An Update on How Novant Health Is Leveraging Innovation to Deliver the Remarkable Patient Experience Best Practices You Can Use: PDMA PIM 2012
By Matthew Gymer, PhD, corporate director of innovation, Novant Health, Inc.
North Carolina’s Novant Health, one of the country’s largest integrated health networks is finding new ways to innovate around established medical practices. This is good news for patients! With the goal of providing “The Remarkable Patient Experience,” Novant Innovation is leading health care delivery breakthroughs through a number of new management tools introduced to the marketplace including:
Social networking platforms for employees and patients to generate new ideas;
Easy-to-use evaluation systems for leaders to score ideas; and
New partnerships for innovation initiatives that cut across all the various industries that makeup the modern health care delivery system in the United States.
In order to develop the program, Novant Innovation leaders first spent eight months doing qualitative research, interviewing nurses, physicians, clinical staff, patient services, business unit leaders, patients, suppliers, strategic partners—all had input to determine what a modern innovation program should look like. As a result of that research, several non-negotiable operational design goals came into focus:
Key Strategic Design Elements
Boundary Spanning: Large organizations are challenged with sustaining the cross-departmental collaboration needed to forge transformational innovation. This is especially true in health care delivery characterized by a complex network of facilities (hospitals, outpatient clinics, pharmacies and home care services) and professionals (physicians, nurses, clinicians and pharmacists). Novant Innovation had to have an operational model that empowered collaboration among all of the various people that deliver care to patients and within all the potential facilities where care is delivered.
Use of Employee Stories for Idea Development: The vision of Novant Innovation is to provide a safe place for employees to exploit known certainties and experiment with new possibilities. In order to do this, we recognized that employees’ knowledge and experience—their stories—were underutilized, particularly for innovation initiatives. Novant Innovation sought a system that leveraged employee stories as a foundational piece of the innovation process.
Reduce Product/Service Development Time: Differentiated from the academic medical center model where the innovation process is focused on intellectual property transfer, Novant Innovation sought the development of a practice that focused on delivering higher quality care for patients in a more affordable way. Novant Innovation focuses on the business processes and operational advances of delivering high quality, high volume care.
Idea Capture: Novant Innovation developed the boundary-spanning social network www.IdeasChangeLives.org as the primary idea aggregator, a system open to both internal and external people who are interested in health care delivery innovation. The system is supported by innovation forums, learning communities and custom training delivered by Novant Health.
Idea Evaluation: Forging transformational ideas is directly correlated to a high level of collaboration across the organization. The Novant Innovation social network is driven by people commenting and sharing their views about idea submissions. Groups of subject matter experts also support the process by promoting collaboration and idea development across the health care professions and all the communities that visit Novant Health facilities.
Testing Ideas: Novant currently employs a mature and effective operational improvement process, a capability well suited to test new ideas. The innovation collection and evaluation process feeds into the existing operational and clinical test process.
Research & Development: Novant Innovation has formed new relationships with organizations representing academia, foundations, think tanks, designers, artists and product developers. Current areas of research and development focus are: integrated delivery, chronic disease management, coordination across the care continuum, transforming care at the bedside and new business model generation.
For more information about Novant Innovation contact: