Marilyn Lee, Pharm.D., participates in a panel discussion about innovation in health care.

When Regional One Health launched its Center for Innovation, the system set out to create a collaborative environment where partners such as employees, physicians, entrepreneurs and others could work together to explore ideas to answer some of health care’s most challenging issues.  Whether it is focusing on ideas to reduce costs and improve efficiency or ways to use technology or new concepts to improve health outcomes and engage patients, true innovation is a disruption to the usual way of doing things.

“Health care as a whole is resistant to change,” said Reginald Coopwood, MD, president and CEO of Regional One Health.  “Our desire, whether it’s a product or service delivery or whatever we look at, is to be disruptive to the normal health care environment.”

This innovative spirit was celebrated at a lunch and learn hosted by the Memphis Medical District Collaborative on July 10, 2018, as part of Medical District Week. Regional One Health’s assistant director of pharmacy, Marilyn Lee, Pharm.D., participated in a panel discussion about innovation in health care.  Lee is involved in projects with the Center for Innovation, and she shared her thoughts on the value of innovation in health care, as well as how Regional One Health’s Center for Innovation works.

“The Center for Innovation has a dedicated staff and support of leadership, both of which have fostered an environment where innovation thrives at Regional One Health,” explained Lee.  “No idea is a bad idea.  All ideas are welcome. They just have to be tested.”

Lee also pointed out that some ideas don’t work out, and that is ok.  Lee cautioned that you have to be prepared to accept this is just part of the process.  Trying and failing is sometimes the best way to learn what will work.

Another key to successful innovation is collaboration.  Lee shared an example of a project she has been involved with the Center of Innovation to develop new technology that will reduce the opportunity for errors related to heparin rate changes.  This is an example of innovation that will help patients, and it would not be possible without the collaboration of different departments within the health system.

“Collaboration among different disciplines and different departments is a key to success,” said Lee. “It is important to pull people in who bring different expertise and different perspectives.  An effective innovation center brings different people to the table.

In addition to Lee, the Innovations in Health Care Lunch and Learn panelists included David Rosenthal, Ph.D., M.P.A., Baptist College of Health Sciences; Dr. Barry Gilmore, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital; and Dr. Marie Bodack, Southern College of Optometry.  The panel was moderated by Tommy Pacello, president of Memphis Medical District Collaborative.