How Anne Arundel Medical Center CIO Dave Lehr promotes innovation

David Lehr, CIO at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md., shares initiatives the hospital has taken to learn more about its patient population as well as his efforts to help foster a culture innovation.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: How do you promote innovation within your organization?

David Lehr: 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.

Q: What is one thing you've learned about your patient population that's really surprised you?

DL: Our health system has been learning a lot about what matters most to our patients. Across more than 25,000 encounters, we've documented what matters most to our patients in their own words and analyzed that data. Not surprisingly, the things that matter to patients in their time of need aren't captured in the quality measures that most healthcare professionals are focused on, although those are still important. For instance, we find that our elderly patients especially are most interested in maximizing the remaining time they can spend at home with their families, which led to our creation of a Time is What Matters quality measure.

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