3 challenges to hospital innovation--and how to fix them

As innovation becomes an increasingly vital part of the healthcare landscape amid rapid change within the industry, several obstacles may keep new ideas from taking off, according to Executive Insight.

In the past, healthcare innovation was largely the purview of manufacturers and their research and development departments, but in the modern healthcare world, providers must look to their own employees for such solutions despite hindrances such as:

Misunderstanding about what innovation means: Historically, those tasked with innovation in healthcare delivery have not been responsible for direct patient treatment, according to the article. For hospital staff to take full advantage of their potential to spark innovation, they must think outside stricter definitions of the term.

Low engagement: The average modern hospital employee is short on time, which means thinking about innovative solutions may not be his or her top priority. To encourage innovative thinking without adding to employee workloads, the article recommends that hospitals create an environment where learning is part of daily operations rather than a separate task.

Regulatory burden: Regulations within the healthcare sector can slow down the processes involved with testing and approving new ideas. However, the article recommends medical professionals refine ideas early on by brainstorming new ideas with their peers over coffee or lunch. Indeed, David A. Asch, M.D., executive director of Penn Medicine's Center for Health Care Innovation, previously told FierceHealthcare that it's possible to do little testing as long as the testing is done in a context, like the medical environment, where results are believable.

Other ways to spark innovation in healthcare include giving employees room to discuss bad ideas and fail so they can come up with the ultimate solution, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the article