Innovation in healthcare delivery systems: A conceptual framework

Vincent K. Omachonu, Norman G. Einspruch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


The healthcare industry has experienced a proliferation of innovations aimed at enhancing life expectancy, quality of life, diagnostic and treatment options, as well as the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the healthcare system. Information technology has played a vital role in the innovation of healthcare systems. Despite the surge in innovation, theoretical research on the art and science of healthcare innovation has been limited. One of the driving forces in research is a conceptual framework that provides researchers with the foundation upon which their studies are built. This paper begins with a definition of healthcare innovation and an understanding of how innovation occurs in healthcare. A conceptual framework is then developed which articulates the intervening variables that drive innovation in healthcare. Based on the proposed definition of healthcare innovation, the dimensions of healthcare innovation, the process of healthcare innovation and the conceptual framework, this paper opens the door for researchers to address several questions regarding innovation in healthcare. If the concept of healthcare innovation can be clarified, then it may become easier for health policymakers and practitioners to evaluate, adopt and procure services in ways that realistically recognize, encourage and give priority to truly valuable healthcare innovations. Lastly, this paper presents 10 research questions that are pertinent to the field of healthcare innovation. It is believed that the answers to these and other such questions will hold the key to future advances in healthcare innovation research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInnovation Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Healthcare innovation
  • Innovation process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration


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