How does Methodist Hospitals inspire a culture of creativity and innovation? - June 29, 2013

March 29, 2013 7:39 am   •   By Ian McFadden, President Methodist Hospitals

This is an extremely challenging time for health care, perhaps the most challenging this industry has ever faced. It is filled with uncertainties about the national, regional and local economies in which we operate, as well as what basic business models for our industry will need to look like a decade or even a few years from now.

All hospitals, including Methodist Hosptals, are also under great pressure to improve quality, to improve our use of technology, and to improve service, all while improving efficiency and lowering costs.

But this is an exciting time, because it is just this intersection of great pressure and great uncertainty that fosters innovation and creativity.

For Methodist Hospitals, our patients are our inspiration. They are at the center of everything we do. We focus our efforts on building programs that ensure that our community members need not leave the region to seek advanced care and in introducing new technologies that benefit our skilled physicians and their patients.

At Methodist Hospitals, one key to fostering a culture of creativity and innovation has been to build a culture of inclusion; one in which all of our stakeholders – physicians, employees, legislators, and community leaders and members – are engaged in the success of our organization.

Physician collaboration is an especially critical factor in successful innovation. We are focused on partnering with physicians in numerous ways, creating an integrated model that includes an accountable care organization, joint ventures, and formalizing a clinical integration strategy. We also look to our physicians for guidance in making investments in new technologies that improve our shared ability to deliver the highest quality care to their patients.

A culture of creativity and innovation is also one that must allow a willingness to take risks. When 3D mammography was introduced, no reimbursement code had been established. That meant if Methodist invested in this expensive equipment we would have no definite financial return compared to conventional mammography.

However our Oncology Institute leadership was convinced that this new technology would improve the sensitivity and accuracy of mammograms, facilitating the diagnosis of breast cancer at earlier, more curable stages. So, Methodist obtained this breakthrough technology. Our willingness to take a financial risk to be the first in the region in adopting this new technology helped us to deliver on our commitment to keep our patient at the center of everything we do.

But perhaps the most important factor in creating a culture that fosters innovation is having a fully engaged staff of employees. At Methodist Hospitals, we have spent the past four years with that goal as a top priority. We are undertaking efforts to build a culture of collaboration and excellence, in which employees have a sense of passion and purpose.

At Methodist Hospitals, our success is driven by building an engaged and collaborative team who are completely focused on doing what is best for our patients.