01 Sep 2014
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In Search of Innovation

New challenge rewards improvements in health care delivery
by April White

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Many of the innovations needed to increase the quality of health care in the United States while reducing its cost already exist, says Professor Richard Hamermesh, faculty cochair of the Forum on Health Care Innovation. “There are pockets of excellence, but they are scattered.”

The new Health Acceleration Challenge is designed to extend these pockets of excellence in health care delivery throughout the country.

At the first Forum on Health Care Innovation, hosted by HBS and Harvard Medical School in 2012, senior health care leaders identified process improvements as a key way to make an impact. This new challenge, also hosted by HBS and HMS, will identify existing improvements that should be widely implemented—scalable innovations that are demonstrably successful in increasing the availability and quality of care while also lowering costs.

The challenge is open to anyone. Applications will be accepted at HealthAccelerationChallenge.com until September 29, 2014. Proposals will be evaluated by a panel of expert judges and through crowdsourced comments on the site.

Finalists will share $150,000 and will be invited to attend the next Health Care Forum in April 2015. An additional $50,000 will be awarded to the winner who shows the greatest accomplishments over the next year.

These innovations will also become the subjects of HBS case studies. “We don’t just want to help spread these ideas,” Hamermesh says. “We can also learn something about how to make innovation happen faster in health care.”

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