Innovation Horizons | Celebrating Co-Design Procurement Innovation at MaRS Discovery District
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Celebrating Co-Design Procurement Innovation at MaRS Discovery District

Celebrating Co-Design Procurement Innovation at MaRS Discovery District

An amazing array of talent was gathered today and engaged in high-powered discussions at the launch of MaRS 2nd cohort of Co-Design Procurement Teams aiming to solve important health care delivery challenges. MARS is a regional non-profit innovation hub in Toronto that is playing a huge role in supporting health care innovators in Ontario, Canada, among other R&D activities, such as life sciences. This novel challenge is partnered with OntarioBuys that makes investments to support innovation, facilitate and accelerate the adoption of integrated supply chain, back-office leading practices and operational excellence by driving collaboration and improving supply chain processes in Ontario’s broader public sector.

A big shout out and congratulations to the 4 teams who are each composed of a health care delivery system and a technology partner to work together on the design-build of innovative care delivery tools and services. This competitive program awards more than $100,000 to support early stage product development over a 9-month period with the ultimate goal of an institutional acquisition of the product.

I had the immense pleasure of joining the teams’ launch program today and providing opening perspectives on open innovation methods. In addition to meeting the terrific team members, I enjoyed learning about the support tools and coaching resources MaRS program staff use to optimize the work of the teams. Kudos to MaRS design team members Jerry Koh, Hadi Salah, JD McKay, Sarah Ghazi, and Lily Lo who guide the teams through their 9 months of intense development, they are an incredible force of change for good.

The Co-Design Procurement Challenges are designed with key innovation principles in mind to help health systems across Ontario acquire tools and infrastructure that will best suit their long-term needs. Each of the teams is applying lean startup methods to create a minimal viable product to evaluate for full-scale development and acquisition. This program addresses common challenges in information and communication in operations of health care delivery. The collaboration also helps the technology partner better understand health systems requirement needs, optimize their development resources, and jointly minimize risk of project failure. In addition to impressive project management guides and tools, some of the features of this innovation method that resonated with me were the use of outcomes/value-based specifications in the competition and procurement, along with the opportunity to create new business models
that can benefit vendors and providers.

The four teams of health system and technology partners that represent cohort 2 are listed here with the themes of their co-design work:

  • VHA Home HealthCare and Alaya focus on the optimization of personal support workers (PSW) scheduling to maximize PSW utilization, enhancing client experience, and increasing PSW and coordinator job satisfaction
  • Trinity Village and Vital Hub aim to gain efficiencies for care workers as they deliver care within a highly regulated field for complex multi-diagnosed individuals, currently supported by multiple paper-based and electronic documentation systems sitting in many different locations.
  • Markham Stouffville Hospital and Vital Hub aim to improve the physician onboarding process and experience so that 100% of physicians can access onboarding material before their first shift and throughout their tenure.
  • Michael Garron Hospital and QOC Health have the goal to better manage the schedule of post anesthesia recovery rooms (PARR) that cause surgery delays, increasing the efficiency and utilizations of PARR and surgeries.

Congratulations to all the teams on your selection. I encourage you to learn more about the program and their collective work at Innovation Horizons will be following the teams through 2018 to see the results from cohort 2 and seek other examples of innovations in the co-design of technology procurement.

Finally, I want to express my appreciation for a thrilling day of discussions and learnings on data, innovation, social investment, and care delivery innovation to MaRS CEO Ilse Treurnicht, Alexis Wise, Joe Greenwood, and Shahab Shahnazari.



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