Creating value at Health Care Innovation Centers

Health care innovation centers were the focal point of a discussion this Tuesday in a panel hosted and moderated by The Commonwealth Fund.

Health systems are adopting health care innovation centers as hubs in which to incubate delivery reform and innovate with an agility sometimes paradoxical to some systems’ sizes. The Commonwealth Fund surveyed hospitals, clinics, and patients’ homes in order to see how each health care innovation center “discovered, developed, tested, and/or spread news models of care delivery.” For all the talk of delivery and reimbursement reform from the top-down at CMS, this provided insight across markets into how health systems themselves aren’t waiting for regulation to improve care delivery.

Source: The Commonwealth Fund

From the survey, a majority of health care innovation centers were created during the past eight years with an median budget of $1,950,000 and 6 staff. Testing of innovations lasts on median, 3-12 months with as many as 100 innovations being developed simultaneously. What’s more: it’s disrupting care delivery at a system level where it can implemented to-scale.

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Example Slide from the Survey Slide Pack

The centers themselves view innovations as patient (rather than provider) focused, requiring collaboration among industry partners in health technology, clinics, health care administration, and the patients themselves. All of this aimed at improving health outcomes while reducing spending. Commonalities from process also emerged: ideation (the initial brainstorming and feedback), prototyping, testing internal/external innovations, scaling internally, and scaling externally before commercial implementation. As panelist Pete Turner (Network VP, Community Health Network) noted: “we let our innovation centers fail fast [until they solve the problem].”

Download the Survey Slide Pack (PowerPoint)

In organizing the panel, The Commonwealth Fund data included 33 health care innovation centers affiliated with major health systems. Information from this was then informed by presentations by public, not-for-profit and for-profit health systems as well as a health care IT consultancy. Moderator Anne-Marie Audet, M.D. (Vice President, Delivery System Reform & Breakthrough Opportunities, The Commonwealth Fund) introduced:

Watch a recording of the webinar (Flash)