Jonathan O'Donnell | 03.07.17 | Insights

Accelerate Innovation in Healthcare with Workshops


  • healthcare
  • service design

Innovation groups within corporate healthcare organizations or academic medical centers are becoming more prominent as competition heats up for a region’s market share. Examples of such innovation groups include Duke Institute for Health Improvement, Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator (at Boston Children’s Hospital), and the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation. These groups have intimate access to some of the smartest people and best resources in healthcare and are charged with advancing innovation from within their institution to further their missions, businesses, and healthcare. Seems like it’d be easy to leverage the brands and talent to make a meaningful dent in healthcare, right? Well…

These groups oftentimes struggle to successfully source and cultivate impactful ideas. Two major reasons include 1) instilling an innovative mindset in a workforce that more often than not is incentivized by the continuing in the status quo vs changing it (i.e. many smart people don’t want to innovate); and 2) supplying enough support for overburdened, overwhelmed employees to realistically tackle the challenges they face (those smart people who do want to innovate are stretched thin).

A great way to overcome this inertia and constraint is to gather stakeholders together to hold a workshop, either centrally or by bringing it to a particular team or department in their own space. In a properly facilitated environment, people feel more willing and able to share obstacles faced, opportunities overlooked, and problems encountered. Key stakeholders to be involved include representatives from administration, clinicians, staff, patients, students, and trainees.

Once assembled, we want to help make it easier to successfully source ideas and empower stakeholders to pursue solutions, from discovery of problems to defining a feasible one, from developing possible solutions to delivering a final product or service to an end user. Our ebook is chock full of inspiration, tools, and resources to apply immediately.

As one example, we recently welcomed 20 Duke Health faculty, staff, and trainees into our office for two half-day sessions on service design thinking. The attendees were in various stages of “enlightenment”, but all were thirsty enough for a creative outlet for their healthcare problems that they made the trek over. Multiple folks were already formally pursuing innovation inside or outside of Duke, and the exercises and tools equipped them to take new approaches. For those who were not pursuing any projects or products, we’d like to think we lowered the energy of activation for any future endeavors.

 

But you don’t need to hire an agency to lead you through these steps – you can facilitate it on your own with our ebook and a few supplies. Go ahead – give it a shot! After all, patients’ lives and the solvency of our country’s budget depends on some exponential innovation in healthcare.


Interested in having Smashing Boxes facilitate a workshop for your healthcare organization? Contact us now.

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