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The Health Care Industry

Innovation in the Healthcare Industry

Since 2001 InnovationLabs has worked at the highest levels throughout the health care industry on a wide variety of successful projects to support effective innovation and multi-stakeholder collaboration.

This page presents an overview of our extensive work in this field.

Continuum of Competence Model - 2007

The health care industry in the US is made up of a great many government agencies, not-for-profit and social benefit entities, and for-profit enterprises. Because the many participants in this system have differing and even conflicting viewpoints, innovation on a broad scale is extremely challenging and quite rare.

But many of the issues that desperately need to be addressed in today’s environment naturally involve these differing stakeholders groups.  Resolving their competing goals and objectives to achieve successful large scale change requires a significant amount of trust and collaboration across organizations, and also with adjoining industries, and this has been a key focus of our efforts.

At InnovationLabs, in addition to our extensive innovation and strategy work with individual organizations, we’ve worked with great success on numerous multi-stakeholder projects, with participation from physicians’ associations, regulatory agencies, universities, product manufacturers, health care systems, biotech researchers, hospitals and hospital systems, specialty boards, medical associations, and federal and state governments.

For example, we partnered with the Stanford University School of Medicine and the American Heart Association to develop a national education system for 100 million Americans, designed and facilitated major Summit Meetings for the Federation of State Medical Boards, and helped the National Governor’s Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services develop plans for portability of medical licenses nationwide.

Our many projects over the years have consistently supported effective innovation and high levels of collaboration.

Some Recent Health Care Projects Include

Alegent Health

Alegent Health operates nine acute care hospitals and more than 100 sites of service in the Midwest, with more than 1,300 physicians and about 9,000 employees. After hiring its first Chief Innovation Officer, Alegent partnered with InnovationLabs to develop a unique in‐house collaborative innovation center to accelerate creativity, innovation, and decision making across all of their healthcare service lines. InnovationLabs provided training to the staff of facilitators and support workers in collaborative process design, documentation and creative problem solving techniques. The Alegent team has successfully completed hundreds of collaborative sessions and services for all Alegent business units and health care departments, as well as numerous community organizations.

The American Board of Pediatrics

The American Board of Pediatrics, one of the 28 physician specialty boards in the U.S., initiated a process to redesign pediatric residency training programs to adapt to changes in the practice of pediatric medicine.

ABP engaged InnovationLabs to design and facilitate a series of workshops, with about 65 participants per session, to develop a vision for the future of pediatric healthcare delivery and redesign graduate medical based on this vision. The workshops were very successful, and ABP is currently implementing the results of these sessions.

“The best consultants become partners and colleagues in a quest to clarify and reconfigure ideas. InnovationLabs used their experience and the perspective that comes with it to lead us into new ways of thinking and new modes of inquiry. The result was an unqualified success. We have no misgivings about recommending them to any organization interested in imagining and achieving an exciting future.”

The Federation of State Medical Boards

The Federation of State Medical Boards is a coordinating body for organizations that license and regulate physicians in the American health care system. In 2005, the FSMB convened a Summit to develop scenarios for the future of medicine in the US. Participants included decision makers, directors, and CEOs of all the major regulatory bodies from the entire spectrum of American health care, as well as representatives from medical education, training, certifying, licensing, and physician practice, including the AMA, ACGME, ABMS, ABME, LCME, ECFMG and AAMC. Participants from more than 75 organizations took part in the first Summit.

Summit participants created 5 plausible scenarios for the future of health care in the US, and stimulated important conversations among these organizations.

Due to the overwhelming success of the first Summit, InnovationLabs was subsequently invited to lead 7 additional Summit Meetings, all highly successful, that have been held during the last 4 years.

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education


Client Comments

The ACGME first hired InnovationLabs as part of an internal audit of its governance structure. The project included gathering input and feedback from stakeholder groups and then using that feedback in a collaborative planning process engaging the ACGME Board, executives, and staff.  ACGME has subsequently implemented 80% of the resulting recommended improvements.

A second project focused on an exploration and redesign of the mission, structure and function of its Council of Review Committee Chairs, a group made up of representatives from 28 different specialty review committees. InnovationLabs designed and facilitated 50 stakeholders in a collaborative design process, and in a matter of 2 days this group achieved results they hadn’t been able to achieve in several years. 100% of the recommendations have been implemented.

American Heart Association and Stanford University

As part of its mission, the AHA partnered with Stanford University and InnovationLabs to co-design a new educational system to help 100 million Americans understand the importance of life style decisions in relation to cardiac health.

InnovationLabs facilitated four collaborative workshops involving more than 100 people, through which the participants designed the learning strategy, developed hundreds of specific ideas for educational products and programs, prototyped the ones they felt had the most promise, and piloted the system in a detailed design.

As part of the project we also partnered with the ethnographic research firm Point Forward to investigate the hidden needs of patients, and discovered many critical insights about cardiac care education, which were then reflected in the final designs.

We wrote a summary of this project for Learning and Training Innovations Magazine, which you may download here.

Members of these organizations have participated in one or more of our projects

Assessment/Accrediting Organizations

  • Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education
  • Center for Personalized Education for Physicians
  • Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration
  • Coalition for Physician Enhancement
  • Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
  • Medical Council of Canada
  • National Board of Medical Examiners
  • National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners
  • The Joint Commission

Medical Education

  • Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers
  • Association of Academic Health Centers
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Harvard School of Public Health
  • Johns Hopkins Medical Institution
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • Physician Assistant Education Association
  • Stanford University Medical School
  • Texas A&M
  • Texas A&M Health Science Center
  • UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • University of Miami School of Medicine
  • University of Minnesota Medical School
  • University of Washington

Certifying Organizations

  • American Board of Family Medicine
  • American Board of Internal Medicine
  • American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation
  • American Board of Medical Specialties
  • American Board of Nursing Specialties
  • American Board of Pediatrics
  • American Board of Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • American Osteopathic Association
  • American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine

Health Systems and Payors

  • Alegent Health
  • American Hospital Association
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Catholic Health Initiatives
  • Crozer Keystone Health System
  • Veterans Health Administration

Medical Licensure

  • American Association of Osteopathic Examiners
  • Bureau of Health Professions
  • District of Columbia Board of Medicine
  • Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada
  • Federation of State Medical Boards
  • Iowa Board of Medical Examiners
  • Iowa Board of Medicine
  • Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure
  • Michigan Board of Medicine
  • Minnesota Board of Medical Practice
  • North Carolina Medical Board
  • Oregon Board of Medical Examiners
  • South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners
  • Virginia Board of Medicine
  • Virginia Board of Medicine

Physician Membership Organizations

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Medical Association
  • American Osteopathic Association
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan
  • Council of Medical Specialty Societies
  • National Medical Association
  • The Medical Society of Virginia

Foundations and Public Organizations

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • American Association of Retired Persons
  • American Heart Assocation
  • Bridgekeeper
  • Citizens Advocacy Center
  • Colorado Citizens for Accountability
  • Commonwealth Fund
  • Consumer Reports
  • Consumers Union
  • Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health
  • Milbank Memorial Fund
  • National Committee for Quality Assurance
  • National Institute for Quality Improvement and Education
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


  • Guidant
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Smith & Nephew
  • St. Jude Medical
  • Transitions Optical


  • Columbia Law School
  • Medbiquitous
  • Physician Insurers Association of America
  • Santa Fe Institute
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Steege Thomson Communication

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