UH Innovation

Marco Costa, MD

Embracing Our UH Mission Through Innovation

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.

What this means for all of us at University Hospitals is that our charge today is to do more and better with less. This does not mean that we must work more and harder than we do today. It means we need new and better tools, resources and processes to do our work and deliver improved results. To succeed, innovation must be carried out by us 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 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 UH ensures that the process of innovation does not sit on a bookshelf. Instead, it is intended to be deeply entrenched within UH and activated through the daily work of all 26K of us. 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.

2016 is an exciting year for University Hospitals. We are celebrating a huge milestone —
a 150-year history providing quality care to the Northeast Ohio community. Our success and growth has been governed by our core our mission: To Heal. To Teach. To Discover.

The process of innovation is embedded within our mission to ensure we meet our objectives as a thriving organization looking towards the next 150 years of our journey. Below are a few examples of how innovation continue to make 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, in addition to 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 developments. Over the course of the year, we will continue to add content and resources to support your efforts to integrate innovation within your daily work.

My team and I welcome your thoughts, questions and contributions. We want to get to know you better. Please reach out and share your thoughts on how innovation can support you in achieving your goals.


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