Technology & Research

We innovate to make healthcare more compassionate, easier to understand, and more accessible and affordable for all. Our drive for smarter solutions transforms your experience in the doctor’s office — and improves the health of your entire community.

Sutter Launches Innovation Hatchery

In 2016 we created our Innovation Hatchery, which acts as an incubator for new healthcare innovations. Teams test promising ideas in 90-day trials to determine whether to proceed with further development. Our human-centered approach also ensures that patient needs remain at the heart of our process. Innovations can “hatch” anywhere within Sutter and be deployed systemwide. Our Innovation Hatchery supports transformation projects across our network, including the following.


New Life We want to better understand the ups and downs people experience in becoming a parent. We’re working to improve the maternity experience for new parents.

Ride Sharing Transportation should not become a barrier to accessing or delivering high-quality care. So we launched a series of pilots with Lyft to improve transportation for patients, staff, and caregivers. The initial program reduced time-consuming paperwork, lowered costs by 26 percent and decreased the time spent waiting for a ride to three minutes.

Prescription Delivery A positive experience shouldn’t end when you walk out of your doctor’s office. That’s why we partnered with an on-demand, same-day home medication delivery service. We’ve helped more than 2,700 patients get their prescribed medicines delivered directly to their home.

Honoring End of Life Through the organization OpenIDEO, Sutter Health sponsored an online conversation about compassionate solutions to improve the end-of-life experience. Contributors from 90 different countries offered more than 300 ideas in the initial phases of the conversation.

Poke Free Blood Draws Our innovation hatchery helped to pilot a program with Velano Vascular to implement a new device that allows care teams to limit the number of times a person gets stuck by a needle and helps reduce accidental needle sticks among nurses and other care team members.

quote marks“We look across the healthcare journey for opportunities to improve care before, during and after your visit. We are nimble, forward-thinking, and create and try new concepts often – with a goal of integrating them into care as quickly and safely as possible.— Chris Waugh, Chief Innovation Officer, Sutter Health

Kidney-Matching Software Hits Milestone

In December 2016 at California Pacific Medical Center, the 100th patient received a kidney transplant by using the MatchGrid software system, which was developed with funding from Sutter Health. The software dramatically speeds up the matching process, and can create kidney paired donation chains through which multiple people donate or receive kidneys. A decade after the first kidney paired donation transplant, transplant centers across the U.S. and internationally use the MatchGrid system.

Information Innovation Transforms Care

With a program called CM-SHARE we can convert complicated patient data into a simplified form, making it easier for a doctor to use, and much easier for the patient to view and understand.

quote marks“Advances are making it possible for researchers to use genetic information, blood and other biologic samples, and electronic health record data to understand disease and disease progression in ways that we only imagined in the past.”
— Walter “Buzz” Stewart, Ph.D., MPH, Chief Research Officer, Sutter Health

Precision Medicine Deepens Research

Our new biobank represents a milestone in our commitment to precision medicine, which studies individual genes, environmental factors, lifestyle and medical preferences.

The biobank, one of the largest among American health systems, stores a continually growing collection of blood and tissue samples so researchers can deeply investigate disease patterns over extended periods of time. The biobank also links to our Electronic Health Records to match patients to precision medicine research opportunities.

Thanks to $5.5 million in support from donors—and matching funds from Sutter Health—our biobank and precision medicine initiative will benefit patients in our communities and potentially improve lives all over the world.

Data Project Delivers Hope to People With ALS

A progressive neurodegenerative disease, ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The ALS Quality Measures project collects standard data from every ALS patient, at every clinic, for comparison to known quality metrics. This helps improve care quality for ALS—and could be a prototype in treating other diseases.