Add 'Healthcare Innovation Center' to Buzzwords List

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , May 26, 2011

"If I were skeptical, I would suspect that some of these new innovation centers have been born out of a desire to capitalize on the creation of the CMMI and its substantial funding," Kizer wrote.

"However, I think more is because they have finally figured out that there is a real need to do things differently going forward. Since the preferred new and different approach is often not clear, there is a need to innovate to figure out how to do things better. And of course the funding that is available through the CMMI supports this desire."

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There will be a need for some coordination between these centers. Repetition is sometimes good, but not when it reinvents the wheel, or is done in silos. And I wonder how that will come about so these brave healthcare systems won't waste precious resources.
How will these new and old innovation centers work together, avoid wasting precious resources and compete for funds?

Martin agrees that there's potential for redundancy. "Anytime you see an uptick like this there's a need to create a lot of networking so centers can learn from each other and avoid duplication," she said.

Now she and her colleagues at IHI are starting to hear officials from established innovation centers say "we need to create more formal structures for networking and talking with each other."

Kaiser Permanente, which arguably has one of the longest track records with its Garfield Innovation Center, has thought of that. It's hosting an event June 10 at its Center for Total Health in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with CMMI, CMS and ONC, to bring together about 150 thought leaders from new and hopeful healthcare innovation centers around the country.

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