6 key quotes about innovation's role in healthcare

Here are six invaluable pieces of wisdom and advice about the role of innovation in healthcare that executives from hospitals and health systems across the country have shared with Becker's Hospital Review this year:

Chris Coburn, chief innovation officer, Partners HealthCare System (Boston): "Innovation is not one breakthrough. Rather innovation is an expression of the organization's priorities and capabilities and realized through the creative actions of our gifted employees — hundreds of our Harvard faculty and administrative leaders. The job of our team is to help enable and then commercially act on this expression."

Linda C. Lombardi, PhD, chief strategy officer and chief experience officer at NYC Health + Hospitals | Bellevue: "Adopting a continuous learning mindset is and will continue to be needed to adjust to the changing healthcare landscape. Staff will need to possess and continually refine competencies in IT in order to contribute and compete. For our patients, who will be expected to handle more self-care through IT capabilities, the need to develop comfort with wearables and using self-monitoring, AI and care management will be essential. In short, the biggest challenge facing healthcare will be in embracing the embeddedness of IT in all facets of the health care and the delivery system."

David Lehr, chief information officer, Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis, Md.): "I like to promote innovation by fostering a culture that is unafraid to challenge established dogmas when they stop making sense. I think that a lot of places that are known for 'innovation' often fall into the trap of building technology for the sake of technology. Real innovation is about recognizing when the environment has changed to the point where the old algorithms are no longer optimal. Then, if the culture is accepting, innovators will step in and establish the new algorithm."

Omkar Kulkarni, chief innovation officer, Children's Hospital Los Angeles: "Everybody is innovative by nature. This is especially true of healthcare workers. The core part of my role is to empower people to voice their ideas and then create a safe space for them to further explore and evaluate their ideas."

Leonard Achan, chief innovation officer and senior vice president of innovation and business development, Hospital for Special Surgery (New York City): "Innovation can mean a leader whose day-to-day management involves improving operational efficiencies. It may mean a venture arm being formed whereby strategic or passive cash investments in all stages of companies is the directive. In other environments, it's a focus on technology transfer and licensing. I often think of my charge as having a double bottom line that includes our mission and commitment to serve patients and the community through ideation, and by doing this, we have the secondary benefit of commercialization revenue to continue to support those efforts."

Rebecca Kaul, chief innovation officer, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston): "Innovators/entrepreneurs from outside of healthcare need to understand that what healthcare desperately needs is not innovative technology alone, but first and foremost it is an experience (for both patients and providers) that can elevate that care and compassion that is provided to patients. Technology designed with these principles top of mind, that can seamlessly integrate in the complex, generally dated systems typically used in healthcare is essential as these older or less optimally designed systems will not be retired immediately."

More articles on innovation:
Apple Health researcher jumps ship for Gates Foundation's digital health group
The key to successful innovation? 'The art of noticing'
6 questions to determine whether a 'moonshot' innovation is doomed to fail

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