Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Innovation - to Renew or Change?

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Innovation - to Renew or Change?

Article excerpt

'Innovation' comes from the Latin innovationem, noun of action from innovare and means 'to renew or change'. For renewal to take place it is necessary for people to change the way they make decisions; they must choose to do things differently and make choices outside of their norm. It may refer to incremental, emergent, or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, processes or organizations. One would not automatically align the NHS to 'innovation', however, there is a new movement afoot and the articles published in this issue demonstrate some of the initiatives currently in practice.

Often, 'innovation' makes us think of technological developments and whilst new technologies, such as medical devices make an important contribution to innovation in the NHS, another critical component is service innovation. It involves designing the process patients go through, the way the NHS works and the way health services are planned and developed.

The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, 1 supports transforming healthcare for patients and the public. The website emphasises service innovation - the how, the what and the why. Recently, a survey2 was conducted amongst NHS staff to give feedback on how they have been trying to improve the services they deliver to patients. The driver for this is the need to close the £20 billion funding gap that exists within the service.

The innovation and improvement areas which were identified as top priorities over the last 12 months include actions to prevent healthcare associated infections (45%), improving patient experience (39%), improving performance (37%) and integrated approaches to reducing costs and improving quality (30%).

Respondents (4,613) report that their Board or Senior Management team lack the skills required to provide leadership in innovation and improvement and they question whether their organizations are able to evidence the return on investment that innovation and improvement initiatives have made. …

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