On April 5th, six Toronto-area community hospitals highlighted exciting new innovations at InnovationEx, an annual event showcasing ideas and processes that are making a difference in healthcare in April.

Hosted at Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH), innovations focused on improving patient experience and safety, reducing medications for seniors, improving patient flow, and a crowdsourcing program to engage staff in solving some of the toughest healthcare challenges.

The Colleaga crowdsourcing program is one part of Colleaga’s solution to support innovation in hospitals and health care organizations. It includes an innovative technology platform, piloted by MSH that helps identify problems and capture and manage ideas from staff and physicians across the hospital. It helps connect front-line staff to improvement ideas from subject matter experts all around the world and is a collaboration tool that also helps multiple organizations work together effectively. The importance of this technology is its ability to engage staff in improvement efforts and harness the wealth of experience, expertise and diversity of perspectives and insights they possess. As more people share their ideas, top solutions can be transparently identified through votes, comments and scorecards, then developed and implemented in a streamlined and efficient process.

The six hospitals: Mackenzie Health, Markham Stouffville Hospital, North York General Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Michael Garron Hospital are part of an innovation collaborative known as the Joint Centres for Transformative Healthcare Innovation. The goal of the Joint Centres and InnovationEX is to share these ideas and implement them across all these hospitals and beyond. Plans are already in place to launch Colleaga at North York General Hospital in the near future which will accelerate idea generation even more and help spread new innovations faster to the benefit of more patients.

Dr. Joshua Tepper, President and CEO, Health Quality Ontario spoke at InnovationEX and challenged everyone in the room “to involve patients in the innovation process, to be hard on ourselves to make sure they (innovations) work, and when they do work, make sure our success is everyone’s success for all patients.” InnovationEX is just one venue to for this challenge, and the hospitals in the Joint Centres collaborative are certainly living up to part of Tepper’s challenge. This is the fourth year for InnovationEX, and many of the innovations from the first two years are now implemented at all six hospitals. There’s more work to be done, and all efforts will help to bring transformative change to healthcare in Ontario.

Information on all the innovations presented at InnovationEX can be found at www.innovationex.ca.

By Carla Peacock

Photo: Participants at InnovationEX