3 steps to create hospital culture of innovation

Guest post by Andrea J. Simon, a former marketing, branding and culture change senior vice president at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. A corporate anthropologist, she also is president and CEO of Simon Associates Management Consultants.

Recently, we received a large number of inquiries about our last several blogs here at Hospital Impact. In particular, people are interested in how they can create a culture of innovation in their organization. They're also interested in why it's so hard to get people to become more innovative, creative and capable problem solvers. Times are changing, and to make new ideas actually happen, people need to see, feel and think in new ways those elusive innovations.

Healthcare changes push hospitals and providers to rethink their core values, beliefs and behaviors: the essential elements of their culture.

Indeed, the movement from volume to value sounds cool, but what does it really mean and how do we actually do it? Keeping people out of the hospital sounds easy. Yet the trends suggest that as Baby Boomers age, their inpatient needs will accelerate, not diminish. What is the right direction? When will we know we are making strides? What are the key metrics that show progress, and when do we have to pivot and rethink the new processes or programs we have put into place?

The reality is that a lot of culture change is taking place, both intentionally and serendipitously, as people adapt their habits and beliefs to better align with new situations. People really do know how to adapt because that is how people respond to change, sometimes better than at other times.

As a result, culture change is clearly one of the major trends that we see in the field. But how do you change a culture in a way that fits your perceived needs for the near term and maybe even the longer term?

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