Cass teams up with City School of Health Sciences to launch Centre for Healthcare Innovation Research

Cass to provide world-leading expertise to improve embedding of innovation in the healthcare sector.

Unlike consumers who consistently demand the latest technological innovations, professionals in the healthcare sector are more focused on patient outcomes than they are on burgeoning technology.

And as the push for the healthcare sector to embrace technology and new ways of working gains momentum, the professionals treating patients become increasingly disconnected from the policy makers driving decisions.

To address the challenge of embedding innovation in healthcare systems – i.e. ‘spreading’ them at scale and making them ‘stick’ to achieve sustainability - Cass Business School and City, University of London’s School of Health Sciences have established the interdisciplinary Centre for Healthcare Innovation Research (CHIR).

Professor Harry Scarbrough, the Cass co-director of CHIR, said bridging the gap between policy makers and health professionals is one of its primary objectives.

“Obviously we can’t provide a panacea because it’s a huge problem, but what we can do is shed light on the disconnects that operate,” Professor Scarbrough said.

“We can highlight the areas where people need to collaborate more effectively and where you need a joined up innovation process rather than a technology push approach, we can help create a shared understanding of what the issues are across these different groups.

“The idea ultimately is that we have a wider community of policy makers, practitioners and patients engaging with what we do so that people can share their different perspective, we can feed our research into that community and that will make it more effective and impactful in the longer term.”

Cass’s rich variety of disciplines and perspectives on the way organisations work is what Professor Scarbrough believes is crucial to understanding some of the issues the healthcare sector is facing, particularly with regard to technological innovation.

“If you can understand the way organisations work you can understand some of the difficulties, the barriers and the inertia that prevents them from becoming more innovative, and we can look at that form multiple angles,” he said.

“We have people who understand the challenges of designing and implementing new processes within healthcare, we have people who understand the difficulties of getting professional groups and organisations in general to accept change and we have people who understand the role that leadership and senior management can play in facilitating innovation.

“And by having access to these different types of world-leading expertise, we’re in a much better place to bring together the kinds of insights that we need to take the agenda forward and make some significant contributions, not just to other academics but also policy makers and professional groups.”

Dr Yiannis Kyratsis, co-director of CHIR, who is based in the School of Health Sciences (SHS), added:

“Experts from Cass can work alongside experts from SHS who can offer contextualised knowledge of the healthcare industry, clinical input to help interpret innovation challenges, ‘healthcare credibility’, and access to existing extensive networks of healthcare service providers, patient communities and professional groups.

"To make sure that all of this has some impact in the current healthcare environment, CHIR is also creating a community of stakeholders – professional groups, patient, policy and regulatory bodies as well as entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and consultants – which will help to shape the Centre’s research agenda and help translate its work into actionable insights for practitioners and policy-makers.”

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