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Turning ‘Your Big Ideas’ into Reality

At the Innovation Tournament finale earlier this year, two ideas -- MyPenn Scheduler and Patient Services Kiosks -- were chosen as winners.  Now comes the process of turning them into a reality.  Under the direction of the Penn Medicine Center for Innovation, Tournament staff and skilled colleagues from throughout Penn Medicine are working together to help pilot the winning ideas.  There was a tremendous amount of interest and enthusiasm from Penn Medicine faculty and staff who were eager to collaborate with members of the winning teams to realize their vision.

For Beth Hoffman, Ambulatory Scheduling Operations consultant, and one of the Tournament winners, participating in the tournament continues to be an opportunity to work with colleagues from across Penn Medicine.  “The Innovation Tournament has been a great learning experience for me.  Penn Medicine provided the participants with an amazing opportunity to hone public speaking and presentation skills, and the winners now have the privilege of working with experts to make this ‘idea’ a reality,” said Hoffman.  “I am excited about implementing patient service kiosks, and I look forward to developing project management skills that will easily transfer to my position here at Penn Medicine.”

Over the past few weeks, team kickoff meetings have been held, where members of the winning teams discussed their ideas with their new teammates.  After identifying the nature of the problems they are trying to solve, team members brainstormed ways to quickly pilot solutions in real-world settings, in order to validate what’s working well, and not so well.  Based on data collected from these pilots, the teams will refine their ideas and then continue the cycle of applying solutions in these targeted environments.  This cycle will conclude with a solution that has been tested in actual environments and refined multiple times based on collected data   This design process, which encourages Penn Medicine faculty and staff to rapidly turn our ideas into experiments, and learn from the experience, is central to the role of the Center for Innovation.

David A. Asch, MD, MBA, Inaugural Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Innovation, sees this work benefiting not just Penn Medicine, but the field of health care as well. “We aim to lead the development and testing of new approaches that not only advance the health of our patients, but also that advance development of new approaches that can make other health systems better,” he said. “Creative ideas can come from anyone in our organization.  Each of us has the opportunity to make a contribution, and together we share that responsibility.”

To learn more about the Penn Medicine Center for Innovation, visit  To follow the Your Big Idea winners, visit

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