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Improving health care services in rheumatology by open innovation: A qualitative pre-study
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Informatics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2923-9034
Institutionen för informatik och media, Uppsala universitet.
Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet.
2011 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction

Traditions and organizational culture in health care has appointed the physician as the expert on the patient’s disease with full control of knowledge, treatment and services. In open service innovation, every patient is an expert on his or her disease and should be perceived as such by physicians and professions in health care. Patients with chronic diseases have access to knowledge about the disease from, for example, patient guides on the Internet or patient communities engaging in interaction via social media. Not only should evidence-based knowledge be valued in health care but also patients’ "subjective" experiences from health care services, and effects from treatment and lifestyle changes. Accordingly, the patient should be regarded as a co-designer and innovator of health care services, rather than a passive receiver of attention and care.

Method

The purpose of the study is to describe and discuss how principles from open innovation, which are primarily derived from commercial product development, could be applied to open service innovation in non-profit health care organizations. To evaluate the drivers, barriers and prerequisites of such innovation, interviews were performed with two rheumatologists, engaged in a Swedish research project on open innovation in rheumatology care. The data collected by the interviews were analyzed by content analysis.

Results

The main driver was considered to be "the empowered patient", with a good knowledge of his or her disease. The barriers to open innovation were the lack of meeting places for patients, a strong local variation in how health care services are delivered, and an organizational culture which not promotes learning and innovations. It is necessary for health care organizations to change their current culture of closed innovation, in the sense that only physicians are regarded to have valid knowledge about patients’ diseases. Other necessary prerequisites for implementing open innovation principles are support from management and structures of financial control which encourage innovations.

Discussion

If open innovation principles were implemented today most things in medical practice would change. Hospital and clinic premises would be adapted for interacting with patients, instead of being tailored for performing administrative tasks. Patients would be allowed to speak their mind freely and take up more space than today. Open innovation principles in health care service development would free the power and knowledge of patients. It would also free the power and knowledge of other professions than physicians. It is quite probable that the nurse of the rheumatology clinic has more knowledge about the patient, than the senior professor who perhaps hasn’t met patients in years. Patients hold incredible amounts of specialist knowledge about their chronic disease, and are able to discover and understand things that physicians don’t notice or regard as important. To achieve this goal, the organizational culture of health care need to allow and respect learning about improvement of health care services in the same way as knowledge of biomedical research is allowed and respected. Support from hospital and clinical management, as well as financial incentives is needed promoting in open innovation initiatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-15054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-15054DiVA: diva2:418454
Conference
Utvecklingskraft 2011, 18-19 maj, Jönköping, Sweden
Projects
Patientens innovationssystem
Available from: 2012-06-14 Created: 2011-05-23 Last updated: 2015-03-25Bibliographically approved

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