How Is the VA Finding New Ways to Treat Veterans?
Innovation has come slowly to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, but the largest single healthcare system in the US is seeing the flow of new ideas on the rise.
The increase can be connected to the creation of internal entities like the VA Innovators Network at the VA Center for Innovation that work to develop new ideas to improve care and connection for veterans and their families.
Andrea Ippolito leads this network, bringing to bear years of experience in Medtech, academia, and healthcare start-ups. In this effort, she shares where the VA looks for innovative ideas to revamp care at this essential healthcare provider.
Ippolito says the VA’s single-payer setup presents an intriguing opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators trying to measure the impact of new technologies and techniques.
In this interview, Ippolito explains how VA employees are encouraged to work with veterans to identify new approaches or technologies that can streamline care. “We encourage employees to work with veterans to help design their solutions,” Ippolito says.
The efforts have generated significant cost savings for the VA.
Ippolito speaks to the value of Hackathons, an effort she came to know well as she served as co-director of MIT’s “Hacking Medicine” program.
Ippolito has held many other posts including a stint as innovation specialist at the Brigham Innovation Hub and as product innovation manager at athenahealth.