Dr. Ryan Vega of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Dr. Kenneth Kizer of Atlas Research have analyzed a model for operationalizing and scaling innovation in health care systems. The model is based on the successful VHA Innovation Ecosystem (VHA IE).
Dr. Ryan Vega is the executive director of the Veterans Health Administration’s Innovation Ecosystem (VHA IE). Dr. Kenneth Kizer is the chief health care transformation officer at Atlas Research and former Under Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The foundation of innovation is built on four core elements, including “workforce capacity to actualize innovation; an organizational infrastructure that supports integrated, systematic, repeatable pathways for change; an innovation-nurturing culture; and strategic external partnerships and collaborations," the authors stated.
The VHA IE has implemented these four elements to develop, adopt, spread and sustain innovations. The authors explained activities from the VHA IE portfolio to show how VHA, the nation’s largest integrated health system, has developed a foundation for innovation.
Vega and Kizer noted that there are a variety of innovative health care products and practices available, but the solutions have not offered major improvements in care. Additionally, the offerings have not been developed at the pace and scale needed to transform care delivery or reduce cost.
The authors have noted that replicable operating models are needed for developing, adopting, spreading and sustaining innovations are vital to innovation within healthcare. According to the authors, “if innovation can happen in the VA, it should be able to happen anywhere.”