CTF blog: From idea to innovation in Swedish Public Healthcare Service2018-10-16
PhD Student Jana Huck studies patient and employee involvement during the refinement of ideas for improving the Swedish Public Healthcare Service.
The Swedish public healthcare sector is under immense pressure to innovate in order to adjust to major challenges. These challenges not only relate to a lack of resources and medical staff, but also to the demographic change towards an aging society and increasingly unhealthy society. Both on the national and local level public healthcare units are investigating different ways to innovate in order to tackle these challenges.
Innovation begins with ideas, which are generally conceptualized as solutions to specific problem situations. These ideas are generated, refined and assessed in the, so called, front end of innovation (FEI). To improve the innovativeness of public healthcare organizations, patients and patient-contact employees are increasingly involved in the different stages of the FEI. By adopting a more open and user-oriented innovation approach, the public healthcare sector has the opportunity to access a higher diversity of knowledge and facilitate information sharing to leverage the development of new ideas for service innovation. For example, by including patients in the innovation process, new services can be better matched to patients’ problems and needs. Often the adoption of a user innovation approach, leads to a mass of new ideas. Unfortunately in many cases are incomplete, ambiguous and lacking the detail necessary to make investment decisions. For example, whether resources should be invested to implement this specific idea.
The aim of my research is to investigate how idea refinement can contribute to improving the quality and understandability of the ideas presented to idea assessors. So far, there is very little research on what idea refinement incorporates. Idea refinement involves activities that push an idea from a simple one-line description of a problem and potential solution to a more detailed and improved idea description. My research questions are: What are these activities, how do they contribute to the development of the ideas, and what role do different actors play in these activities? I study these questions, for example, by looking at how patients and employees engage with each other in order to propel initial ideas forward. With my research, I hope to contribute to a better understanding of the development of ideas that have the potential to innovate and improve public healthcare services.
Jana Huck is a PhD student in Business Administration at CTF, Service Research Center at Karlstad University. She is associated to the Management and IT Research School (MIT). Her research focuses on innovation management, and more specifically on the front end of innovation activities. She is one of the teachers in the open online course Idea Management, and is involved in teaching and supervising of Business Administration students at Karlstad Business School.