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 it 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.