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Health Aff (Millwood). 2017 Mar 1;36(3):400-407. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2016.1311.

Innovative Environments In Health Care: Where And How New Approaches To Care Are Succeeding.

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David W. Bates ( is chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Aziz Sheikh is a professor of primary care research and development in the Centre for Population Health at the University of Edinburgh, in Great Britain.
David A. Asch is executive director of the Center for Health Care Innovation and a professor in the Wharton School and the Perelman School of Medicine, all at the University of Pennsylvania, and a physician in the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


Organizations seeking to create innovative environments in health care need to pay attention to a number of factors. These include making available sufficient resources, notably money and physical space, but also coordination and consultation regarding intellectual property and licensing; enabling access to engineers, software developers, and behavioral scientists; making providers and patients available to innovators; having a sufficiently long-term view; and insulating the innovation group from operational demands. If there is a single essential key to success, it is making innovation a strategic priority. Academic health systems are enormous generators of innovation in the form of generalizable research in biomedical sciences. Typically, much of that innovation is externally supported, and little is directed to improving care processes internally. In industries other than health care, organizations invest their own funds in research and development to promote innovation, and this investment is seen as a metric for a firm's commitment to its future. Increased investment in care-process innovation is long overdue.


Cost of Health Care; Organization and Delivery of Care; Quality Of Care

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