Accelerating Innovation in Health IT

Published in: The New England Journal of Medicine, v. 375, no. 9, Sep. 2016, p. 815-817

Posted on RAND.org on September 19, 2016

by Robert S. Rudin, David W. Bates, Calum MacRae

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Research Question

  1. What can be done to smooth the way for more innovation in health information technology (IT)?

Efforts to accelerate the innovation of health information technology (IT) products need long-term collaboration between developers and users, transformation of care processes in tandem with IT tools, and development of new funding models.

Key Findings

  • Multidisciplinary teams of developers (employees of IT firms, researchers, entrepreneurs) and users (clinicians, patients with different medical conditions) could give each other the various perspectives needed to create sustainable solutions.
  • Developing a thorough understanding of diverse patient and clinician needs through direct interaction is an investment that is critical to success.
  • Health IT innovation and clinical care redesign must happen in tandem.
  • Innovation "sandboxes" in which developers could test and learn from initial solutions would systematically provide in-depth feedback.
  • An innovation program will require new models for funding.

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