Our Strategic Foci
Utilize personalized health data — from genomics to social determinants — to optimally inform care.
The Lab focuses on innovations that assist with organizing the data we have, collecting the data we need, and extracting the insights it can provide through novel analytic techniques such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. We also investigate how insights learned can be incorporated into clinical workflows to optimize outcomes.
Harness community data for community health.
To better serve patient populations that have been historically underserved by the medical system, the Lab seeks technologies that improve collaboration and data flow between the healthcare system and community-based organizations.
Move care delivery closer to where patients live, work, and play.
With the current trends in telecommunications and virtual care, as well as portable health devices that allow for at-home monitoring, we are working on innovations that expand the geography of care.
Engage patients in shared decision-making and long-term health behaviors.
Decisions consistent with patient preferences and patient engagement are essential for optimal health outcomes. As a result, the Lab concentrates on finding new ways to encourage shared decision-making and patient engagement.
How We Work
To fulfill our mission, we are organized into three broad portfolios of activity: operational, academic and ecosystem.
Supports identification, testing, and support of innovations in care delivery at BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine.
A fundamental tenet of innovation is answering the question, “What is the problem we are trying to solve?” Accordingly, the Lab continually scans the healthcare system for pain points where innovation can provide solutions.
Innovation Sourcing and Selection
With problems clearly defined, the Lab seeks innovations, both internally and externally, that meet the design thinking criteria of user need, technological feasibility, and business viability.
Project Planning and Execution
Once the innovation and its overall fit in the Lab portfolio are identified, we develop a project plan to design, test, and evaluate the innovation in the healthcare system. In line with the design thinking principles, a rapid cycle prototyping approach to innovation development is used. During each prototype, there are frequent assessments of the innovation's efficacy toward its specified problems and its acceptability to users. Insights from these assessments are then incorporated into the next prototype and additional cycles of testing occur
Project Evaluation and Implementation
Evaluation is an essential component of all Lab projects and provides an opportunity to understand the impact of the solution on both clinical and business outcomes. Importantly, evaluation is focused on understanding the interplay of the innovation and its intended impact, rather than just whether or not it achieves its intended outcomes. This philosophy allows for continual learning from all Lab projects. For those projects that demonstrate important impact on clinical and/or business outcomes, the Lab works with clinical and operational leadership to implement the innovation into healthcare operations.
Supports the academic development of Washington University School of Medicine faculty and trainees in healthcare delivery innovation. We support this development in the following ways:
The Lab assists in recruiting, training, and supporting School of Medicine faculty members with an interest in healthcare delivery innovation. Many of these faculty members are clinicians, and thus acutely aware of the clinical pain points ripe for innovation. However, they are often in need of design, research, and operational training to effectively innovate within the health system. The Lab, in conjunction with other resources at Washington University, supports this development.
The Lab supports medical school and house staff trainee efforts to design, implement, and study care delivery innovation. This support is aligned with current curriculum reform efforts underway at the School of Medicine to prepare future clinicians for healthcare delivery that incorporates innovative uses of data and technology. It is also aligned with current Washington University healthcare entrepreneurial effort such as Sling Health, a medical student entrepreneur organization.
The Lab serves as a point of entry to the healthcare system for academic investigators. As such, it serves as a co-investigator and supporter of a variety of external grants that seek to translate innovations into care delivery. These efforts also align with the research goals of Washington University Institute for Clinical and Transitional Sciences and Institute for Public Heath.
The Lab provides direct funding for proof-of-concept and pilot grants focused on care delivery innovation. The grants are specifically designed to support those innovations that expected to impact both clinical and financial outcomes, and have an articulated path for evaluation and implementation into healthcare operations.
Supports the work of the Lab in the local, national, and international innovation ecosystem. We support this work in the following ways:
The Lab serves as a representative of BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine to the broader local, national, and international innovation communities. It periodically scans this ecosystem for emerging innovation trends and activities, establishes visibility for the organization through presentations, conferences, and other innovation gatherings, and serves and a connector of the university and health system members to the broader innovation community.
Internal Innovation Community
The Lab supports activities that promote care delivery innovation within BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine. This includes regular communication of the Lab's activities and insights, and the hosting of speakers, conferences and other gatherings.
External Innovation Community
Where possible, evaluations are published in peer-reviewed literature both to to increase visibility and to add to the growing pool of knowledge for future innovators.