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Going Big: How Major Providers Scale Up Their Best Ideas

Carleen Hawn

Like a tree falling in the forest, health care innovations don't make a sound — until they are successfully replicated in the world. Four big providers are experimenting with how this works.

Better, cheaper, and faster are no longer just buzzwords; they are what keep health care leaders up at night. With growing economic pressures, institutions are pushing to increase capacity, improve quality, and cut costs. But experiments under controlled conditions can easily fail in the real world, so long-term success requires that new ideas thrive beyond the pilot phase.

In this brief video, author Carleen Hawn describes lessons that can be leveraged from examining how health care institutions identify and scale innovations across large systems.

This report looks at how four major health care provider organizations have focused on harnessing the power of innovation:

  • Mayo Clinic, with distinct departments devoted to converting creativity into new processes and tools
  • Partners HealthCare, which develops products and services to lure consumers into using technology to improve their health
  • Kaiser Permanente, where a large infrastructure enables extensive testing of ideas
  • Ascension Health, whose Transformational Development unit seeks ideas outside the organization

All these organizations have one or more dedicated business units to identify the best projects and to systematically pursue them. Their experiences provide new models and lessons learned for organizations seeking to innovate.

The chapters on Mayo Clinic, Partners HealthCare, and Kaiser Permanente were previously published as separate articles. The cumulative report is available as a Document Download.

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