It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint, in Health Innovation

By Marie Connelly, Global Health Delivery Project

With millions of Americans gaining access to health care through the Affordable Care Act, the need for innovative solutions that lower costs, increase quality, and improve patient outcomes, has never been greater.

Four core lessons have emerged so far from last week’s virtual expert panel with leaders from around the country and during the Google hangout on air discussion led by GHDonline moderator and Health for America co-founder, Kapil Parakh, MD.

Empathy should underscore much of our approach to health innovation. It facilitates the development of innovations that are truly patient-centered and empower stronger relationship between patients and providers.

Systems are changing. Perhaps more slowly than we might wish, but as reimbursement models begin incentivizing quality over quantity, we are able to move towards an approach that looks at providing value across the continuum of care, instead of in “short bursts” of interactions between patients, providers and systems.

Focus on sustainability, both financial and regulatory when developing innovative approaches to care delivery. Consider early on how these will be supported over the long term, and commit to rigorous testing. Documentable successes can enable wider adoption and implementation in a conservative health care landscape.

Collaborate – we don’t innovate alone. Building communities of innovators in healthcare, finding colleagues and collaborators with similar interests and complementary skill sets is instrumental in developing, testing, and implementing innovations.

Our panelists answered questions in GHDonline and via twitter #ghdinnovation.