Embracing the UH Mission Through Innovation

Marco Costa, MDBy Marco Costa, MD, PhD, MBA, Chief Innovation Officer, University Hospitals, President, UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute

Within today’s health care environment, the role of innovation is more essential than ever. Innovation is critical to radically lower operational costs, improve productivity, and do so while enhancing patient experience and employee satisfaction.

Health care’s charge today is to do more and better with less. To succeed, innovation must be carried out by all, at all times and strategically capitalize on the digital revolution to solve today’s challenges and prepare for tomorrow.

NI and Innovation Team Collaboration
The UH Neurological Institute collaborates with the UH Innovation team to reinvent the process of outpatient care by using human-centered design techniques.

The recently formed Innovation team at University Hospitals ensures that innovation does not sit on a bookshelf. Instead, it is intended to be deeply entrenched within UH and activated throughout our daily work. This mindset and work ethic elicit results that benefit operational performance, individual employee performance and the overall quality of experience for employees, patients and their families alike.

Throughout the 150-year history of UH, our success and growth have been governed by our core mission: To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. Here are some examples of how innovation helps our mission come to life:

To Heal. We drive innovation that works directly or indirectly to contribute to helping people (providers, patients, and family) to become whole.

Innovation at Work: The UH Neurological Institute is collaborating with the Innovation team to address all aspects of the patient and family journey, in contrast to the fragmented way that care is often provided in health care. To uphold and restore dignity to those we serve means providing the best interactions through quality encounters, artifacts and processes, while also providing great clinical care.

To Teach. We drive innovation that enhances UH in a substantial way as a learning organization.

Innovation at Work: 25 years ago, UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital started the first-ever Patient Family Advisory Committee (PFAC), a group of patients and family members who provide perspective to hospital teams regarding a range of activities. Today, through a form of innovation inspired by people called human-centered design, UH is rethinking the role of PFACs as the primary source of the patient voice needed to gain insights that add direct value to the critical operational functions of the organization. There is much to learn from the voice of our patients and families with regard to all aspects our system.

To Discover. We drive innovation that enables employees to produce novel and/or unique value.

Innovation at Work: Never satisfied with the status quo, we are developing a new and flexible recognition program that promotes and rewards employee achievements. Each of our entities has been empowered to define and implement its own creative approach to celebrating innovation. We are excited to experiment with new and differentiating ways of strengthening our workplace by investing in our people, with the intent of making UH a destination employer.

I welcome you to visit us regularly to keep abreast of our continued achievements and benefit from what we learn to further support your own path to healing, teaching, and discovering, as developed through innovation.


For more information or assistance please contact the UH Office of Innovation at (216) 844-1412.