7 key quotes about hospital innovation

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

Sylvia Romm, MD, chief innovation officer, Atlantic Health System (Morristown, N.J.): "Often, the best ideas don't come from one institution; they are created when dedicated people from two or more institutions decide to work together to solve tough problems. In healthcare, where problems are extremely complex and people's lives are at stake, much of the innovation I have seen comes from ideas that have already been tested in one environment, but are then used in a new way or with new partners — that's where you can see real leaps forward, tackling new challenges and solving problems."

Daniel Durand, MD, chief innovation officer, LifeBridge Health (Baltimore): "It strikes me that innovation is like fashion: It can evolve and it can move through cycles, but innovation will never end."

Eduardo Conrado, executive vice president and chief strategy and innovations officer, Ascension (Edmundson, Mo.): "Any time a digital strategy or technology role is created within a health system, look at it as a three-legged stool of a role between clinical, technology and operational. It best impacts the whole business — it's not just the consumer layer. It's consumer experience from end to end. You have to look at that end to end and prioritize the caregiver experience end to end. The two must go hand in hand to enable a continued evolution of healthcare."

Chris Coburn, chief innovation officer, Partners HealthCare System (Boston): "It's important for people to know that innovation is a process. From our standpoint at Partners, confirming the strategic priorities and related system design is so important. As innovation leaders, you must understand the context you sit in while being very clear-eyed about the organizational dynamics. Innovation is not one breakthrough. Rather, innovation is an expression of the organization's priorities and capabilities, realized through the creative actions of our gifted employees."

Peter Kung, system vice president of innovation and virtual health, SCL Health (Broomfield, Colo.): "In order to get innovation into the DNA of an organization, you need strong executive leadership, collaboration across departments and engagement down to front-line team members. By having a strong partnership throughout the health system, you can really promote and embed innovation."

Kolaleh Eskandanian, PhD, vice president and chief innovation officer, Children's National Health System (Washington, D.C.): "The most important aspect of my role is to react to market signals sharply and think several steps ahead. In the innovation domain, those who get twisted in the traditional methodology of benchmarking, for example, will clearly stay behind. I am fortunate to work in a culture that embraces disruption, while balancing risks and benefits, carefully."

Leah Miller, chief information officer, Medical City Healthcare (Dallas): "Innovation comes from taking risks, and all the good characteristics of amazing IT teams can lead back to being purpose-driven. It is a purpose higher than any one of us or a job or function. I can take risks differently; I can do the right thing for our patients differently; I can empower differently. It's all about being purpose-driven. It's never about just one person, but the focus is on the patient in the bed."

More articles on innovation:
3 finalists named in Social Determinants of Health Innovation Challenge
NIH allots $2.5M to 6 Genomic Innovator Award winners
Physician viewpoint: Usability far outweighs 'cool factor' in digital health

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