As healthcare continues along its perpetual evolution, those in the industry are continually trying to get ahead of the curve and find solutions to the biggest issues facing patient care and delivery today. Increasingly, hospitals and health systems are making a commitment to innovation by establishing their own centers and institutes for innovation.
While innovation in healthcare is often discussed in the context of new tools and technology, it also applies to new ideas, workflows and training techniques. From established departments to organizations with their own separate governing board, below is an updated list of 40 hospitals and health systems with innovation centers.
Note: Innovation centers are presented in alphabetical order. This is not an exhaustive list of all innovation centers. Centers were selected by editorial research. Hospitals cannot pay to be included on this list.
Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass.
At Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass., CIO Joel Vengco launched the system’s health technology innovation center TechSpring in 2013. Many tech startups have partnered with TechSpring for product development, including CarePort Health and Medecision. TechSpring features an adoption accelerator, insight through focus groups and co-working space for individuals or teams working in healthcare or technology.
Boston Children’s Hospital
Boston Children’s Hospital fosters several initiatives to spur innovation. It established the Boston Children’s Innovation Acceleration Program in 2010 as resource for hospital employees to develop ideas. The hospital also opened a Technology & Innovation Development Office, which serves as the commercialization arm for researchers, biomedical innovations and technologies. Boston Children’s hosts the annual global Pediatric Innovation Summit, the only annual event centered on advancing innovation in pediatric care, as well.
Brigham and Women’s
Boston-based Brigham and Women’s launched its Innovation Hubin 2013. The hub, led by Executive Director Lesley Solomon, supports Brigham clinicians, scientists and employees in bringing their innovative ideas to fruition. Called iHub, the center hosts an annual Clinical Innovation Day, which unites clinicians, scientists and business leaders to share ideas for patient care improvements. iHub also hosts hackathons, codeathons and idea labs, where clinicians and scientists brainstorm ideas for a particular theme in healthcare in just 90 minutes.
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles bases its pediatric research in its Center for Innovation. The Center also oversees the Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics, an accelerator that received a $1.5 million grant from the FDA and houses more than 30 active technologies. CHLA also partners with the University of Southern California in an initiative to support development of technology solutions for pediatric patients.
Cleveland Clinic founded Cleveland Clinic Innovations in 2000.Since then, the commercialization arm has worked with 71 companies to move their innovation from thought to product. CCI has been involved with more than 500 licenses and 700 issued patents. It also developed the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center Incubator, a facility to house startup companies focused on cardiovascular disease. Thomas Graham, MD, has served as CIO of CCI since 2010.
Columbus (Ohio) Regional Hospital
Columbus (Ohio) Regional Hospital opened its Innovation Center in 2011. The center combines technology development and clinical simulation in a central location. The Innovation Center’s Lean/Six Sigma and clinical simulation and education teams use tools in design, Lean and Six Sigma to collaborate, test and adopt best practices. The center’s simulation lab allows for rapid prototyping and testing of new ideas before they are used in patient care or in the community.
Detroit Medical Center developed The Center for Quality and Innovationat DMC’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan. The center has been responsible for a wealth of pediatric innovations that include: implanting the first mechanical heart pump ever received by a child in Michigan; helping develop the Genesis Stent, a life-saving device that opens blood vessels within children, eliminating the need for open-heart surgery; and identifying an infant cooling technique to reduce the incidence of disability and death in infants who failed to receive enough oxygen during birth.
Mountain View, Calif.-based El Camino Hospital’s Fogarty Institute of Innovation serves as an incubator for early stage innovators, and offers laboratory and engineering space for innovators and physicians to collaborate on ideas and developments. Thomas J. Fogarty, MD, inventor of the balloon catheter and recipient of the Presidential National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2014, founded the institute in 2007. Since then, the institute has worked with 20 medical device startups, five of which have spun off.
The Innovation Lab at Orlando-based Florida Hospital functions as an incubator to foster and test ideas to improve the system’s healthcare services. Karen Tilstra cofounded the lab in October 2011, and she continues to serve as its director. In 2013, the lab received the Des Cummings Innovation Award, which is presented each year to a Florida Hospital organization for their efforts in advancing healthcare innovation.
Hartford (Conn.) Hospital, home to the state’s first medical simulation center, has since developed The Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation. The CESI facility offers a fully comprehensive range of robotic and high-tech training capabilities used to develop clinical techniques and educate medical school students. The center contains robotic and endovascular simulators, task trainers and five different simulated clinical environments.
Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System established its Innovation Institute in 2011. One of the most prominent innovations coming out of the institute is the newly designed Model G Patient Gown, which prioritizes patient comfort — notably the closed backside — while maintaining clinical function. Scott Dulchavsky, MD, PhD, is CEO of HFII. Mark Coticchia, vice president and CIO of Henry Ford Health System, leads the Henry Ford Innovations unit.
