Why Your Innovation Program Should be in Lock Step With Your Corporate Strategy

Why Your Innovation Program Should be in Lock Step With Your Corporate Strategy

Everyone in healthcare knows that change is a given. The changes can be small shift in pay or patterns or consumer preference. Or they can be landscape-altering changes like ground-breaking new technology or leading edge therapeutics. Hospitals and healthcare systems know that how well they identify and respond to opportunities defines a large part of their success in the market. But many hospitals are beginning to use innovation, and dedicated innovation staff, to help identify, prioritize, develop and integrate these solutions. Here at Orlando Health, our Strategic Innovations team is tasked with inspiring, cultivating and accelerating innovation across our healthcare system - both from within the walls of the hospitals with our team members, and with external startups and partners. It’s a way to balance the best of what’s happening inside the healthcare system and externally in the market.

Our internal Innovation initiative is called the Foundry. We identify opportunities to develop inventions and innovations conceived by our team members and physicians. The variety of ideas submitted is significant - everything from apps and software to novel medical and surgical devices and even a socially assistive robot.

These are all unique innovations designed to address specific pain points or challenges that our clinicians face. Our external focus consists of a $20M venture fund for strategic investment in early stage companies and technologies that are transforming and disrupting the healthcare industry. These investments allow us to form deep partnerships with companies that are developing and scaling game-changing solutions. Whether it’s an internally conceived idea or product from a rapidly scaling startup company, we have a similar process that drives our decision making.

What sets has given us a “guiding light” to follow is our rigorous adherence to the pillars of our corporate strategy, or what we call our “strategic imperatives”. These six imperatives are: Embrace Quality & Safety, Earn Physician Loyalty, Drive Growth & Innovation, Become a Best Place to Work, Strengthen Economics and Serve Our Customers Well. Everything we do as a healthcare system is driven out of these areas of intense focus. By positioning our innovation program as a “tool within our tool belt” to drive results within each imperative, we give ourselves a different type of lens through which to view everything related to innovation. It prevents us from taking on and developing projects that are innovative for the sake of being cool and “cutting edge”, but without a measurable impact in strategic areas. When we’re presented with a new project proposal or idea that could become a new invention, we first look at where it would “move the needle” in the strategic imperatives. We work to understand what it would improve - be it cost, efficiencies in workflow, provider or patient satisfaction, patient outcomes, etc. The initial research process and discussion with innovators focuses on identifying the internal impact and working to quantify the expected impact. How well our findings align with the strategic imperatives it like a litmus test. This framework helps us identify the most impactful projects to further research and develop, as well as helping us turn down projects that don’t appear to have a clear impact in the right areas.

There are many other aspects of innovations and investments to consider, which we do as projects progress, but we’ve found success in sticking to the principles of our corporate strategy that drive our efforts across the health system. Sometimes it’s sticking to the basics that can yield the best results. As our strategy evolves, so will the through which we view innovation efforts. You can learn more about our innovation efforts at OrlandoHealth.com/Innovation.

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