Perhaps the biggest challenge to fostering innovation is the inertia of doing things the way they’ve always been done in organizations burdened with rigid reimbursement models and quality requirements, as hospitals are. Throw into the mix all of the uncertainty surrounding health care, and innovation may not seem that easy to pursue or even something that should be a priority.

But, as you’ll see in what we’ve dubbed the Innovation Issue, there are hospital and health system executives leading the charge in generating and executing new approaches to care.

Providence’s reversal

Leading off the package of feature stories is an in-depth look at how Providence Health & Services has institutionalized innovation with its administrative staff and C-suite leaders, this year turning the tables by having top managers pitch ideas to staff. Writer Rebecca Vesely details the pitch process and describes who won and why. Vesely hopes to write more about the program online at


The second major part of the innovation package starts with a look at do-it-yourself care, in which a patient takes on tasks traditionally provided by a medical professional. It turns out that patients can do a lot more for themselves than many clinicians realize, and formal education is not always correlated with success. An in-depth case study of Parkland Health & Hospital System’s DIY intravenous antibiotic program describes an innovation that should be available to many other hospitals looking at ways to improve care. Both were written by our contributing writer Lola Butcher.

More on innovation

Other parts of H&HN’s innovation issue include a Q&A with Rishi Manchanda, M.D. Manchanda, who encourages the field to use an upstream approach, will be keynoting the innovation-themed American Hospital Association Leadership Summit July 27–29. Here is a rundown of that summit by Maryjane Wurth, the AHA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.