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Am J Med Qual. 2008 Sep-Oct;23(5):382-8. doi: 10.1177/1062860608317695.

Innovation in health care: a primer.

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Division of Preventive Occupational and Aerospace Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


As organizations strive for ways to control health care spending, address the growing needs of an aging population, and respond satisfactorily to a more informed and demanding consumer base, the opportunities for innovation have increased exponentially. By means of this article, the authors describe the basic concepts of purposeful innovation, and compare and contrast it to quality improvement. The authors also provide an overview of the terminology and types of innovation, describe the innovation life cycle, and discuss diffusion and commercialization of innovations. This article provides a primer on innovation for quality improvement practitioners and physician leaders who play a key role in creating innovation and environments for innovations to flourish.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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