How Academic Institutions Can Advance Health Care Innovations

Tags: Entrepreneurship / Technology Policy

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The basic premise for an informal, October 16th 2013 roundtable discussion organized by the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship was that there is a role for universities to envision, test, and evaluate different strategies for transforming our health care system. To begin, Colorado Law Dean Phil Weiser, who moderated the discussion, asked a diverse group of physicians, lawyers, academics, and entrepreneurs,1 “if the University of Colorado received $100 million to support the cause of facilitating health care transformation, what should we do to advance that goal?” In response, participants offered both concrete ideas and general concepts to promote collaboration across different silos, engagement with our communities, investments in technology, and a mindset around empowering consumers.

A basic consensus of the roundtable participants was that health care delivery can be radically improved through the integration of resources already available and that could work together more effectively. Dr. Mary Krugman, Director of Nursing Innovation and Outcomes at University of Colorado Hospital, for example, suggested that there are important opportunities to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of nursing units through better teamwork. She noted that one unit sought to advance this goal by simply hanging a poster on the wall detailing each person’s job description, thereby allowing members of the unit to reduce duplication and quickly identify who to consult for particular tasks. More generally, Dr. Krugman observed that there is considerable room for improvement as to how those on the Anschutz Medical Campus can work together as a team, explaining that nursing units can play a valuable role in developing and adopting the latest programs on how to promote program cooperation and collaboration across different units.


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