Ringing in the new year brings a time for reflection on the past and preparation for the future.   After looking at the first Recruiting for Healthcare Jobs blog post in 2012, I am reminded that significant strides in healthcare innovation remain.  While the previous year culminated in progress, metrics and transparency for value-based purchasing and consumer sentiment are poised to have a more profound impact on health system operations going forward.  In order to rise to the challenge, hospitals and healthcare systems should embrace healthcare innovation.

While innovation is typically discussed in reference to process or technology development, a more strategic view might encompass the following continuum:

Innovation in Healthcare Collaboration

  1. Develop partnerships with key constituents in the community to help manage high risk patients
  2. Find new ways to collectively address social determinants that negatively impact community health
  3. At the most fundamental level, solicit new avenues for engaging patients in their health care 

Innovation in Health Delivery Process

  1. Focus on eliminating variation, improving safety and quality, while also enhancing the patient experience in the inpatient admission, discharge, transition and outpatient visit processes
  2. Develop new services and care delivery mechanisms to keep patients healthy

Innovation in Technology

  1. Implement technology that supports your collaboration, process improvement and patient engagement efforts while continuing to protect and enhance the quality of the patient experience

Innovation in Environment

  1. Create a modern digital therapeutic environment with a corporate culture focused on compassion and quality customer service

And, as the President of the Federation of Hospitals aptly put it, since “lawmakers chose to rob hospital Peter to pay for fiscal cliff Paul”…wouldn’t it be better to dive into innovation rather than be pushed?