Innovation can be a small change that simplifies everyday tasks or it can be a big change that completely transforms the way we do something. It’s defined by the Council of Canadian Academies as “new or better ways of doing valued things,” and innovating health care means introducing new ideas, methods or technologies that promote faster, more efficient care and improved patient outcomes.
The digitization of health information has been an enabler of innovation. Whether you are a researcher studying a new treatment, a policy-maker looking for better funding models or an entrepreneur developing a new app, your work is enabled by the availability of digital information, which was considered an innovative concept not that long ago.
The application of innovation in health care has resulted in the ability to have your vital signs monitored from home when you are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), so that you can enjoy your life while still being cared for. It’s receiving a text from your health care provider to do a quick check in on your condition. It’s the ability to get involved in the management of your health conditions by accessing your lab results online
Innovation can improve the patient care experience and enhance patient safety and transitions in care, particularly as patients move between multiple care providers. It can also mean a more efficient health care system and a reduction in hospital readmissions and reduced wait times.