Friday, August 28, 2009

Health Care Innovation Through the Reform

With the huge debate taking place on the benefits of health care reform, innovation in healthcare is too often clouded or overlooked. This post in BusinessWeek discusses how GE Healthcare Performance Systems, a consulting group with GE, helped revolutionize ORs at the Moffit Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa.

The hospital was in deep trouble before GE came along. New surgeons were not able to schedule time in the operating room because more senior surgeons carefully guarded those times. This in turn caused only 13% of all scheduled operations to start on time, which led to fewer operations and forced nurses, anesthesiologists, and surgeons to work overtime regularly.

We recently posted on how outsourcing innovation can bring in fresh perspectives and allows companies to save countless time, energy, and money. GE is just another example that proves this point. Here's what they the healthcare innovation consultants did to reorganize the OR.

1. A smart hospital room with cameras overlooking patient falls was built using a facial recognition system created by GE Security.
2. GE streamlined sterilization equipment needed for surgeries to cut prep time.
3. Implemented new routines for nurses so that they could take on more tasks

Unfortunately, inefficiency runs through most of the US hospitals. A recent report by the researchers behind the Dartmouth Atlas describes our health care systems as, "disorganized, poorly coordinated, and inefficient care."

Taking a broader look at things, other industries are suffering from inefficiency as well, it's not just healthcare. Businesses must constantly seek new ways of improving efficient processes in order to stay in the forefront of innovation.

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