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Journal Article


Patient-Centered Innovation in Health Care Organizations: A Conceptual Framework and Case Study Application



The Issue

Initiating patient-centered approaches to care delivery can be challenging for provider organizations. Understanding the factors that foster or hinder innovation may help these organizations identify effective practices that can be sustained.


What the Study Found

Drawing on peer-reviewed research and organizational change theory, the Commonwealth Fund–supported study’s authors identified attributes associated with the successful implementation of patient-centered innovation. These include:

  • Superior organizational leadership to craft a vision for the innovation and energize staff. Senior leaders must also have a tolerance for ambiguity, unconventionality, and change itself to create a supportive culture.
  • Strong internal and external motivation to change, whether derived from economic competition, health reform legislation, or public health initiatives.
  • An organizational mission and culture in which learning and experimentation occur at all levels.
  • An organizational capacity that has sufficient resources to implement change, including staff size, physical space, and use of technology and information systems.
  • Continuous feedback loops that drive organizational learning.

The researchers applied their framework to a case study of a provider organization in Washington State that actively engaged in such innovations to observe how the attributes interact.



The authors' framework can help providers understand the process of patient-centered innovation, helping them to identify breakdowns and generate solutions.

Publication Details



S. E. Hernandez, D. A. Conrad, M. S. Marcus-Smith et al., "Patient-Centered Innovation in Health Care Organizations: A Conceptual Framework and Case Study Application," Health Care Management Review, published online June 4, 2012.