January 16, 2020

Giant Steps for innovation at Northern

At the recent Giant Steps Conference, our HRO Project Manager, Ariana Carrodus, presented on innovation in health care and our Ideas Lab.

The Giant Steps 2019 – Towards better, safer care is a two-day health care quality and safety event, aimed at those who are interested in finding better and safer ways to deliver health care in Victoria.

Ariana, who leads the Ideas Lab at Northern Health, says we are the only public health service in Victoria to have an Ideas Lab and people are interested to hear how it works.

“The title of my presentation was, ‘What it takes to foster innovation,’ and I talked about our HRO strategy and vision around achieving high reliability. One of the mechanisms of achieving HRO is through the development of the Ideas Lab space,” she said.

To an audience of over 300 people at the main conference stage, Ariana explained how the Lab was established in early 2018, the feel of the space and what makes it different.

“The fact that the space is away from the hospital makes it additionally unique. When people walk into the room, they immediately think they’ve stepped into a kindergarten or that it’s an unfinished space. All of these things are factors that contribute to thinking differently,” she said.

Ariana also touched on the development of the ideas management software, ‘IdeaScale’, and how it helps engage with all staff, regardless of the shift they are working on, or the campus they are at. The software is available to all staff, and everyone is encouraged to contribute their ideas.

A panel discussion followed the presentation, and together with Matiu Bush, Deputy Director of Transformation Lab at RMIT, Ariana answered numerous questions on innovation in health care.

“There were lots of questions on improvement, innovation and consumer participation. The really good thing about speaking at this conference is being able to showcase all the wonderful things Northern Health is doing.”

“People were curious about how it all works and showed interest in coming to Northern Health to observe the workshop. The number of people who came up to me after to ask if they can come and visit is wonderful,” she said.

The monthly Ideas Lab challenges the concept of a traditional workshop, with a new topic each month. Led by Northern Health’s Chief Executive and open to all staff, they encourage people to think differently and find creative and innovative solutions to current issues.