Sharing ideas that matter: InnovationEx 2017

On April 5, North York General Hospital (NYGH) participated in the fourth annual InnovationEX, an exposition and exchange designed to highlight the very best innovations from community hospitals.

InnovationEX was presented by the Joint Centres for Transformative Healthcare Innovation (Joint Centres). The Joint Centres is a partnership between six large community hospitals to share innovations focused on improving quality and value in health care. These founding hospital partners comprise Markham Stouffville Hospital, Mackenzie Health, Southlake Regional Health Centre, St. Joseph's Health Centre, North York General Hospital and Toronto East General Hospital. Learn more about the Joint Centres on the NYGH website.

This year's InnovationEX featured exhibits on everything from a bold campaign for positive patient identification to crowdsourcing ideas to accelerate innovation. Our own NYGH team brought forth two great ideas worth spreading to other health care organizations:

Going beyond traditional thinking

North York General is creating a toolbox of design methodologies to approach complex challenges that cannot be solved with traditional design approaches. In doing so, hospital teams are applying the right engagement strategy to solve the right care environment challenge.

The first tool is human-centred design, an approach that focuses on human experience and not just spatial requirements when transforming care environments. An example of this approach is how specific designs can facilitate the flow of patients. The second approach is design thinking, which helps us to better understand the needs of our patients and families and use those discoveries to their benefit. Examples of this approach include categorizing and prioritizing the voice and behaviours of patients and families through detailed interviews.

Finally, a human factors approach allows the hospital team to explore how people interact physically and psychologically with their environments, technologies and processes to identify new insights and design ideas.

NYGH is creating a toolbox of design methodologies to approach complex challenges that cannot be solved with traditional design approaches.

From left: Tim Rutledge, NYGH's President and CEO; Dr. Kimberly Wintemute, Department of Family and Community Medicine; and Karyn Popovich, Vice President, Clinical Programs, Quality and Risk, and Chief Nursing Executive, in front of the Going beyond traditional thinking exhibit that looked at new ways of thinking to solve complex health care challenges.

Hybrid quality boards: The good, the real and the safer

One of the building blocks to improving quality and safety in a hospital is measurement and reporting back. As such, many units at NYGH use paper quality boards to track outcomes. The Quality Improvement Office at NYGH transformed and modernized several of these paper quality boards into a hybrid electronic model, incorporating best practices and lessons learned from previous designs and staff feedback.

“We strive to put patients first in everything we do,” says Jennifer Quaglietta, Director, Patient Experience, Quality, and Patient- and Family-Centred Care. “That's why we constantly work to find better ways to measure, to monitor and to improve quality at our organization.”

NYGH hybrid quality boards represent a new approach to blending the eye-catching technology of an electronic board with the flexibility and tangible benefits of ink and paper. These innovative boards, customizable to the needs of each unit, provide a wide range of tools to support improvement: from trending calendars that measure incidents to audit sheets that tally compliance on specific issues (such as hand hygiene). This allows teams to capture the 'good' improvements and outcomes seen over time, the 'real' improvements executed daily, and the 'safer' environments created for our patients and their families.

“These new boards allow staff to visually see what processes or metrics are successful and which ones they need to improve,” Jennifer says. “They're the perfect complement to a health care team.”

One of the building blocks to improving quality and safety in a hospital is measurement and reporting back. As such, many units at NYGH use paper quality boards to track outcomes. The Quality Improvement Office at NYGH transformed and modernized several of these paper quality boards into a hybrid electronic model, incorporating best practices and lessons learned from previous designs and staff feedback.

In front of NYGH's Hybrid Quality Boards exhibit are, from left: Jamie Campbell, Director of Organizational Development; Stephanie Robinson, Quality Improvement Specialist; Amanda Bell, Quality Improvement Specialist; Dianne Rice, Clinical Team Manager, Tippet Foundation Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and Arun Dixit, Quality Improvement Specialist.

This article first appeared in the May 2017 issue of The Pulse.

Subscribe to receive North York General Hospital's community newsletter. 

Share this article