Innovation or Stagnation? Crossing the Creativity Gap in Healthcare : Journal of Healthcare Management

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Innovation or Stagnation? Crossing the Creativity Gap in Healthcare

Lazarus, Ian R. FACHE

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Journal of Healthcare Management 56(6):p 363-367, November 2011.



Like excellence, the word innovation is often overused in healthcare, frequently espoused in well-intended promotional materials lacking in any real substance. Referred to indiscriminately, innovation is a nice feel-good notion. But implemented strategically, it can mean the difference between performing on par with the industry and achieving exceptional success that includes defining strong healthcare brands, serving as a magnet for patients and employees, and increasingly changing the way healthcare is practiced. True innovation is a powerful concept with an inherently unique capacity to align people, foster creativity, and bring significant improvement to existing processes or transformational change to whole systems and industries.

According to PwC's 2011 Annual Global CEO Survey, innovation is one of the top priorities for executives in almost every industry—not just for realizing efficiencies, but because they see it as integral to growth. In fact, 78 percent of CEOs surveyed believe innovation will generate “significant” new revenue and cost reduction over the next three years. However, as the study also highlights, only about 9 percent of companies described themselves as active innovators, revealing a gap between where most companies are and where CEOs want to go (PwC 2011).

How can this gap be crossed? How do hospitals and healthcare organizations leverage the value of innovation and, more importantly, build a sustainable culture of innovation that becomes part of the organization's DNA over time—especially in the face of unprecedented reforms imposed by the Accountable Care Act?

© 2011 Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives

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