6 quotes about hospital innovation at CommonSpirit, ProMedica & more

Hospital and health system executives shared wisdom and advice about innovation in healthcare with Becker's Hospital Review in November.

Here are six insights from those innovation leaders:

Matthew Jenusaitis, chief of staff and chief of innovation and transformation, University of California San Diego Health: "You have to listen to the people that are doing it day-in and day-out; they have great ideas and they have simple solutions to problems that are much better than some of the elaborate technological solutions. Innovation is not about technology. Technology can be a useful component to innovation, but innovation is about new, creative ways of solving existing problems, and you get a lot of that from just listening to the users."

Rich Roth, senior vice president and chief strategic innovation officer, CommonSpirit Health (Chicago): "One of our key principles was integrated innovation from the beginning. We didn't want a freestanding innovation center that was separate from our care sites; instead, we wanted to differentiate our innovation by making everything we do exist in real workflows. We work with doctors and nurses in real clinical settings and communities to tackle big issues. By partnering with entrepreneurial companies, we test new ideas and processes in our facilities to see if they meet our expectations for improving quality and reducing the cost of care for the people who access our health system."

John Pigott, MD, chief innovations officer, ProMedica (Toledo, Ohio): "If [healthcare organizations] are not in the business of innovation yet, I would quote the Nike slogan: Just do it. I think that they would be very surprised at all of the peripheral good things that happen once you start an innovation program. … The first thing is to just do it, and the second thing is to be persistent at it. You can't just give it 12 or 18 months before the C-suite abandons it. You have to be persistent and dedicated to it for at least five years to give it some traction and the care and nurturing that a young program needs to blossom into something bigger and revenue producing for the hospital."

Eric Yablonka, CIO, Stanford (Calif.) Health Care: "We can never forget that a large part of our responsibility is around change management and how we successfully deploy and adopt technology. This adoption and deployment is not a technology exercise, rather a people exercise. Almost all CIOs recognize that we need to engage our healthcare organizations and our clinical leaders and support them through the changes that technology brings."

Brian Holzer, MD, president of Kindred Innovations, Kindred Healthcare (Louisville, Ky.): "You have to be very, very structured in terms of what your business model is intended to do for the user. That may be very different from how you're selling it to the customer who's making the purchase decision. The hospital is going to purchase a digital health solution one way or another because it's good for their patients and it drives brand value and some sort of financial return. That may be a totally different calculus than what the end benefits will be to a customer."

Saad Chaudhry, enterprise CIO, Saudi German Hospital Group (Dubai, UAE): "Transformation in business is hard. Digital transformation is even harder, because it upends all areas of the business. But, it's no longer an option in today's age. If we are unfair to our organization and don't initiate it on our watch, there will absolutely come along someone else who will."

More articles on innovation:
Boston Children's VR platform wins Eli Lilly innovation challenge
Clemson, Prisma Health joint innovation fund names 3 grant recipients
A core piece of UCSD Health's innovation strategy is pontification: 'You have to be a visionary,' says innovation chief Matthew Jenusaitis

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