Inspire employees to think big by allowing them to fail

Henry Ford Health System’s Innovation Institute offers a ‘safe place to fail’

As healthcare providers and hospitals attempt to radically rethink their approach to care to include greater collaboration and cooperation between all stakeholders and to improve patient outcomes, some of their new ideas are likely to come from innovation centers.

In an interview with Becker’s Hospital Review, Mark Coticchia of the Henry Ford Innovation Institute in Detroit said that part of the power of these innovation centers is to allow new ideas to succeed or fail on their own merits.

“A safe place to fail for us important,” Coticchia said, “it’s one where people can come and can try things and if they don’t work, that’s OK.”

Not every new idea or innovation is a winner. The Innovation Institute–which is equipped with 3-D printing capabilities, the latest in computer-aided design and manufacturing software–presents complex problems to interdisciplinary teams made up of hospital professionals and outsiders, according to the article. The team members then bring their various areas of expertise to bear on the problem–and no ideas are off the table.

“Our employees know it’s a place they can go try things, have some fun and try to make a difference,” Coticchia explained. “And it’s worthwhile to bring in ideas because even though we might not carry them forward.”

A few other healthcare systems in the country have created innovation centers of their own. Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Mayo Clinic and others have established the think tanks to spur creative thinking and help solve the pressing issues facing healthcare providers today.

“This is all happening because healthcare organizations are really feeling the pressure to get on outcomes and cost improvements quickly,” said Twine CEO John Moore, M.D. earlier this year. “They’re going to start taking on more and more risk, and they know that if they don’t move quickly, they’re going to have a hard time.”

To learn more:
- read the article