SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital's Journey to Innovation

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In late August 2019, Dr. Manuel del Castillo, CEO of the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, was wrapping up a three-month stay in Washington, D.C. and preparing to present his hospital's new innovation strategy to the Management Committee upon his return. Along with Dr. Jaume Pérez-Payarols, the Director of Innovation and Research, he had defined a number of strategic innovation priorities for the next phase of HSJD's innovation journey. However, they still needed to decide how best to approach implementation and whether to adopt a more centralized or decentralized approach. As part of this decision, questions regarding the management of budgets, performance metrics, and speed also had to be considered. During the previous ten years, the two doctors had introduced innovation slowly, using minimal resources and fostering the voluntary contributions of the hospital professionals. Over time, the focus evolved from isolated projects that solved problems for specific groups of patients to cross-departmental projects that affected the core business, such as digital health and new business models. During the same time period, the hospital had sought new revenue via internationalization in order to sustain financially the complex level of care it offered. Given the hospital's evolution, the two doctors debated how to strengthen and accelerate the change effort, and each favored a different approach. They agreed to take time to think through their options and to make a decision when they reunited in the office in Barcelona a few days later.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Specialist publicationCase Research Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


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