Hospitals across the Garden State are looking to attract more patients, improve the efficiency of the care they provide all while saving money.

Many of them are working with the New Jersey Innovation Institute to develop innovative ways to do all this.

“It’s about establishing or amplifying their R&D capabilities as it relates to innovation,” said Tom Bartiromo, chief innovation officer for the New Jersey Innovation Institute’s healthcare lab.

Ultimately, he said, innovations are about improving the healthcare experience for the patient. That’s important because consumers make decisions about healthcare providers with their feet.

He said "14 percent of healthcare consumers switched providers in the last 12 months, which is higher than the switching rate for hotel chains."

Bartiromo said some innovations under development include ideas from nurses about how to do certain testing, deliver medications and monitor patients in a quicker, easier way.

He said sometimes the challenge is “how do they get that idea from that nurse up to the right altitude within the organization so they can actually act upon that idea?”

Bartiromo explained in essence, NJII is working to help healthcare organizations to listen, “collect, organize, align, and most importantly act upon the ideas generated within this system of care by the people who know best, which is many of the frontline care workers.”

He said one example of this might be a healthcare provider interested in developing better smart-watch devices that can alert doctors and nurses to possible heart rhythm problems.

He added other hospitals and medical centers are re-evaluating the continuum of care for patients in an effort to do away with unnecessary testing and repetitive information gathering.

“Some of the providers are working on process innovations to basically drive out cost within the system without compromising quality.”


The New Jersey Innovation Institute, a subsidiary of New Jersey Institute of Technology, has five innovation laboratories: bio-pharma, civil infrastructure, homeland defense and security, financial services and healthcare delivery.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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