62% of health systems are slow to scale innovation, survey finds: 5 notes

While more than two-thirds of health systems have a set definition for innovation, the majority lack a formal innovation department and admit to moving somewhat or very slowly in scaling innovation, according to the Center for Connected Medicine and the Health Management Academy's new study, Trends for Scaling Innovation in Healthcare.

Here are five takeaways from the report, which surveyed 28 U.S. health systems.

1. Only 48 percent of the health systems surveyed have a specific department for innovation, and just 47 percent have a formal process in place for scaling innovation.

2. Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) said they move somewhat slowly when scaling innovation and 14 percent said they move very slowly. Just 38 percent claimed a somewhat quick pace, and no respondents reported moving very quickly.

3. Health systems with set processes for scaling innovation were much more likely to move faster in implementing new technologies: 88 percent of those with a formal process in place reported moving somewhat quickly in growing innovation.

4. Of the 55 percent of respondents who have a defined budget for innovation, the majority have universal budgets rather than requiring project-by-project funding approval. According to the report's authors, "this may facilitate more efficient decision-making and provide innovation teams and departments with greater empowerment to move initiatives forward."

5. The biggest obstacle to incorporating innovation in most large health systems (with revenues above $4 billion) stems from organizational infrastructure. All medium health systems surveyed, meanwhile, cited competing resources as their top challenge for scaling innovation, as did 60 percent of small health systems, here defined as those with revenues under $2 billion.

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