New York-based Hospital for Special Surgery opened its Innovation Center in September 2014 to support technological breakthroughs for musculoskeletal care, but HSS has been collaborating with commercialization partners since 1979. The center oversees ideas from generation to evaluation, acceleration and commercialization. In addition to traditional biomedical science and technology like implants and biomaterials, HSS Innovation Center also researches process innovations, digital health solutions, wearables and telemedicine.
At Houston Methodist’s Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education, healthcare professionals work to advance patient safety efforts with ongoing procedural skills training, skills acquisition research and technology and medical procedure development. The center is part virtual hospital, part hands-on clinical training facility working to push the bounds of healthcare training through technological innovation.
Pasadena, Calif.-based Huntington Memorial Hospital’s Institute for Nursing Excellence and Innovation was designed to further and enhance training and preparation for the hospital’s nursing workforce. The center drives clinical advances and research in nursing through innovative nursing practices, professional development and specialty nursing education programs.
Intermountain Healthcare opened its Transformation Lab in Murray, Utah,in 2013. Projects at the lab include developing the patient room of the future, 3D printing and sensors to boost hand hygiene compliance. Marc Probst, CIO of Intermountain Healthcare, oversees innovation at the lab.
Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University Hospital opened its two-story, open floor plan Jefferson Accelerator Zone in January 2015 as the home base for innovation activities. JAZ hosts an innovation engagement speaker series — including a December appearance from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf — and hackathons. People can rent out space in JAZ by zone, floor or building for innovation-related activities.
At the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine, researchers study the ways in which the physical care environment can improve patient safety and impact human performance. Through the study of macroergonomics and the application of human-centric engineering principles, the institute has been creating new models of care delivery that improve care quality and efficiency. Experts have developed tools and training programs that enable healthcare workers to realize radical, measurable advances in care delivery.
Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicines’ Technology Innovation Center is a multidisciplinary hub for clinicians to create novel, technology-based solutions that span medical specialties and practice settings. A clinically embedded team of software engineers, data analysts, project managers and designers shepherd ideas from conceptual stages to product deployment. The center also includes an entrepreneurial accelerator as well as leadership training programs. The TIC often works in close affiliation with Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute.
In 2006, Kaiser Permanente opened the Sidney R. Garfield Health Care Innovation Center in San Leandro, Calif., named after the health system’s founding physician. Dr. Garfield was a pioneer in hospital designs that improved care delivery and enhanced the patient experience. Though closed to the public, Kaiser Permanente started offering virtual tours of the center in 2012. The center is modeled to look like a real hospital to allow providers to test products in as close-to-reality settings as possible.
Massachusetts General Hospital’s Stoeckle Center (Boston). Focused on primary care innovation, The Stoeckle Center offers several programs to test ideas through education, research and policy. The center is named after John Stoeckle, MD, who had a 50-year career as a primary care physician at Massachusetts General.
UCLA’s Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute at Mattel Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles was founded to promote innovation and collaborative research spanning from molecular studies to community initiatives. The institute connects laboratory research to bedside practice and community outreach programs at a local and national level. The institute conducts research into the four following core areas: brain behavior and development; nutrition, metabolism and growth; cancer and regeneration; infection, inflammation and immunity.
Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic opened itsCenter for Innovation in 2008, making it the first to be integrated into a medical practice setting. The center includes an outpatient lab that allows researchers to observe patients while interacting with providers, as well as a Healthy Aging and Independent Living Lab. The center focuses on design in healthcare — such as patient exam rooms and delivery models — to improve the patient experience.
The Innovation Center linked to 802-bed Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines (Iowa) was established in 2014. Mercy Innovation Center provides observation opportunities, engineering services, simulation labs, project piloting, business plan development and process improvement for individuals engaged in the creative process. Samuel Schone serves as the director of Mercy Innovation Center.
Wyoming, Mich.-based Metro Health Innovation Center houses four departments: the physician hospital organization, IT, security and privacy, and professional billing and pre-arrival. The facility is a collaborative space, allowing for Metro Health employees to gather and work on projects.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, has its Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice, one of 13 research centers within the hospital. Researchers at the center seek to discover new methods for care delivery, both through information technology and communication techniques. The center has four key research focuses: depression or suicidal ideation, clotting disorders, drug use and routine preventive care services.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospitallaunched its innovation center in 2014. NYP Innovation Center is based in Blueprint Health, an accelerator and coworking space for health tech startups. The center held New York City’s first hospital hackathon in March 2014.
