Harris Health System: Center for Innovation

Houston-based Harris Health System's Center for Innovation was established to review, develop and deploy the hundreds of ideas submitted by the system's physicians, nurses and other staff members.

The department is led by a registered nurse and industrial engineer, who oversee five other volunteer managers from diverse sectors of the health system, which comprises 18 community health centers, two full-service hospitals and three multispecialty clinic locations, among several other facilities. The team encourages innovation across Harris Health by providing staff with the platform, framework and resources to submit and develop ideas to improve care quality and outcomes.

More than 1,000 ideas have been submitted to the center since its inception. Among these are an initiative to train nurses in the technique of peripheral intravenous cannula insertion using a $5, homemade gelatin-based model, compared to commercial training models that cost more than $400 each. The center also led the construction of a farm at the system's Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, aiming to improve patient and employee health and community outreach.

The center's work was recognized by the 2018 Ideas America Summit and was awarded the 2017 DNV GL Innovation Award. Its idea submission program has also resulted in millions of dollars in savings across the entire health system, in additional to a reduction of more than 1,000 operational hours' worth of inefficiencies.

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More articles on innovation:
NYU Langone Health is replacing the hub-and-spokes model of innovation with a 'neural network' of interdepartmental collaboration
Viewpoint: Data analytics spurs innovation by turning existing tools on their heads
Novant Health taps Jvion as 1st partner for innovation, AI institute

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