Safety & quality
Dr. Bret Rudy
Senior vice president and chief of hospital operations, NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn
Rudy was charged with addressing quality and safety at the struggling Lutheran Medical Center, which NYU bought in 2015 and renamed NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn. NYU invested $75 million over the next few years in the hospital. Among key accomplishments by Rudy and his team: instituting 24/7 hospitalist and ICU care; replacing outsourced physicians with full-time faculty; creating stronger protocols for board certification of physicians; and adding services that previously weren’t available, including robotic surgery, neuro-intensive care, surgical oncology.
How do you identify opportunities for innovation?
Identifying opportunities must be bi-directional, meaning they must arise from organizational priorities and from front-line staff. If front-line staff members are not engaged and if their input is not sought, achieving results from innovation becomes more challenging. Approaching opportunities for innovation, from my experience, includes the following (among other things): continuous feedback on progress using measurable outcomes helps keep innovative strategies on target and staff engaged; and multiple forums where the results of these strategies can be presented, discussed and used to drive new ideas.
What advice do you have for people who know how to get an idea in front of managers but may be afraid of failing?
In order to have a culture where innovation is encouraged, you must not be afraid of failure. If we don’t occasionally fail, we have not really challenged the status quo. When presenting an idea, always clearly state the problem or process you are trying to solve, the solutions you think could be effective and how you think you can measure success. Do not be afraid of questions and use them as feedback on how you can make your innovative strategies better. Finally, solutions that are collaborative most often have the best chance for success—always engage others.
How do you stay focused on innovation during a crisis?
The pandemic required us to adapt quickly and to stretch in ways hard to imagine before COVID hit the U.S. We needed to use technology in new and innovative manners. If anything, now is the best time to take innovation from our response to COVID and find ways of applying these innovative strategies to problems and opportunities we face every day. We have encouraged our employees to bring forward such ideas and have developed forums in which they can be presented, discussed and implemented. To take the unprecedented challenges of COVID and turn them into opportunities to innovate around problems we face every day will make us better and stronger. Innovation is more important now than ever.