Creating an Innovation Infrastructure

Ensuring Appropriate Introduction of New Technologies and Therapies

Topics: Technology Assessment, Methodologies, Performance Improvement, Technology Assessment, Planning, Strategy, Physician Issues

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Hospitals nationwide are struggling with a number of problems driven by the accelerating pace of clinical innovation in American health care. Cutting-edge equipment strains limited capital budgets, while novel and “me too” drugs and devices pressure already thin margins. At the same time, the specter of a potentially poor quality outcome weighs heavily on the minds of clinicians and administrators in evaluating any new therapy, procedure or technology. The net result is that executives at many hospitals and health systems feel some level of apprehension regarding the prospect of new technology, and self-report that current systems are inadequate to manage the introduction of innovation effectively.

A handful of hospitals, however, have found that with sufficient infrastructure and evaluative rigor, innovation can be managed tightly, with positive effect on both clinical quality and economics. This report represents a year’s work in researching the necessary components of such an “innovation infrastructure,” and is organized around four key pillars: improving technology intelligence, organizing for innovation management, creating a 360-degree assessment process, and ensuring principled rollout. The publication identifies eighteen attributes of successful organizations, and includes case studies and relevant collateral materials from hospitals and health systems with robust technology assessment functions.

Executive Summary

Executive Summary
The study in 20-plus conclusions, overview of the necessary committee structures and red-flag indicators aimed at diagnosing an organization’s ability to appropriately introduce new technologies and therapies.


A Rising Tide of Innovation
Clinical Advisory Board essay highlighting the accelerating pace of innovation in health care and examining its impact on cost and quality within the nation’s hospitals and health systems.


Improving Hospital Technology Intelligence
Three key attributes for improving institutional awareness of clinical innovation – goal is to increase the hospital role in identifying promising new therapies and driving their adoption.


Organizing for Innovation Management
Three key attributes for ensuring the right organizational structure to evaluate and manage new technologies – goal to balance evaluation of “op ex” and “cap ex” technologies, maximize physician input in a time-efficient manner.


Creating a 360-Degree Assessment Process
Seven attributes for ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of each innovation – goal to ensure evaluation process measures “strategic fit” of each technology, all assumptions based on realistic, objective data. 


Ensuring Principled Rollout
Five attributes for ensuring that each technology used appropriately after initial evaluation – goal to measure actual performance versus initial assumptions, allow mid-course corrections for “underperforming” technologies.


Companion Materials
Worksheets, diagnostics and other tools obtained from institutions profiled within this publication. These companion materials are included to assist members in incorporating ideas and practices featured in this book into their own innovation management process.

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