7 big ideas in healthcare innovation

From the future of remote patient monitoring to how the U.S. can improve its health data reporting systems, here are seven quotes about the role of innovation in healthcare hospital executives have shared with Becker's Hospital Review in 2022:

Thomas Graham, MD. Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer at Kettering (Ohio) Health: Having the best relationship with our data requires the insight to turn information into intelligence and the wisdom to then derive insight. Whether it is related to clinical care, operational efficiency or research inquiry, we must exercise the discipline to determine what question we want to solve first before submerging ourselves in the deep ocean of data that now resides at our fingertips. A century ago, our founder, Charles F. Kettering, stated, "A problem well stated is a problem half solved." This remains true in our digital age. 

Daniel Durand, MD. Chief Clinical Officer at LifeBridge Health (Baltimore): What excites me the most about remote monitoring technology is the opportunity to study the 99 percent of human life lived outside the hospital. After all, the 1 percent of one's life lived within a hospital is only tolerable because it can improve or prolong the other 99 percent lived in the richness of the world. The relevance of this is just dawning on us, because digital health and distributed healthcare are still in their infancy and largely still shackled to the sick-care model.

Ellen Pollack, MSN, RN. Interim CIO and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at UCLA Health (Los Angeles): According the Albert Duntugan, chief data officer for UCLA Health Sciences, the investments we are making to optimize efforts related to traditional business intelligence, such as the use of common terminologies and the consistent implementation of business logic, also need to be used to support the advances we are making in predictive analytics, where transparent and well-curated concepts help to ensure responsible AI.

Nick Patel, MD. Chief Digital Officer at Prisma Health (Greenville, S.C.): I would say the biggest obstacle to digital innovation is the paucity of proper organizational alignment. There are always pockets of innovation at health systems, but they are usually not designed around a unified vision and strategy. This leads to misalignment in priorities and ill-defined governance. Health systems must clearly outline their vision so they can formulate a multiyear strategy for execution. To avoid the "too many cooks in the kitchen" scenario, the strategy will then inform the proper governance and budget needed to solve important patient needs leveraging next generation innovations.

James Wellman. CIO at Blanchard Valley Health System (Findlay, Ohio): I am a firm believer in the need for a national patient ID, which would give us a better chance to share the correct data every time. While some of the EHR companies have abilities for sharing between other systems using their software, it is obviously limited to their clients, but it would lend itself to a national ID. We have seen some attempts to standardize data sharing with CommonWell Health Alliance, but that is an option and not a requirement, so the concept would gain more support in creating a standard that would be implemented across all systems with a singular ID. 

Richard Zane, MD. Chief Innovation Officer at UCHealth (Aurora, Colo.): By being able to integrate devices — such as the Apple Watch or BioSticker — and prescriptive intelligence into workflows, we have the opportunity to completely blur the lines between not only virtual, home, and traditional brick-and-mortar care, but also synchronous and asynchronous communication. This will allow healthcare to recognize illness before it is symptomatic and intervene before a patient deteriorates and needs acute unscheduled care.

Roy Sookhoo. CIO at University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (Albuquerque): There must be a shift in the paradigm from health systems to patients for data ownership and responsibility. Just as individuals manage their finances through a bank and/or broker, so should individuals manage their health data; those who can't should get assistance from a data broker.

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