Innovation Accelerator Program

The Innovation Accelerator Program supports faculty and staff from across Penn Medicine in their efforts to develop, test, and implement new approaches to improve health care delivery and patient outcomes. Working closely with innovation advisors, teams selected to participate in the program move through multiple phases of work to validate solutions and bring successful innovations to scale at Penn Medicine and beyond. Since the program's inception, more than 30 projects have been funded. We accept applications on an annual basis. 

 

  • Accelerator team brainstorming solutions

How to Apply

We accept applications on an annual basis. Subscribe to the CHTI Month in Review using the link below to receive program updates and announcements about our next call for proposals. 

Program Structure

Working closely with innovation advisors, teams move through multiple phases of work to validate new approaches and bring successful innovations to scale at Penn Medicine and beyond.

Phase one: It might work

In phase one, teams work to gain a deep understanding of the problem or opportunity space, rapidly test potential solutions, and generate early evidence that they can move the needle. At the end of phase one, teams present to health system leadership for the opportunity to receive additional investment to take their ideas to scale. 

Duration: Six months

Support

  • Training: Teams attend a series of workshops to learn high-impact methods for rapidly validating solutions.
  • Mentorship: Innovation advisors dedicate 40 percent of their time to the project.
  • Funding: Teams have access to up to $10,000 to test and develop their concepts, with additional funding available based on evidence generated by initial efforts.
  • Recognition and additional support: At the end of phase one, teams present to health system leadership for the opportunity to receive additional investment.

Success criteria

  • Define a meaningful problem space with baseline data
  • Develop an understanding of key problem drivers
  • Engage a working team to develop and test interventions
  • Set measurable targets for your work
  • Run a series of small experiments based on explicit hypotheses
  • Generate early evidence that you can move the needle
  • Identify and engage operational stakeholders who are willing to support your intervention once you have demonstrated impact

Phase two: It does work

In phase two, teams move from conducting small experiments to testing on a larger scale. Teams are challenged to demonstrate sustained impact and secure the resources and stakeholder support necessary to advance their solution toward implementation.

Duration: Up to one year (varies by project)

Support

  • Training: Teams attend a series of workshops to learn approaches and skills for bringing innovations to scale.  
  • Mentorship: Innovation advisors continue to dedicate time to the project. Allocation varies by project.
  • Funding: Teams have access to up to $50,000 to move work forward.

Success criteria

  • Test your intervention at a level of scale that provides the evidence needed for operational stakeholders to invest in further scaling and sustaining your solution
  • Demonstrate a clear return on investment for the health system, payers, and additional stakeholders with the resources to support your intervention
  • Define and articulate a business model to support your solution at scale

Phase three: How we work

Leveraging knowledge and momentum from previous phases, teams work with stakeholders to secure the permanent infrastructure necessary for their intervention. Teams “graduate” when a sustainable infrastructure for the solution is implemented at Penn Medicine.

Duration: Up to one year (varies by project)

Support: Gap resources as needed (funding, staff support, leadership advising)

Success criteria

  • Develop and execute a strategy to operationalize your intervention at scale with resources independent of the program
  • Identify clear metrics and infrastructure for accountability and continuous improvement

Phase four: How others work

When appropriate, we support teams to energize and catalyze other health systems to adopt successful innovations.