Dr. Anthony Chang, who helped establish the Sharon Disney Lund Medical and Innovation Institute at CHOC, has been appointed chief intelligence and innovation officer for the pediatric healthcare system.
Innovation has been a long-held organizational value at CHOC and now, with Dr. Chang’s leadership, vision and focus, along with the generous support of the Sharon Disney Lund Foundation, innovation will drive creative solutions that improve pediatric medicine in Orange County and abroad today and in the years ahead. We recently sat down with Dr. Chang to discuss the ways in which innovation is part of the hospital’s culture and to learn more about his vision for the future.
1) Innovation is becoming a trend at hospitals, such as Boston Children’s. What is CHOC doing different?
Innovation is simply solving problems with creativity and execution.
I do not feel that any children’s hospital should be competing with another in this culture of innovation, which promotes inter-institutional collaboration. What is truly inspiring is that we are already working very closely with a group of about 35 children’s hospitals in an innovation coalition (preliminarily called the international Society for Pediatric Innovation, or iSPI). This effort was a direct result of our Pediatrics2040: Trends and Innovations in the Next 25 Years meeting October 2013 here in Orange County.
2) What is CHOC doing to support a culture of innovation?
CHOC has embraced innovation in the past two years with the formation of the Medical Intelligence and Innovation Institute (MI3) with its monthly meetings and summer internship program. In addition, with the support for a chief intelligence and innovation officer, CHOC is investing in its future in both data analytics/ artificial intelligence as well as innovation in pediatric medicine. Throughout the next year or so, there will be group efforts to bring about a transformational change at CHOC to understand innovation and embed this in our institutional DNA.
3) What innovations are currently underway at CHOC to improve pediatric care?
We are very early in the process of innovation projects, but a few CHOC physicians and employees are being considered for MI3 innovation grants to provide time for creative solutions to problems. A few of the earliest innovations that are being explored at CHOC include: a new heart medication for babies; a new way to look at hospital patient data; a new way to predict heart failure in children with cancer who had chemotherapy; and a few devices in pediatric surgery. We are also organizing a quarterly CHOC Innovation Forum to engage all of our employees who like being creative!
4) What is your vision for the future?
I’d like to see an intellectual venue where all the pediatric stakeholders (doctors, nurses, allied professionals, parents, industry, etc) can come together to share and exchange innovations as well as growing iSPI, encouraging all the children’s hospitals to meet on a regular basis to discuss and practice pediatric innovation.
5) How can doctors and others interested in innovation outside of CHOC support this effort?
We welcome physicians and other pediatric stakeholders to support innovations in pediatric medicine by joining iSPI or attending our monthly MI3 meetings. Collaboration across multiple organizations and communities can lead to greater solutions to problems, positively impacting children here and across the globe.
Monthly MI3 Meetings
Meetings are held the third Monday of the month and feature updates on genomic medicine, regenerative medicine, nanotechnology, medical devices, artificial intelligence and robotics. For more information, contact Dr. Chang.