4 questions to ask before adopting innovations at your healthcare system

A new Health Affairs post explores the questions leaders must ask before adopting innovations.

In the quest to achieve the Triple Aim, many organizations adopt new strategies that they hope will improve the delivery of care.

But just because an innovation worked at one hospital doesn’t mean that it will be a success at yours, says Cindy Brach, a senior healthcare researcher at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in a blog post for Health Affairs.

The agency has developed a guide to help organizations decide whether to adopt an innovation, but she also suggests four questions leaders should ask before moving forward with a new project:

Is there evidence that it works? Brach says it’s vital that health systems leaders evaluate whether the innovation worked, and if so, consider the similarities and differences between the organization that launched it and their own.

RELATED: 4 reasons docs are slow to adopt evidence-based care

Does the innovation help further your system’s goals? Determine whether the innovation will solve a problem at your organization or help you achieve a goal. Ask whether the innovation helps meet the mission, value and culture of the system. If not, can it be adapted to improve compatibility?

What’s the return on investment? Consider the upfront and maintenance costs of the innovations as well as the potential savings they may produce. Think about the risks involved, the pros and cons, as well as alternative programs that may achieve the same savings and patient outcomes.

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Is your organization ready for change? Can your organization successfully implement the innovation? Is your staff committed to the change and confident in their abilities to implement it? Do you have a champion that can help generate support for the program? Widespread resistance to a proposed change will make it less likely that it will be a success, Brach writes.