6 big ideas in healthcare innovation

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From their thoughts on how to choose which digital health startups to invest in to how healthcare innovation has been crucial to fighting the pandemic, here are six quotes about the role of innovation in healthcare that hospital executives shared with Becker's Hospital Review in August:

Maneesh Goyal. Chief Operating Officer at the Mayo Clinic Platform (Rochester, Minn.). We invest in partners that are bold and can help us transform healthcare together by producing ideas and capabilities that not only lead the market, but oftentimes create it ... in my 20 years’ experience in investing, I observed that winners tend to have two things in common: keen understanding of market timing and patience.

Aaron Martin. Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Providence (Renton, Wash.) and Managing General Partner of Providence Ventures. Our innovation model is to first try to find digital opportunities where we think digital has a significant strategic value to a problem that we're trying to solve or an opportunity we're trying to go after as a health system. If we find those opportunities, we are almost certain that they are available at other systems. So we know it's probably a big total addressable market, and a good market opportunity. That is a good problem or opportunity to go after.

John Brownstein, PhD. Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children's Hospital. ​​As an innovation group, you can get very distracted by a lot of shiny objects and innovations that may not be the most valuable for patients and providers. We have a really strong sourcing strategy that starts with real enterprise-level goals where we're trying to understand areas that might be impactful, like primary care behavioral health. We also do a deep dive from the bottom up. We're trying to learn from the staff, whether it's on the clinical side or administrative side, where the major issues are. As opposed to getting wrapped up in whatever buzzword of the day, we want to point our team toward where we're going to be highly evidence-based in terms of selective [projects]. 

Thomas Graham, MD. Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer at Kettering (Ohio) Health. Innovation remains the mechanism to improve and extend human life, while creating economic opportunities for the communities we serve. Innovation will always happen best — and fastest — at the intersection of knowledge domains where ideas come together and get fertilized. 

Tony Ambrozie. Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Baptist Health South Florida (Miami). Digital transformation is really about business transformation, whether in healthcare or anywhere else, as business transformation is driven by technologies, but not solely about technology. In that context, I think the logical role transition for leaders and their teams is from pure technologist roles to what I would say are business leaders deeply anchored in technologies.

Jason Joseph. Senior Vice President and Chief Digital and Information Officer at Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids, Mich.). As we innovate, we are forcing hidden barriers into the light via experimentation. We saw so many of these barriers uncovered within health care, such as lack of connectivity, digital competency, and the need for comprehensive managed workflow. We have shined a spotlight on how much of healthcare relies on people and inconsistent manual processes to get through the system. That needs to change, and that also requires changing a leader’s traditional mindset.

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