Research: The genesis of innovation in health care?

Research: The genesis of innovation in health care?

The pace of innovation in health care needs to quicken for health care organizations to achieve the triple aim of improving care, improving health outcomes, and reducing costs. This is the premise of an insightful report published by Deloitte that reports the results of a survey of health care leaders to identify the ten innovations with the greatest potential to create the significant changes needed in health care management and delivery to achieve the triple aim. A review of the top 10 list reminds us that high-quality research is the genesis for innovations that make their way into the field, and become effective and sustainable.

Most, if not all of the innovations described in this report reflect knowledge and expertise in the wheelhouse of our scholar community here at the SAS Centers focused on Health. An important point made by the Deloitte report authors is that “Incorporating these top 10 innovations into business models will require changing how health care organizations currently prevent, diagnose, monitor, and treat disease.” Research in the field will certainly accelerate the diffusion of these innovations. Reflecting on these innovations and the role of research, two questions arise:

What active or planned research by our Research Fellows helps to inform or diffuse any of the innovations listed in the Deloitte report?

Could the Center for Healthcare Research publish a list of innovations that are possible as a next step in our research?

Thanks to our colleague Aravind Kailas for bringing this paper and ideas to our attention.   


Louise Underdahl's picture Louise Underdahl | August 22, 2016 7:21 pm MST

Hi Michael,

Thank you for posting these thought-provoking observations on how innovation and research may contribute to healthcare institutions' capacity for prevention, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease. The Deloitte report's section on "next steps" validates organizational agility, defined as proactive aptitude toward emerging innovation.

Theorists debate both the context and relevance of agility, differentiating between "regular risk" and "deep uncertainty" (Teece, Peteraf, & Leih, 2016, p. 30), promoting "smart staff and appropriate technology" (Bahrami et al., 2016, p. 194), and linking business information system maturity, medical decision quality, and hospital agility (Shen et al., 2017).   If swift, accurate data analysis and interpretation are vital to agility (Reid, 2015; Shen et al., 2017), the Center for Healthcare Research might  explore ways to simplify strategic application of clinical and administrative big data. 

I welcome thoughts from others!


Bahrami, M. A., Kiani, M. M., Montazeralfaraj, R., Zadeh, H. F., & Zadeh, M. M. (2016). The mediating role of organizational learning in the relationship of organizational intelligence and organizational agility. Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, 7(1), 190-196.

Reid, R. (2015). Four crucial enablers for driving business agility and growth.  Retrieved from

Shen, C. C., Chang, R. E., Hsu, C. J., & Chang, I. C. (2017). How business intelligence maturity [is] enabling hospital agility. Telematics and Informatics34(1), 450-456.

Teece, D., Peteraf, M. A., & Leih, S. (2016). Dynamic capabilities and organizational agility: Risk, uncertainty and entrepreneurial management in the innovation economy. California Management Review, 58(4),13-35.

Michael R. Solomon's picture Michael R. Solomon | September 8, 2016 1:47 pm MST


Louise (and colleagues),

I second your call for cost-effective and meaningful use of clinical and administrative data to advance the organization's strategies; a major opportunity for applied research in the field. As providers continue developing the capabilities necessary to succeed in a value-based care and payment environment, clinicians on the front line are increasingly being asked to improve the quality of care while at the same time reducing costs. Leveraging big data into insights that can be used by clinicians to make decisions that advance both of these strategic imperatives could make a big difference moving forward. Now that health care organizations are well on their way to gathering and analyzing clinical and administrative data, the big challenge ahead is determining the optimal delivery of the results from the analysis of big data to clinicians and administrators (Millard, 2016). How can the data be visually presented in a way that can quickly be consumed for action at the point of care? An intriguing research project would be to apply theories of technology adoption and system usability to developing a model for the visualization of data by clinicians at the point of care.

Reference: Millard, M. (2016 Aug). Analytics entering exciting phase, but challenges – both small and systemic – remain. Healthcare IT News. p. 30-31.     

jjgillespie's picture | August 23, 2016 5:34 pm MST

Dr. Solomon,

Excellent commentary and analysis.  CHR could certainly publish a list of innovations that are possible as a next step in our research.  That's a terrific idea.

The Deloitte top 10 list is interesting and well done. 

I might observe that the Convenient Care innovation seems more business and organization than technological. In terms of business/organizational innovations, there are many one can add to the list.

Michael R. Solomon's picture Michael R. Solomon | September 8, 2016 11:41 am MST

Dr. Gillespie (and colleagues), 

Is there a particular forum to engage CHR scholars to brainstorm and develop this list of innovations that align with the mission and vision of our Center? Would the development of this top "N" innovations for research inform 2017 planning for the Center? 

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