Framework for Innovation for National Health Service (NHS)
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Setting the wheels in motion for system-wide change
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) is the third largest employer in the world after the Chinese army and Indian Railways, employing 1.3 million people and serving more than fifty times that number annually. In 2005, the NHS formed the Institute for Innovation and Improvement to transform health care by rapidly developing and spreading innovative ways of working, new technology, and world-class leadership. After some initial development and testing, the Institute approached IDEO for help in developing a human-centered innovation work process to suit patient and employee needs. IDEO, using its design-based methodology as a framework, created a program based around observation and co-design, supported by employee training sessions for how to use specific problem solving tools and techniques. After more than a year of using this approach, the Institute has become completely self-sufficient in its implementation, incorporating stakeholders ranging from porters to nurses to ambulance drivers to patients and family members. In helping the Institute think differently about innovation challenges, IDEO has supported reform around safer care, waiting times, and access to NHS care outside of hospitals.
Project date: 2006