Energizing the Innovative Brains of the Healthcare Sector

By Bob Eckert

brainWe know that proper nutrition is essential for a happy, healthy and active innovative brain.  So, what is the premium innovation ‘food’ for a healthcare system?  It’s feeding the brains of those responsible for developing, leveraging and improving the system with a healthy balance of cool, innovative, ground breaking ideas, products and strategies.

As we are stimulated to envision possibility, we become more likely to be able to strengthen patient outcomes. As we see what others are doing to innovate, we are more likely to think innovatively ourselves. This kind of stimulus is the food for innovative cognition. Yes, we need to eat well through our mouths, but our brain is also fed through the senses. Below are a couple of link to a visual and auditory innovation feast. Gorge yourself. It’s calorie free!

Corning’s “A Day Made of Glass” provides some nice food for thought.  Continue the journey by watching “A Day Made of Glass 2” for even more glimpses including potential uses in healthcare.

Imaging a future where you project a hologram of a patient from China to New York – where patients do basic monitoring via their home bathroom mirror.  Think…

How might these innovations coming from Corning impact healthcare – positively or negatively?

How might you improve your own ability to think about the possibilities?

And If you find this kind of cognitive stimulus “tasty” and you’d enjoy regular snacks – check out the Innovative Brain blog at New and Improved.

Bob Eckert is the opening keynote speaker on Sunday, March 3, at the HIMSS13 Innovation Symposium, where he will examine ‘The Science and Practice of Innovation,’ and how it can be applied at any healthcare organization, regardless of size.

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2 Responses to Energizing the Innovative Brains of the Healthcare Sector

  1. Wade Burt says:

    This is a great subject! It is interesting to me how healthcare technology has developed almost at the exclusion of healthcare processes – and vice versa! The Healthcare and Technology verticals often do not collaborate well in many efforts. Some of this is caused by much of the technology being emergent. Some is caused by a lack of understanding of each other’s space. Finally, the Meaningful Use “mandate”, which has an implied urgency, has caused many to feel they should do what they can to qualify for MU, then clean up the mess later.
    I have been surprised by the lack of engagement of health care professionals in the technology process. Most of my projects have included highly skilled and motivated healthcare professionals who are involved in the technology process in addition to seeing patients, running a practice and all the tasks that go with being a healthcare provider. Their full and undivided attention is simply not possible. So, they trust technology people to get the innovation done.
    Technologists enlist medical professionals to give us insight. I have worked with some brilliant healthcare providers who helped me deliver solid solutions because they were willing to engage in a “cross mentoring” program – I showed them the technology and they showed me the healthcare. We each benefited from the other’s knowledge and experience.
    Unfortunately, in the last 2 or 3 years, we have largely been in a reactive mode – responding to the perceived urgency and reacting to pressures from executive management to qualify for MU dollars.
    The result has been a lack of innovation – without the time it takes to properly assess the true needs of healthcare, we simply deploy systems that are “good enough”, leaving in the wake most of the benefits of technology. For instance, I recently participated in the deployment of more than one AEHR that was fully functional and brought in many opportunities for innovative process. When the project lagged a bit, the client simply abandoned the product and went with a completely different solution, abandoning most of the features that might have been available had we had the luxury of time. The alternate solution was admittedly not innovative, but it was a “down and dirty” way to get the requirements of MU met, so we deployed it.
    There are plenty of opportunities for innovation in healthcare technology. We simply must develop the courage it takes to be innovators – and help those in a position to make a decision understand the importance of giving innovation the priority it deserves.

  2. rpiechowski says:

    It will definitely require some innovative thinking to plan beyond MU and try to achieve more than the bare minimum. It’s too bad your client abandoned the project. I wonder if that’s considered an “implementation failure?” Bob will talk Sunday about how to break out of the process rut and how to get an organization to embrace the creative side of making technology work.

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