8 quotes about hospital innovation at Intermountain, Geisinger, Mayo Clinic & more

Many hospital and health system leaders shared insights into the role of innovation in healthcare with Becker's Hospital Review in October.

Here are eight pieces of wisdom and advice from several of those innovation leaders:

Todd Dunn, director of innovation, Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City): "It's important for us to remember that empathy is the heartbeat of healthcare. When we innovate from an empathetic and a curious stance, we will do a much better job of innovating for people. It's my hope that we spend more time in an empathetic and curious stance and design for people, versus just designing for innovation."

Richard Zane, MD, chief innovation officer, UCHealth (Aurora, Colo.): "Part of my job is to get people not just excited about the potential and not just working to build a solution, but to get their heads right around the mindset of innovation, which is that there are going to be just as many failures as there are successes. The important part is that we make sure that they're small and that we learn from those failures and know that just because we've had a failure, it doesn't mean we're going to pivot and completely abandon the direction that we're going in."

Benjamin Hohmuth, MD, chief medical informatics officer, Geisinger Health System (Danville, Pa.): "Think about innovation as new ways to solve problems. Our goal is not to use new technology but rather to solve relevant problems. If new technology can help, that is great, but that is not always the case. Using existing tools in a thoughtful way with careful attention to workflow can sometimes be quite innovative and have a significant impact."

Douglas Wood, MD, medical director, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.): "The most important thing is to think about the smallest number of big ideas that you want to work on and then make sure you are marshaling your resources carefully to get the result that you need. And you have to be action-oriented, because there is no innovation without action; there's no innovation without incorporating something, doing something or implementing something that will actually solve the problem."

Mike Minear, senior vice president and CIO, Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown, Pa.): "Real innovation occurs when a team is brought together to solve a real-world problem. The more diverse the skills, perspectives and experience, the better the team will be at problem solving. The more important or acute the problem is, the better chance real innovation will occur."

Peter Fleischut, MD, senior vice president and chief transformation officer, NewYork-Presbyterian (New York City): "Probably the biggest mistake I see is the belief that technology can solve all healthcare problems. In actuality, technology only makes up 5 percent of innovation, so if you don't focus on the people and the process, you're going to make a mistake."

Michelle Stansbury, vice president of IT innovation, Center for Innovation, Houston Methodist: "You can get caught up in all the dazzle that's out there right now with innovation and technology, but you have to stay close to the problems that you're trying to solve in your institution — they're different for every institution — and make sure that the innovation you're trying to lead has a solid ROI to it."

Roy Rosin, chief innovation officer, Penn Medicine (Philadelphia): "My goal as chief innovation officer … is to enable teams to rapidly experiment, testing new approaches quickly at low cost. Changing the way care is delivered remains challenging, but we've seen material improvements are well within our grasp. Helping reveal that new models have potential and are worth pursuing — often by enabling early evidence of what that different outcome looks like — means we can translate novel insights into actions, pilots and, ultimately, scaled practices."

More articles on innovation:
Emory receives $10M investment in center for innovative, affordable medicine
U of South Florida, Microsoft unveil 1st Medical School of Innovation
Shriners Hospitals launches genomics institute for precision medicine

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