Giving Compass' Take:

• HealthLeaders profiles Northwell Ventures, the investment arm of Northwell Health, which aims to fund innovations within the sector that can lower healthcare costs and, most of all, help patients.

• One of the main takeaways is that this venture capital approach could become a growing trend in healthcare, and partnerships can help drive success.

• Read about some of the structural barriers to effective healthcare in America and how we can overcome them.

Health system innovation investment arms are a relatively new phenomenon. A few have deep experience in this arena, most large systems are actively engaged in ventures, and many more are exploring the advantages.

Northwell Ventures was launched in 2013 to advance medical technology and promote the development of Northwell Health enterprises by investing in novel ideas and business models across the healthcare landscape. Its mission is to generate attractive returns, build profitable companies that drive quality health outcomes, increase operating efficiency, lower the overall costs of healthcare, and improve the patient experience.

I spoke with Thomas Thornton, senior vice president and executive director of Northwell Ventures, who joined the health system five years ago from Cleveland Clinic to launch Northwell's investment arm. He shares perspectives about the processes Northwell employs and predicts that alignment of investments between health systems is the next big trend.

"We are a five-person team. We are not structured as a fund; we invest from a $50,000,000 allocation of capital, so we are investing off our balance sheet. We make investments only in areas that are important to Northwell's growth to effectively advance the Triple Aim," says Thornton.

"We are a large health system, and people may think it is difficult to navigate a system of our size. I actually think the best thing we have going for us is the incredible support we have at the most senior positions of our system, but specifically our CEO and COO. That allows us to have a clear understanding of Northwell's strategy. It also allows us to effectively navigate a system of our size and scale."

Read the full article about collaborative healthcare investments by Mandy Roth at HealthLeaders.