Commercial risk will be a critical catalyst of progress – it’s complicated, but is it possible? We think so.

Blog Post

Innovation: From buzzword to strategic asset

July 31, 2017

    “Reduce care variation and costs.” “Attract talent.” “Appeal to patients as consumers.” These aren't just buzzwords often heard in the boardroom—they're important growth strategies for health care organizations.

    Providers are making progress against goals like these by establishing innovation centers, which develop and test new approaches. In doing so, they bridge the divide between multidisciplinary boards of experts across and beyond the organization.

    Read on to learn how you can use innovation centers to make these buzzwords a reality.

    Reduce care variation

    Innovation labs offer a forum for cross-industry experts to collaborate on improvements to care delivery.

    At Hartford Hospital's Center for Education, Simulation, and Innovation, experts uncovered the opportunity to revamp protocols to improve outcomes for patients experiencing cardiac arrest within the hospital. Their revised approach, which involved a Rapid Response Team to detect early warning signs of cardiac arrest, resulted in a decline in the incidence of cardiac arrest.

    Lower costs

    Innovation centers have the potential to introduce solutions that increase efficiency and reduce costs.

    In fact, The University of California projected a net financial gain of $40 million from investing in its own Center for Health Quality and Innovation, with returns stemming from initiatives started at the Center. For example, the Center's multidisciplinary innovation team identified bottlenecks in the patient discharge process that undermined efficiency. In addressing this issue, UCLA increased patient understanding of post-discharge medication orders, and their initiative paid off with net revenues of more than $800,000 per month.

    Attract talent

    In a world of growing physician alignment and increasing competition, innovation centers can differentiate a health system as forward-thinking– and attract the business and affiliation of similarly minded providers.

    In the case of El Camino Hospital, administrators noted increased interest in affiliation from Mountain View area physicians after partnering with the Fogarty Institute for Innovation. This innovation center is a group that provides intellectual, physical, and financial resources to emerging medtech companies that address major unmet clinical needs.

    Appeal to patients as consumers

    The MedStar Institute for Innovation recently hosted a pitch competition to incubate start-up solutions and redefine convenient, consumer-friendly health care. The winners included startups such as Level Therapy, which allows patients to have mobile therapy sessions with licensed clinicians remotely. This winning organization now partners with MedStar staff to test, validate, and scale innovations in ways that are mutually beneficial to the vendor and MedStar. Ultimately, the partnership aims to benefit patients through exploring new approaches to care delivery.

    As planners struggle responding to rising patient consumerism, partnerships with start-ups and innovators may offer the spark to win and retain patients through convenient, personalized care. There is a strong business case for employing new tactics to promote consumer loyalty: digital embeddedness can win patient visits otherwise captured by competitors and promote engagement through remote health management; hardwired care coordination can prevent downstream leakage; frictionless interactions can encourage consumers to attend preventive visits. And these are precisely the types of capabilities an innovation center can support to reinforce health system use.

    Technology is changing the health care industry, and continued change is inevitable. Innovation centers offer health systems an opportunity to adapt to the competitive pressures of today—and tomorrow.


    Have a Question?


    Ask our experts a question on any topic in health care by visiting our member portal, AskAdvisory.