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Beyond Technology: Factors Influencing Healthcare Innovation

Analysis  |  By Mandy Roth  
   November 13, 2020

A panel of innovation executives share insights that will help health leaders build the healthcare system of the future. 

Editor's note: This article is based on a roundtable discussion report sponsored by SOC Telemed. The full report, Beyond Technology: Factors Influencing Healthcare Innovation, is available as a free download.

The past six months have accelerated healthcare innovation in a manner never before experienced. The pandemic has unleashed novel approaches to problem solving, and there is a new focus on the technology that can fuel the advances that will propel us into the future.

During the HealthLeaders Healthcare System of the Future virtual event, a select panel of innovation executives shared key digital innovations that are laying the groundwork to transform healthcare delivery, including digital front door strategies. They also discussed challenges they face in scaling these initiatives, particularly those related to change management. Getting an organization to focus on patient experience requires understanding physicians’ perspectives and finding ways to change their behavior. Participants also emphasized that moving forward encompasses more than technological advancements.

While technology enables many innovations, it presents barriers to some patient populations—often those with the greatest need for care. Finding ways to combine digital strategies with the human element may be the next great frontier for healthcare innovation.

Here's a peek at some of the comments and insights participants share in the report:

  • "Ochsner Health System has invested in reengineering the entire care model."  —Aimee Quirk, JD, CEO, innovationOchsner, Ochsner Health.
  • “We've got to find a common data language, structures, and standards for healthcare.” —Dan Liljenquist, JD, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Intermountain Healthcare
  • “The main initiative that Houston Methodist is focused on now is voice technology. We're partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring voice solutions into the operating room.” —Michelle Stansbury, vice president of IT Innovation, Houston Methodist
  • “To thrive in our new future, we must use technology to enhance healthcare workflows.” —Jason Hallock, MD, MMM, chief medical officer, SOC Telemed
  • Common Spirit is using “robotic process automation and machine learning to make sure that we provide access, have the ability to bring folks in, and also take the load off the caregiver so that the work that can be automated is no longer left to the care team or the support team.” —Marijka Grey, MD, MBA, FACP, executive leader for transformation implementation, physician enterprise, CommonSpirit Health
  • “There is never going to be one-size-fits-all with technology. … We had to complement the work taking place with our digital technology with community health workers.” —Paul Alexander, MD, MPH, chief transformation officer, RWJBarnabas Health
  • “One of our most significant initiatives falls under the umbrella of building connected communities of care to further drive the concept of digitally enabled whole-person care.” —Steve Miff, PhD, president and CEO, Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation

Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.

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