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On Saturday, AHIMA20 attendees virtually toured two healthcare organizations to better understand how innovations evolve from raw ideas to solutions that are put into practice. The Global Center for Medical Innovation and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at Georgia State University are both based in Atlanta, GA, the originally planned host city for AHIMA20.

midtown atlanta skyline

The morning began with an online trip to the Global Center of Medical Innovation (GCMI), a clinical innovation lab that applies high-quality value-chain processes to help private, academic, and government-funded organizations develop a wide array of medical products, including drugs and biologics.

“Innovative ideas come from crisis, repetitive need, and the desire to do things faster, better, and cheaper,” said Kelley Bennett, director of clinical partnerships and training and education at GCMI.

However, because healthcare in one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, moving from idea to viable product is incredibly complex and requires defined processes and stakeholders from multiple disciplines.

GCMI’s commercialization pathway expertise incorporates assessments of regulatory issues, engineering for technology development, market research, and robust clinical testing. The design and development team at GCMI facilitates medical product development through all phases—from initial concept generation through transfer to production manufacturing.

Bennett says GCMI also houses more than 32,000 square feet of clinical labs for testing solutions and provides bioskills training services to medical device, biologics, and pharmaceutical developers and manufacturers. (Bioskills are the practice of simulating a medical environment for the education of healthcare professionals—they  are essential to innovation and quality-based outcomes for healthcare professionals and systems, Bennett said.)

GCMI, and its wholly-owned subsidiary T3 Labs, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and affiliate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, a member of the University System of Georgia. GCMI is also a member of the GA Bio and the Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA).

AHIMA20’s second site visit of the day was to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, an educational organization that provides experiential learning to those who want to bring entrepreneurial skills to an organization.

According to presenter Berkley Baker, PhD, visiting professor at the Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business, leaders today are challenged by the pace and complexity of organizational change and need to be equipped with tools to improve their effectiveness in managing complexity.

Baker explored the ideas behind objective leadership frameworks (OLF), which are designed to enhance individual, leader, and organizational performance while contributing to shared success.

Objective leadership frameworks, he continued, are objective approaches to leading and decision-making; they allow leaders to lead in demonstrably equitable ways and promote corporate cultures that value diversity and inclusion.

“Frameworks aren’t perfect, but they allow us to get into the area of truth,” he said. “Frameworks push us to look for patterns in the areas where we expect to see them.”

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