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Measuring the Unmeasurable
One of the differentiating aspects of high-performance organizations—whether these be private companies or public institutions—is a culture of innovation. Society as a whole also needs innovation to be part of its culture if it wishes to continuously improve social and economic outcomes.
The Center for Research in Healthcare Innovation Management (CRHIM), an IESE–Accenture collaboration in Barcelona, Spain, brings together different partners from the field of innovation in healthcare to build on IESE’s extensive health management-related activities and Accenture’s wide-ranging experience in the field. This thought leadership article is based on an extensive research document that presents a more detailed description of the conceptual InnPACT healthcare innovation assessment framework, with a review of the background literature used in its development, and its application to the four selected innovation projects.
Healthcare systems in most developed countries are currently facing significant challenges, in part because of the uneven development of innovation in different areas of the healthcare sector. On the one hand, constant scientific and technological innovation in patient treatment has steadily increased life expectancy and quality of life. At the same time, healthcare systems have not managed to evolve towards models that incorporate these innovations within the context of economic conditions that require balancing limited resources while maintaining levels of service.
InnPACT now provides a tool that enables Spanish stakeholders to better understand the diverse impacts that any change might have on the intricate web of institutions and stakeholders within the health system. It can also help in learning retrospectively why some initiatives may have worked where others failed.
These benefits will not be confined to Spain. Healthcare systems worldwide need to do more with less, especially in such austere times, but many still provide hospital-focused, provider-based care, with an emphasis on addressing the requirements of acute cases. Instead, what is needed is integrated, preventive, patient-based care with an emphasis on addressing increasingly prevalent chronic conditions.
Those using the framework begin by creating a descriptive fact sheet, which should include 14 specific pieces of information about the innovation. Some are basic, identifying data such as name and description, but even at this level the framework can provide benefits for the change program itself. Asking for details such as agreed success criteria, governance structure, and whether a project charter exists, encourages good practice in planning that can help a project avoid basic mistakes.
Much must be done by countries, regions and local health providers to overcome the challenges posed by the current, unsustainable spending trajectory and often suboptimal care. As health systems seek to innovate, InnPACT could become an essential diagnostic tool.
August 30, 2013
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