In November, BluePrint Healthcare IT and The Innovation Institute hosted the Fourth Innovation Centers Summit Workshop at the Innovation Lab in Newport Beach, Calif. Participants came from provider-based healthcare innovation centers from across North America to develop best practices and to learn how to succeed as a healthcare innovation accelerator and how to increase their organization’s capacity to innovate.

According to the sponsors, three themes for the success of healthcare innovation emerged from the summit sessions:

  • Engagement. Innovation centers need to engage people outside the center, as well as outside the healthcare system itself. CEOs and their C-suite colleagues at provider-based healthcare systems need to be engaged and champion the innovation process. Physicians, clinical and business staff and patients, as well as partner organizations, need to be brought into the innovation process at an early stage and sought out as champions of innovation and healthcare delivery.
  • Process improvement. While technology can be an important part of innovation, the process of developing innovation and the processes of healthcare delivery itself need to be examined and reinvented with a fresh look. A clear process needs to be put in place to encourage innovation and not let key opportunities fall through the cracks.
  • Measurement. Inputs, processes and outputs need to be measured during the innovation process as well as in the diffusion of innovation in the system. Measurements need to be applied to the innovation process itself to enable progress and correction, as well as to judge the success of applied innovations.

Martha Hostetter and Sarah Klein from The Commonwealth Fund shared with the participants a report in progress that will describe the important role innovation centers play in improving healthcare delivery and the challenges they face. The report will be based on results of a survey of innovations centers about their structure, focus and staffing, skill sets, resources, and time needed to do this kind of work.