

Scott LaRosa. Executive Director of Enterprise Analytics and IT at Southcoast Health (New Bedford, Mass.): Predictive analytics is ultimately the payoff of clean workflows and accurate/aligned data alongside an advanced, data-literate culture that is prepared to understand and respond to such information. While predictive analytics may seem to be the Ferrari of data science, we are choosing to start with fundamentals of data governance, data stewardship and overall data use education. We have seen predictive analytic tools fail due to a canned approach to a regionalized issue, such as readmissions. The logic must match the need. The way this happens is by including key C-suite executives for support of the logic behind the build prior to launching the tool itself for end users to make decisions from. 

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