OSF Healthcare: Innovation hubs starting to take off

Peoria, Ill.-based OSF Healthcare's innovation hubs are starting to bear fruit.

The OSF Innovation hubs feature scientists, engineers, designers, project managers and process improvement experts working to improve care and reduce costs from the Jump Education & Simulation Center in Peoria. The hubs are designed to give employees spaces to discuss ideas that could lead to systemwide innovations, according to a Sept. 14 news release from the health system. 

Once the hubs are operational, they hold Trailblazer Challenges, an opportunity to crowdsure new healthcare innovations and pitch new ideas. 

The innovations hubs could be used for a program where patients can be referred for a virtual reality session, designed to give them better understanding of how chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is affecting their lungs.

"You learn about things outside of healthcare, like software design and coding and the amount of money and resources it takes to create some of these apps," Zack VanKeulen, director of emergency services for OSF Healthcare Saint Paul Medical Center in Mendota, Ill., said in the release, referring to the program. "And those things may not be possible, so you have to bite off a smaller piece than you originally thought was possible. But in the end, if you can innovate and make a change that positively impacts the patient's experience, then it's a win-win situation."

The health system plans to have local businesses and communities use the innovation hubs as a way to power growth. Local students will have access to the VR technology in the hub to explore careers in healthcare.

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