Looking Outside Your Organization To Drive Innovation
Much of healthcare innovation these days seems to be focused within organizations — hospitals striving to improve their patient experiences or make access to their healthcare simpler and easier.
But at Providence St. Joseph Health, a 51-hospital system that spans seven states, innovation comes in many different forms and has far-reaching effects beyond the walls of its 800 clinics.
“Our senior leadership is extremely forward-thinking and understands that using digital as a means to drive high-value growth into the system is absolutely essential — and we drive that growth through digital innovation,” says Sara Vaezy, Providence’s chief digital strategy and business development officer.
Vaezy leads development of Providence’s digital strategy and roadmap, helping establish digital partnerships with health systems and technology companies and growing commercialization for the innovations developed at Providence.
Vaezy’s team sets the strategy, deciding which “needle moving” opportunities Providence should tackle with digital. If the technology to solve the problem already exists, Vaezy’s team identifies the technology and scales it. If the technology doesn’t exist, the team works closely with the digital innovation group’s 100-person product development team to build it.
“They create products where we think there is a big opportunity and a space that isn’t already crowded or filled with other people trying to solve a similar problem,” Vaezy says.
If the product development team decides to build new technology, the goal is to create a new company that will ultimately spin out of Providence and take on maintenance and further development.
“This process of creating new companies helps us innovate and, once the company is created, frees up internal resources to innovate around the next opportunity,” Vaezy says. “We look for solutions to healthcare’s biggest problems, and we try to find solutions from the perspective of a health system that truly understands the problem.”
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