Keeping Your Innovation Engine Humming During the COVID-19 Crisis w/ Karen Murphy PhD RN


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Health Systems are being asked to make changes in 2 months that would have otherwise taken years. As some business lines come screeching to a halt, others have sped to a breakneck pace. Prioritizing problems to solve and finding novel solutions have never been more essential. Here today to teach us how innovation is done at Geisinger Health is Karen Murphy. Enjoy!

Highlights from the Episode

We define innovation at Geisinger as a fundamentally different approach to solving a problem that has quantifiable outcomes. So we only work on problems.

  • Pathway from nursing to government to innovation at Geisinger
  • The Solution-Oriented vs The Strategy-Oriented Innovation Team
  • What prioritization mistakes are hospitals and public health officials making during COVID-19?
  • Innovations in behavioral health and mental health for the healthcare workforce.
  • What have your frontline workers learned that can inform community reopening strategies?
  • How hospitals are tracking and factoring the quality of social distancing into their metrics.
  • Contact Tracing Technology and Techniques
  • Building your own Post-COVID Plan: What did you stop that you shouldn’t restart? What did you start that you should continue? And scenario planning.

Karen Murphy, PhD, RN

Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Founding Director, Steele Institute for Health Innovation, Geisinger

Dr. Murphy has worked to improve and transform healthcare delivery throughout her career in both the public and private sectors. Before joining Geisinger, she served as Pennsylvania’s secretary of health addressing the most significant health issues facing the state, including the opioid epidemic. Prior to her role as secretary, Dr. Murphy served as director of the State Innovation Models Initiative at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services leading a $990 million CMS investment designed to accelerate health care innovation across the United States. She previously served as president and chief executive officer of the Moses Taylor Health Care System in Scranton, and as founder and chief executive officer of Physicians Health Alliance, Inc., an integrated medical group practice within Moses Taylor. Dr. Murphy earned her doctor of philosophy in business administration from the Temple University Fox School of Business. She holds a master’s of business administration from Marywood University, a bachelor of science in liberal arts from the University of Scranton, and a diploma in nursing from the Scranton State Hospital School of Nursing. An author and national speaker on health policy and innovation, Dr. Murphy also serves as a clinical faculty member at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

The Steele Institute for Health Innovation at Geisinger

The healthcare industry across the country needs real solutions that drive transformation. Here at Geisinger, the Steele Institute for Health Innovation has forged a dynamic healthcare solutions team, headed by leaders across our enterprise, that is rapidly developing innovative solutions to change healthcare.

What drives us? An unshakable commitment to deliver better care to our patients, our members, our students, our Geisinger family and our communities.

Our purpose is simple, but powerful – to lead the nation in building solutions that improve:

  • Health
  • Patient experience
  • Care delivery
  • Affordability

Resources, Links and Related Episodes

Geisinger Website

Steele Institute for Health Innovation

STAT Op-ed on Contact Tracing by Karen Murphy

The Geisinger Chapter of Reframing Healthcare by Zeev Neuwirth

Episode 126: Opportunity Zones w/ John Gorman

162 episodes