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St. Louis Healthcare Organizations Launch Innovation Lab

June 5, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Washington University School of Medicine and BJC HealthCare in St. Louis are teaming up launch an innovation lab with the aim to bring together a variety of healthcare stakeholders to find solutions to problems that prevent patients from receiving optimal care.

BJC HealthCare will provide $20 million over the next 10 years to support the lab, according to officials in an announcement made last week. “Cross-disciplinary in nature, the lab will bring together clinicians, patients, researchers, public health experts and private industry to find solutions to problems that prevent patients from receiving optimal care,” officials said.

What’s more, among the lab’s core goals are investigating how new technology can best be used, and determining how to streamline care to make it more efficient. “We are excited to begin this bold initiative to find solutions to real-world healthcare problems and improve care for patients,” Clay Dunagan, M.D., senior vice president and chief clinical officer of BJC HealthCare, said in a statement. “The Health Systems Innovation Lab is going to be a great asset in helping us identify innovative care approaches and integrating them across BJC HealthCare hospitals and Washington University clinics, the broader St. Louis community and beyond.”

The health systems have hired Thomas M. Maddox, M.D., to lead the lab. A search committee selected Maddox because of his background as the national director for the Veterans Affairs Health System’s clinical assessment, reporting and tracking cardiac quality program, which oversees quality, safety and value for all 79 cardiac catheterization laboratories in the VA health-care system, and his research expertise in cardiology. Maddox started his work at the lab on June 1.

“Healthcare is in the midst of a remarkable and rapid transformation,” Maddox said. “The Health Systems Innovation Lab is in a unique position to capitalize on this by leveraging the resources of BJC HealthCare and the intellectual talent of Washington University to provide truly innovative health and healthcare solutions that benefit patients and the greater St. Louis community.”

The lab’s 14-member governing board will be chaired by David H. Perlmutter, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of Washington University School of Medicine, and by Steve Lipstein, CEO of BJC HealthCare.

The lab’s partners will include the BJC HealthCare Center for Clinical Excellence and Washington University’s Center for Biomedical Informatics, the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, and the Institute for Public Health.

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