Connected Health 2015: Healthcare innovation needs 'providers with creative confidence'

When it comes to innovation within healthcare, work is necessary to build creative confidence with providers, according to Paul Nagy, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Medical Innovation Center.

Leadership from providers is needed to retransform healthcare, and in many ways that creative confidence is squeezed out of them in medical school following rote memorization and 80-hour workweeks during residencies, he said during a panel discussion at the HIMSS Connected Health Conference just outside of the District of Columbia on Monday.

At the innovation center, Nagy said his job is to create "an area of innovation where we feel like a small startup, where we can take new ideas, experiment with them in new ways and be able to create new innovations to improve patient care."

Healthcare innovation can only thrive if an organization embraces creativity, empathy, perspective and teamwork.

The odds of someone going alone and being able to take their idea to the market are very small, Nagy said. Innovation, he added, needs design, technical and business perspectives.

"I don't almost ever see that in the same person; it's very hard for someone to embody those three mentalities," he said.

The health technology field also needs adaptive leaders and physicians who are taught in ways they are not trained in medical school to work with IT vendors and engineers. Johns Hopkins' solution to that is a leadership development program, created several years ago, Nagy said.

It offers carpentry leadership skills training in emotional intelligence and systems thinking, and also helps to train up and coming providers to fix broken healthcare systems, Nagy said.

In addition, when it comes to bringing innovation from outside of healthcare into the industry, organizations "need to have ambassadors that can pull [the innovations] into healthcare instead of pushing them into healthcare," he said.