The Center for Learning & Innovation at Great Neck, N.Y.-based Northwell Health aims to advance professional provider education through a variety of continuous learning programs, including patient safety, bio-skill development and leadership and nursing fellowships. The CLI works to improve patient care, develop future leaders and enhance healthcare business practices.
New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System launched its accelerator initiative called innovationOchsner in 2015. iO partners with technology developers and tech innovators both inside and outside of the healthcare industry to support the development of new clinical products in patient-centered care. Ochsner also embarked on a three-year health initiative in collaboration with GE Healthcare and The Idea Village to foster healthcare innovation through challenges that promote the marriage of technology and patient-centered care.
Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Parkview Health’s Mirro Center for Research and Innovation is among the newest innovation centers the country, having opened in late April. Folded into the Mirro Center is Parkview Research Center, a 25-year-old research hub, and the newly formed Center for Healthcare Innovation where scientists, entrepreneurs and organizations collaborate on new clinical solutions. The Mirro Center also features three simulation labs and classrooms for education and training personnel.
In Burlingame, Calif., is Mills-Peninsula Health Services, a Sutter Health-affiliated organization comprised of a medical center and health center. It operates the Center for Innovation & Research, a laboratory to develop new healthcare models, technologies, products, service and treatments. The center makes use of its proximity to Silicon Valley (25 miles) and San Francisco’s (17 miles) biotech industries to partner with entrepreneurs and innovators.
The Innovation Lab at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho, N.M., aims to bring healthcare workers and consumers together to develop better care approaches for improved patient outcomes. The lab occupies a designated space within the hospital set up for testing new ideas and care innovations. Since its conception, the lab has helped design and implement several leading-edge approaches at Rust, including acuity-adaptable patient rooms and a telemedicine-enabled ICU.
The Center for Medical Education and Innovation at Riverside Methodist in Columbus, Ohio, is a joint medical education facility and clinical training center. Through the use of human patient simulators and other advances in medical education technology, the center enables Riverside Medical Education to simulate the patient experience in a wide variety of clinical situations to establish improved training practices and better prepared medical staff.
In 2010, theUniversity of Californialaunched the Center for Health Quality and Innovation in Oakland, with representation from six UC medical school deans, five UC medical center CEOs and chaired by John Stobo, MD, the UC Health senior vice president. The center supports innovations in development across the UC health campuses through grants, fellowships and colloquiums.
The Center for Surgical Innovation is affiliated with Aurora-based University of Colorado Hospital and the university’s medical school. The CSI has been part of the medical school for about a decade, serving as a training facility for surgeons as well as a development hub for new surgical techniques and technologies. Clinicians from around the world come to Colorado to learn at the CSI alongside UC medical students.
The Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation is a collaborative enterprise between Saint Francis Care in Hartfordand the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington. The center aims to advance primary care education and innovation by conducting research on primary care delivery models. CIPCI includes a collaborative theater for clinician learning sessions, a simulation studio with moveable walls for patient flow and office redesign research as well as an idea lab for brainstorming and process mapping.
The Innovation Accelerator Program from Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania Health System is a grant program designed to help thought leaders develop, test and implement new approaches in healthcare delivery. The accelerator program currently supports teams conducting research into: increasing compliance with preoperative instructions, automating lab monitoring for patients on high risk medications and redesigning follow-up scheduling practices to improve patient experience.
In Chapel Hill, N.C., UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine share Innovate Health Care @ Carolina. Within the center is an Innovation Council, which functions as a think tank that helps with ideation and selection of innovative opportunities. David Rubinow, MD, is the director of UNC Innovation and Health Care System Transformation. Through a partnership with Forecast Health, the center recently produced an analytical model that helps clinicians predict when patients are at high risk of readmission so care teams can proactively offer support to individual patients based on their risks and needs.
In Pittsburgh,UPMCEnterprises is the health system’s innovation arm. Formerly called the UPMC Technology Development Center, UPMC Enterprises features a team of more than 200 technology professionals offering clinical, technical, business and capital resources to develop, test and commercialize new healthcare products and services. Rasu Shrestha, MD, CIO of UPMC, also serves as executive vice president of UPMC Enterprises.
The commercialization and technology transfer arm of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Wake Forest Innovations seeks to transform ideas and inventions into proprietary technologies and inventions to improve healthcare. The organization offers industry relations and business development, product innovation services, and contract research and development services. Eric Tomlinson, PhD, CIO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, leads the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a hub for biomedical science and IT within Wake Forest Innovations.
WakeMed Center for Innovative Learning, part of WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, N.C., is designed to facilitate realistic multidisciplinary clinical training and education using human patient simulators, educational gaming and other technologies. The center offers clinical and educational training to providers across the healthcare continuum, including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and first responders.
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