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Inclusion Criteria for Health Care Policy Innovations

  • The innovation involves health care policy.

    Health Care Policy Innovation. A policy is a rule, regulation, directive, incentive, deterrent, or other approach for motivating changes in the behavior of individuals, social groups, or organizational entities. A policy does not need to have the authority of a legal mandate, but it must include some means of motivating behavior change at an individual or organizational level. To be included, a policy must be intended to influence the structures, processes, or outcomes of health care delivery. Policies that involve changes to the social or institutional structures involved in health care, such as delivery systems, workforce, financing, or the physical environment qualify if they are intended to influence the delivery of health care services.
  • The innovation aims to improve one or more domains of health care quality.

    Accepted Health Goal. The innovation must be designed to improve one or more specific measurable indicators of quality or disparities reduction in the domains defined by the Institute of Medicine (effectiveness, efficiency, equity, patient-centeredness, safety, and timeliness); or that are outlined in the National Quality Strategy aims (better care, healthy people/healthy communities, and affordable care). The indicators do not have to come from an established measure set, but they must be clearly defined and relevant to the quality issue the innovation addresses. Also, the innovation must not contradict established standards of evidence-based care.
  • The policy is truly innovative in the context of its setting or target population.

    Health Care Policy Innovation. For the purposes of the Innovations Exchange, innovation refers to the creative implementation of new or altered products, services, processes, systems, organizational structures, business models, or policies to improve one or more domains of health care quality or reduce health care disparities. In general, it must be clear how an innovation differs from what is regarded as standard policy in a particular organization and among similar organizations. In making a final decision about innovativeness, the Editorial Team will assess the novelty of the policy in context relative to usual or typical policies in similar organizations based on information offered when an innovation is submitted, along with its working knowledge of the industry and knowledge by experts. In addition to brand-new ideas, we will consider activities adapted from other industries to health care, transferred from one health care setting or market segment to another, drawn from settings in other countries, or applied to a new or different patient population. We will also consider multifaceted innovations, in which the fact that certain activities or policies are combined is what is innovative.
  • There is reason to believe that the innovation will be effective.

    Health Care Policy Innovation. There must be some evidence that the innovation is likely to achieve its goals, in terms of health outcomes, behaviors, or structures. Progress should be measured using clearly defined, relevant indicators. Indicators may reflect changes in delivery of care (health care services) as well as changes in ultimate outcomes (health); or changes in social structures or institutions such as delivery systems, workforce, financing, or the physical environment. If data are unavailable, limited, or lacking in methodological rigor, anecdotal reports of the impact of the innovation may suffice.
  • Information about the innovation is publicly available.

    Enough information must be freely available so that a user of the Innovations Exchange can understand the elements of the innovation and make a decision about adopting it. This requirement does not exclude innovations that incorporate commercial products or other materials for which there may be a fee or licensing requirements. All information about the innovation doesn’t have to be publicly available, but the Editorial Team will need access to information with sufficient detail to produce a comprehensive description.
  • The innovator (or a representative) will contribute information to the Innovations Exchange.

    A person knowledgeable about the innovation must participate in interviews with the Editorial Team and share available written information about the innovation. This person must also confirm that he or she can speak on behalf of any collaborating organizations and provide the name of a contact person who will be listed in the innovation description.

Exclusion Criteria

Innovations that fall into any one of these categories will be excluded from the Innovations Exchange.
  • Product or Technical Innovations. These innovations include new drugs or devices, software design and development, or durable medical equipment or supplies. Although advances in these areas may be innovative, to be eligible for inclusion in the Innovations Exchange, there must be a demonstrated connection to an innovative service delivery change.
  • Educational Innovations. Innovations such as curriculum redesigns, continuing education certification, or the use of simulators or other technologies for training are outside the scope of the Innovations Exchange.
  • Clinical Innovations. Pure clinical innovations such as new surgical, medical, or dental therapies or professional techniques are outside the scope of the Innovations Exchange.
  • Health Care Policy Innovations Without Any Evidence of Effect. An innovation without quantitative or qualitative support for a link between the innovation and targeted health care outcomes or processes is outside the scope of the Innovations Exchange.

Last updated: January 23, 2013.