Peek inside the Innovation Lab's framework for healthcare pros and collaborate on disruptive ideas via the Innovation Centers Summit Workshop.

Larry Stofko, Contributor

October 13, 2014

4 Min Read

When we designed the Innovation Lab in Newport Beach, Calif., we were seeking to facilitate both sustaining and disruptive innovation, both inside and outside of the walls of the lab. This has been a complex endeavor, but I believe we now have the framework needed to succeed.

Sustaining innovation improves upon existing innovation, while disruptive innovation creates a new product or service category. Both are critical to success in healthcare innovation.

Studies show that true breakthrough innovation can happen when people share insights and collaborate together to strengthen and grow the idea.

[Looking back and ahead: 25 Years Of Health IT: A Complicated Journey.]

We currently provide inventor services to the employees and physicians within St. Joseph Health in Irvine, California, and Bon Secours Health System in Marriottsville, Maryland, which are both "member owners" of the Innovation Institute. Both organizations have innovation as part of their culture and values.

While it would be ideal to collaborate with these employees and physicians in person at the Innovation Lab to draw out their ideas, that isn't realistic since most have full-time roles as clinicians and administrators.

For these employees and physicians, we have implemented an innovation software platform (Brightidea) as a virtual lab space where they can go to submit their ideas and participate in online crowdsourcing and collaboration. If we decide to focus on a specific challenge, we have the means to launch a campaign to focus on an area of healthcare. Colleagues can share ideas and contribute to challenges, or brainstorm activities and build on the energy and input of other participants online.

Our physical Innovation Lab space is where our team, in alliance with Cleveland Clinic, evaluates and processes all the ideas that flow in through the website. They manage our lab activities within a 12,000-square-foot space. Every square foot has been designed for collaborating, learning, individual thinking, and group interaction. The lab features a project development area, a simulation lab, small- and large-group collaboration areas, an ideation and deep dive workspace, and a dynamic showcase space where industry partners can seek advice from the physicians and employees we work with. They can also showcase ideas for prospective sponsors or manufacturers to evaluate.

As often as possible, we will host innovation sessions and events at the physical lab for our employee and physician inventors. We will also offer our space for events for external like-minded associates where we can share ideas on creating a more systematic approach to innovation that can guide us into the future.

We will host the Fourth Innovation Centers Summit Workshop at our own newly completed Innovation Lab in Newport Beach, California, where inventions from our healthcare system partners are cultivated. The Summit Workshop, which will be held November 17 through 18, 2014, is the brainchild of BluePrint Healthcare IT, based in Cranbury, NJ.

This gathering of like-minded innovators from across the US and beyond is open to provider-based healthcare innovation centers. The workshop's theme -- Optimizing Innovation Centers to Lead Healthcare Transformation -- will be carried out over two days through unique and highly interactive forum breakout sessions, BluePrint's hallmark speed-dating sessions, and new master workshops.

We will delve into topics including the role of innovation centers in addressing new models of care, metrics to support ROI, tools and processes that support innovation, the role of small and big data in transforming care, as well as commercialization and stakeholder engagement. For the master workshop, hot topics we are considering are best practices for accelerators and hackathons, formal innovation frameworks, and social media strategy and planning for physical and virtual innovation centers.

As innovators in healthcare, we have a responsibility to one another to exchange ideas and share experiences that will benefit patients, care teams, and physicians, as well as our organizations and the entire healthcare system. With the opening of our new Innovation Lab facility, hosting BluePrint's Innovation Centers Summit Workshop will be a great opportunity for healthcare innovation centers across North America to collaborate.

This BluePrint Healthcare IT Innovation Exchange (BIX) Summit Series grew out of the organization's focus on innovation as central to healthcare transformation. Interested innovation center executives and staff can find additional information or register online at:

What will you use for your big data platform? A high-scale relational database? NoSQL database? Hadoop? Event-processing technology? One size doesn't fit all. Here's how to decide. Get the new Pick Your Platform For Big Data issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest today. (Free registration required.)

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Larry Stofko


Larry Stofko is executive vice president of The Innovation Institute and serves as chief technology officer and head of the Innovation Lab, an incubator of ideas from concept stage to commercialization.

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights