How NewYork–Presbyterian built an "innovation stack"

By: Dan Kamyck, VP Marketing | May 24, 2017

Senior leaders at NewYork–Presbyterian (NYP) noticed that innovative care redesign pilot projects involving new technologies would "require 90% of the work of a full implementation but often result in a dead end."

Their solution: A structured approach to tackle large-scale challenges with technology that can be quickly scaled across the NYP enterprise. In under a year, they implemented a set of six interrelated activities for leadership, front-line buy-in, and engagement – what Emma Deland, Chief Strategy Officer, calls their "innovation stack".

As NYP's senior leaders explain on NEJM Catalyst, “stack” refers to all the components needed to create a complete software platform – a term they "borrowed to describe the range of activities that we believe are necessary to ideate, design, implement, and manage innovation at a major academic health center."

Using this innovation stack, NYP scoped, implemented, and scaled their comprehensive telehealth program NYP OnDemand – all under one year.

The innovation stack consists of six interrelated activities:

  • Scope the challenge by identifying the high-level problem to solve. Meet with stakeholders to identify challenges and opportunities around that problem. Develop and refine use cases, winning early internal champions in the process.
  • Research solutions available both internally and externally. For NYP, this analysis yielded an internal whitepaper shared across the organization which helped to set expectations among senior leaders.
  • Identify best-of-breed vendors in a rapid-cycle evaluation process. Start with all tech vendors identified through the research process, then produce a small number of finalists. In addition, identify any internal technical capabilities needed to succeed.
  • Implement solutions for initial use cases by "balancing the greatest need against speed to execution." Phase in each use case, starting with a single project or location, and then roll out across the enterprise when ready.
  • Scale through partnerships to maximize return on investment. For example, NYP is seeking partnerships with national companies with broad consumer reach and large employers to achieve additional scale in the telehealth space.
  • Make venture investments. Admittedly a tall order, this is an option for large healthcare systems. There may be opportunities to extend partnerships with early-stage tech vendors and co-create new solutions together.
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