Innovation in health care: a primer

Am J Med Qual. Sep-Oct 2008;23(5):382-8. doi: 10.1177/1062860608317695.


As organizations strive for ways to control health care spending, address the growing needs of an aging population, and respond satisfactorily to a more informed and demanding consumer base, the opportunities for innovation have increased exponentially. By means of this article, the authors describe the basic concepts of purposeful innovation, and compare and contrast it to quality improvement. The authors also provide an overview of the terminology and types of innovation, describe the innovation life cycle, and discuss diffusion and commercialization of innovations. This article provides a primer on innovation for quality improvement practitioners and physician leaders who play a key role in creating innovation and environments for innovations to flourish.

MeSH terms

  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Organizational Innovation*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Research / organization & administration