Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health


New thinking unlocks new opportunities.

South Australia is well positioned on a global scale to take advantage of the enhanced focus on innovation. Our size, economies-of-scale, and our infrastructure offer a fertile environment for experimentation, research-translation, and commercialisation. Exploring, enabling, and adopting innovative practices industry-wide, promises to unleash new models of care that embrace the breadth of contemporary opportunities and technologies available. Infiltrating existing practices, facilities, and protocols with innovation is arguably the most rational and sustainable response to lifting the efficacy and efficiency of healthcare provision in this state.

Our Definition of Innovation

Literature remains inconclusive about a standardised definition of innovation, however consistent key themes emerge that suggest, for innovation to exist, to varying degrees, it must:

  • Be novel or new and involve an idea or creative genesis
  • Respond to, or address, a well-defined issue, problem or challenge
  • Have relevance to, and resonate with, the customer, client or consumer
  • Add value and make a difference to an individual, an agency, an industry or a system
  • Entail viewing a topic from a non-traditional perspective using ‘outside the square’ thinking
  • Ultimately and fundamentally, change something for the better

Why Innovation in Healthcare Matters

The drive to think critically and creatively, by deliberately and methodically adopting an innovation-led culture can change the way societies, and more specifically, the health system operates. Adopting innovation practices provides an opportunity to solve big problems and improve system efficiencies for greater health outcomes for all. While innovative approaches are not a replacement of public health best practices, but rather, a partner to work collectively to enhance processes, tailor interventions, and offer fresh solutions, which can be applied in impactful and sustainable ways.

A Culture of Innovation

At the CEIH we provide a conducive environment for innovation, promoting courageous and radial thinking to re-imagine how we deliver quality care for all South Australians. We are here to support the evolution of new ideas, products, and technologies from an initial thought, into a fully realised solution. We can provide guidance on how to take the seed of an innovation and nourish it through the process of ideation and collaboration. We bring industry, academia, government, and community together to create new ideas and bring them to life.

We’ve devel­oped a Guide and Dis­cus­sion Paper that explore the con­cept of Inno­va­tion, high­light some of the issues to con­sid­er when con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing a cul­ture of inno­va­tion, and the ben­e­fit inno­va­tion deliv­ers for the health­care system.

The Cul­ture of Inno­va­tion Guide (the Guide) is a thought-pro­vok­ing con­ver­sa­tion starter for those seek­ing to be more inno­v­a­tive in their areas of influ­ence across the health sec­tor, be it in their own per­son­al role, or through­out a team, a divi­sion, a depart­ment, or indeed, across an entire sys­tem. The Guide is designed to pro­vide an entry point to the con­cept of Inno­va­tion, offer­ing def­i­n­i­tions, expla­na­tions, case stud­ies and evi­dence, as well as intro­duc­ing some of the issues to con­sid­er when con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing a cul­ture of innovation.

The Dis­cus­sion paper is a part­ner doc­u­ment to the Guide, draw­ing togeth­er lit­er­a­ture to deliv­er the con­text and ratio­nale behind the need for invest­ment in inno­va­tion. The paper describes the func­tion of inno­va­tion, the fea­tures of it, and the ben­e­fit it deliv­ers for the health­care system.

Please take the time to have a look at what the future might hold, and per­haps imag­ine how inno­va­tion will play its part in your world.

A Culture of Innovation - Guide (2 MB, PDF)

A Culture of Innovation - Discussion Paper (3 MB, PDF)