Health care workers creating innovations by applying “design thinking” – “a human-centered approach to innovation” that comes from the business world – is a growing trend, according to a recent New York Times article.
“With design thinking, the innovations come from those who actually work there, providing feedback to designers to improve the final product,” wrote author.
“Health providers … are uniquely positioned to come up with fresh solutions to health care problems,” Dr. Kalaichandran wrote. An example at her own hospital: The leader of the trauma team now wears an orange vest, clearly identifying who’s in charge in a potentially chaotic situation. It was an idea created by a hospital nurse.
“A 2016 report that looked at ways in which a health system can implement design thinking identified three principles behind the approach: empathy for the user, in this case a patient, doctor or other health care provider; the involvement of an interdisciplinary team; and rapid prototyping of the idea,” she wrote. “To develop a truly useful product, a comprehensive understanding of the problem the innovation aims to solve is paramount.”
In design thinking, described as creative, multidisciplinary thinking around a problem, groups naturally coalesce to find such solutions. The article cites examples such as, an international group of providers focused on improving hospital layouts, and , a collaborative group that supports health care innovations such as a mobile system for diabetes management, designed by a patient.
Kalaichandran A.. The New York Times. Aug. 3, 2017. Accessed Aug. 7, 2017.