Innovation in Healthcare

Marie Peach

ARTICLE BY
Marie Peach
Senior Account Manager

Posted by Marie Peach in News on 1 December 2014

Innovation in Healthcare

Innovation in healthcare is vital at a time when the NHS is under pressure to make ever more savings and efficiencies; new ideas are crucial to the survival of this essential and world-class service. With this is mind, Crowdicity was honoured to be invited to talk at the East Midlands Leadership Academy Innovation in Healthcare conference on Tuesday 25th November.

Leading Innovation In Healthcare

The Leading Innovation in Healthcare conference, organised by the East Midlands Leadership Academy, was an event designed to give delegates the opportunity to both celebrate and facilitate innovation in the NHS. 

Charles Leadbeater got the conference off to a great start, holding the delegate’s attention before they’d even finished their first cup of coffee (no mean feat). In his talk, Charles spoke about how innovative initiatives and products aren’t just about delivering more of the same thing, they’re different and, importantly, better than what has come before. Through sharing their own experiences delegates agreed that there have been times when they have had to let go of preconceptions about what good healthcare should look like in order to really provide the best service for their patients.

In addition to the searching for new ways to solve challenges, a second theme to emerge from the day was the value of using existing resources to drive change. From the much hailed Triage car to using FaceTime to allow new mothers to bond with premature infants who are being cared for in another ward, or even another hospital. So many of the leaders at the event had fantastic stories of innovative ideas that are improving care. As well as harnessing physical resources, the conference also featured a number of workshops about the best way to stimulate and harness the ideas of staff working in the NHS.

Workshops throughout the day were focussed on fostering environments where innovation can flourish. Peter Anderton (Art of Brilliance) discussed ways of generating encouraging brilliance in yourself and Sarah King (We Are Unstuck) explained how leaders can be more creative and also put together creative, innovative teams. Throughout the conference, speakers and delegates alike were discussing best practice to generate, gather and put into action the ideas of staff across disciplines, levels and even geographies.

Idea management in the NHS

Crowdicity founder Rob Wilmot delivered a workshop with Crowdicity customer Sally Basset, combining a powerful case study with practical implementable tips for setting up an online innovation community in a healthcare environment. Sally talked about her work at Southern Derbyshire CCG, one of the largest clinical commission groups in England, with over 52,000 people across 56 practices. The challenge of working within such a large commissioning group is that innovation can become lost in a world of meetings, ‘initiatives’ and networks. Sally explained how the CCG are using Crowdicity to make idea generation and innovation part of everyone’s day to day life, enabling them to respond more quickly to the challenges that Southern Derbyshire CCG faces.

Rob then stepped in to share Crowdicity’s experience on how to kick start an NHS idea platform – putting theory into practice. After offering them a number of useful tips, Rob gave the delegates the opportunity to collaborate together and share ideas on how they could develop their own innovation community. Crowdicity has experience working with NHS trusts across the country and amongst other things, we’ve found that the following tips as key to creating a successful idea platform.

  1. Encourage ideas from everywhere: There are no shortage of talented, dedicated people working for the NHS who want the chance to contribute their ideas to improve and add value to services. Be open to ideas from every level and actively encourage interactions across teams. Don’t forget that individuals outside your organisation can have different perspectives that can help new ideas flourish; bodies such as the police force, private health providers and of course, patients themselves could provide the spark for your next great innovation. 
  2. Show your people that they can make an impacts: If you want to maintain participation in an innovation project, people need to feel as though they are being listened to, and that their idea can have a measurable impact. You can do this in two ways: find and celebrate quick wins and encourage and empower staff to share ideas that they can put into action themselves. 
  3. Ask for the ideas that you need: You might think that asking for general suggestions will get more responses than posing a specific challenge, but people are more likely to get involved if you give them some direction. Keep challenges focussed and aligned with your organisation’s priorities, not only will you get more ideas, but the ideas that you get will deliver the outcomes that you need.

Crowdicity is being used by NHS trusts and organisations across the country; we’re proud to have played a part in making efficiencies within services, and look forward to working more with the NHS in the future.

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