How to spark innovation in hospitals

How to spark innovation in hospitals

© CSIC Communication

Sparking innovation in hospitals is a challenging endeavour. In their latest publication in Harvard Deusto Business Review, Prof. Marcel Planellas and Ivan Bofarull, Director of Global Insights and Strategic Initiatives at ESADE, discuss how healthcare organisations can use innovation to create value and improve patient experience.

“Innovation processes in hospitals tend to be less defined and their success is more difficult to quantify,” says Prof. Planellas. “One of the main difficulties when managing innovation in healthcare environments is the lack of a direct relationship between investment in innovation and achievement of results in patient experience.”

To gain insight into innovation in healthcare, the ESADE academics worked with Jorge Juan Fernández from EIT Health to analyse the pioneering innovation strategy of Sant Joan de Déu Hospital (Barcelona Children’s Hospital).

The hospital initiated its strategic journey to promote innovation in 2008. Over the past ten years, more than 600 health professionals have been involved in innovation projects at the hospital. The success of this initiative is reflected in tangible results that include 180 innovation projects, 40 patents, 7 licenses, 3 start-ups and 1 spin-off.


Founded in 1958, ESADE ranks among the top ten business schools in Europe in the most important International MBA, Executive Education and university programme rankings. ESADE has agreements and works with over 100 universities and business schools worldwide. The school offers doctoral programmes in management studies and conducts cutting-edge research in the fields of Data Science & Market Decisions, Economics & Finance, Entrepreneurship, Globalisation & Geopolitics, Governance, Innovation & Operations, Strategy, Leadership & People Management and Social Innovation.

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