Are Hospitals Finally Embracing Innovation?

Here’s an interesting perspective in Hospital Impact about hospitals making greater efforts to innovate in tough times. Raymond Hino, CEO of California’s Bear Valley Community Healthcare District, notes the trend of hospitals to add the role of chief innovation officer:

“We are being rocked, as an industry, by the Affordable Care Act, ICD-10, value-based purchasing, Medicare and Medicaid cuts, and a multitude of other pressures. I learned during the session that it is becoming more common to move innovation into the C-suite with the creation of the chief innovation officer (CIO) position. How many of our hospitals have recognized the need for a chief innovation officer position?”
Dr. Molly Joel Coye

Crossing the Quality Chasm co-author Dr. Molly Joel Coye

He notes that Crossing the Quality Chasm co-author Dr. Molly Joel Coye serves as the chief innovation officer for UCLA Health System. In this October 2013 interview with the Institute for Health Technology Transformation she speaks about how hospitals can encourage enthusiastic acceptance of new thinking and participation in innovation:

“The first step is to define innovation and link it directly to your organization’s strategy. No innovation should be adopted just for the sake of being new and disruptive; instead, it should accelerate the pace of transformation for your delivery system. Then you can be very inclusive, reaching out across the organization to educate all the staff and clinicians about the purposes and nature of innovation, and welcoming their contributions. With a clear purpose and criteria, and early successes, you will find the volunteers for your effort multiplying.”

I love that quote. We’ve seen this phenomenon take hold in our partner hospitals. One of the first things we do is work with executives to to define a clear, concise system aim. It’s the thing that, above all else, every person in the organization should strive to achieve, every day.

Dan Moen, system CEO, stand in front of the Mercy system aim: “Together, do the right thing, the right way, every day for every patient.”

Dan Moen, system CEO, stand in front of the Mercy system aim: “Together, do the right thing, the right way, every day for every patient.”

For example, we just shared an article about our partner Mercy Medical Center and it’s successful CareConnect transformation effort, powered by a logistical care model and logistics software. One of my favorite parts of the article is the picture of CEO Dan Moen standing in front of the Mercy system aim, emblazoned on walls throughout the hospital:

“Together, doing the right thing, the right way, every day for every patient.”

That system aim defines the cultural changes that enable Mercy to continuously improve every aspect of coordinating quality care and patient progression. Armed with a comprehensive view of current operations, Mercy Medical and Care Logistics established the precise roles, processes and standard operating procedures to ensure the sustainable success of a new centralized care coordination model. Mercy also established the scorecards it uses to make sure measures are hitting targets for efficiency, care quality, and patient and caregiver satisfaction.

So when it came time to launch the CareConnect initiative, with a logistical hub-and-spoke model and logistics software, the entire Mercy organization was trained, ready and enthusiastic. They were unified in their support of the system aim, and they felt empowered with right methods, processes and technologies to make the vision a reality.

So I certainly hope that hospitals are truly embracing innovation as a critical part of successful operations and delivering the highest quality care and best experience for patients. Timid executives who fear bold change and new thinking frankly won’t survive the wave of change under way in healthcare today.

POSTED BY Doug Walker

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