Innovation clearly comes from people and teams of people working together to achieve a new product, new service, new level of performance, new practices, etc. We highlighted from FastCompany the top 50 most innovative companies and discussed What Healthcare Can Learn from Innovative Companies.

FastCompany recently published the 100 Most Creative People. It is interesting to read through the list of the various individuals and discover what they have done. The list is definitely a varied list from many different professions.

For healthcare readers, there are a few individuals to highlight. Each contributed positively to the improvement and enhancement of patient care, and each have a unique ability which we can be surmised from the brief article for an individual. Below is our take and summary on these creative individuals. (Please click through to read more in FastCompany about each person.)

Number 6 – Steve Burd, CEO Safeway

Get it done. This phrase seems to sum up Mr. Burd’s approach. He is recognized for developing and implementing “unconventional” wellness programs at Safeway. These programs have improved the health of their team members. Mr. Burd has led the way in lowering health care costs at Safeway, and “The Safeway Amendment” was implemented as US law, which increased the incentives companies can pay healthy employees.

Number 12 – Dr. C. Martin Harris, CIO, Cleveland Clinic

Go to person. Dr. Harris has been on a mission to deliver access to information for both providers of care and receivers of care. He has been involved in the EHR mandate in HITECH and has worked extensively with Google and Microsoft on their healthcare IT initiatives. He has been the “go to person” on delivering access to patient information.

Number 32 – Samuel Stupp, Director, Institute for Bio Nanotechnology in Medicine Northwestern University

Solve a near impossible problem. Mr. Stupp knew that body tissue lost its ability to heal itself naturally, especially when the damage was too extensive. He became the “what if” person and has developed a nanofiber approach. With a solution focus to a big problem, Mr. Stupp is making a difference in potentially changing the way various diseases are dealt with.

Number 48 – Todd Park, CTO, Department of Health and Human Services

Outside the box. Mr. Park is liberating health data! The objective is to not only educate people on what it takes to live a healthier life but enabling them on how to live healthier lives. Any idea seems to be openly explored, including creating a “FarmVille” of community health. Mr. Park seems to encourage and savor new thinking, which by having mojo and HHS mentioned in the same sentence may provide a clue to his approach.

Number 80 – Gabor Forgacs, Professor of Biophysics, University of Missouri, and Cofounder, Organovo

Stick with it. A new term to learn: "bio ink." Mr. Forgacs created an approach which “prints the stuff of life — specifically a liquid made up of cells.” Although the initial success is on simple tissues, his initiative is to print and grow replacement skin, muscle, and organs. The breakthroughs being developed by Mr. Forgacs can only be accomplished by someone who really sticks with it and pushes the concept forward to real results.

Without a doubt, there is much to be learned from each of the 100 most creative people. A simple reminder to all of us in health IT may be to:

  • Persevere and get it done
  • Be the go to person in some area of expertise
  • Be unafraid in solving a near impossible problem – good things can happen when we do approach problems fearlessly
  • Think outside the box in developing and accepting solutions
  • Always, always stick with it

 

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