Healthcare leaders take 'American Idol' approach to innovation

How can hospital leaders solve healthcare's most pressing problems on a tight budget? That's the question 35 U.S and U.K. hospital systems set out to answer as part of the Innovation Learning Network (ILN), BU Today reported.

Taking a cue from American Idol, leading healthcare professionals pitched innovative ideas at a recent Boston University-hosted event. Eight teams had two minutes each to describe their innovation projects and their importance. They also had to select $12,500, $7,500 or $2,500 as the project's funding cost.

Just like the singing competition show, audience members texted in their votes of support, Chris McCarthy, director of ILN at Kaiser Permanente, told BU Today.

The innovation teams that won the American Idol-like competition received a $12,500 prize to build an online network for healthcare professionals to exchange solutions to complex medical problems, $7,500 to introduce e-cigarettes to wean the homeless off tobacco, and $2,500 to recreate a program that addresses patients' basic resource needs as a quality care standard.

Some of the ILN member health systems include California-based Adventist Health, Ascension Health in Missouri, Carolinas HealthCare System throughout North and South Carolina, San Francisco-based Dignity Health, HealthPartners in Minnesota, Detroit's Henry Ford Health System, California-based Kaiser Permanente, Boston's Partners HealthCare and UCLA Health System in Los Angeles, among others, according to the ILN website.

The ILN's innovation process echoes the approach of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, which asks its staff, customers and suppliers to submit innovation ideas.

ILN member UCLA employs an innovation leadership council made up of senior leadership and program heads to decide whether to deploy successful innovation pilots system-wide. UCLA also meets every other month with representatives from other area health systems to share and test ideas and prevent duplicative efforts, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

For more:
- here's the BU Today article
- check out the ILN