In June, MobiHealthNews and HealthcareITNews will look at the groundwork that needs to be laid for innovation to take place.

Preparing for innovation: To make transformation efficient and responsible, plan ahead

By Jonah Comstock
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Innovation: Everybody wants it for their organization, but it's easier said than done. Healthcare organizations are often risk- and change-averse, and with good reason — a smooth workflow in a hospital can be a matter of life or death.

"Physicians are not here to stand in the way of innovation," AMA Chair Jack Resneck said at a recent event. "Frankly we have embraced innovation for decades if not centuries. But when we think about new tools we ask some basic questions. Those basic questions include things like ‘Does it actually work? Has it been clinically validated? Does it do what it says it’s going to do? ... Is it actually going to help me take better care of patients? Is there a payment model for it? Am I going to be sued for using it? Is the data secure?'"

Truly, every innovation comes with a host of questions, and too often the weight of all those questions can supress innovation efforts before they can get off the ground.

So how can organizations embrace innovation, bringing the best new technologies and processes into their organization, while keeping patients, clinicians and administrators happy and effective throughout the change? The answer lies in planning and preparation. Having the right strategies, systems and teams in place to prepare for innovation can help hospitals to innovate smoothly and to innovate right.

"Innovation is like research,” Dr. David Asch, executive director at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, said at HIMSS last year. “It’s hypothesis-driven, it’s falsifiable and it’s highly disciplined.”

In the month of June, Healthcare IT News and MobiHealthNews will look to organizations that have been there and achieved impressive transformations. We'll ask what strategies they've used to make sure innovation happens responsibly as well as efficiently. And we'll endeavor to turn these lessons into advice and resources that anyone can use.