rated into the design process. “Change in acute care will happen,” Chow said. “It is a question of how we design it.”

Core Concept 5:
Create an Infrastructure for Rapid Network Exchange of Successful System Design Innovations

A system to design successful innovations will need to be agile. Technological changes occur too quickly to plan, prototype, and test innovations over the course of several years. “We need to create a simple, easy venue for the quick exchange of what’s working and not working,” Chow explained.

Successful system design innovations also demand leadership and coordination. For example, a national institute for human-centered, empathy-based care with regional nodes could help spread the work of the rapid translation teams and interdisciplinary design teams. Such an institute might focus on economic measures of the value of nursing. It could emphasize an approach to nursing comparable to how one would care for a parent or sibling. “We nurses want to help patients and family members the way we do as the nurses for our families,” said Chow. Health innovation design forums could also help disseminate the work of rapid translation and interdisciplinary teams. Nurses could help prototype and pilot new processes, systems, and multidisciplinary practice models.

Several institutions have demonstrated the value of these approaches. For example, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has piloted equipment in 22 rooms designed to improve patient safety, increase customer satisfaction, and help nurses and other health care professionals to deliver the right care at the right time, every time. Ascension Health is planning to have three innovation units, and Kaiser Permanente has established a 37,000-square-foot facility to explore the intersection of technology, space, and workflow.


Nurses have much to learn from other specialties. An example is the role of the nurse navigator in oncology care that could be adapted for use in elder care. Nurses could work to re-purpose solutions found elsewhere. Nurses could also work to generate metrics for face-to-face interactions or system-level measures.

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