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  1. Malloch, Kathy PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN

Article Content

Innovations in Transforming Organizations

The demand for new ideas and ways to reinvent and remodel healthcare is at an all time high. The need for improved processes, the availability of new technology, new pharmaceuticals and products, and new insights and experiences all provide opportunities for improved healthcare services. Oftentimes, the drive for innovation or innovative ideas can be overwhelming and confusing. To be sure, the science of innovation is well-documented and continues to evolve providing important information for healthcare leaders. Innovation is a broadly defined and dynamic process. It is also often overused, undervalued, and misunderstood. Notions of innovation are debated and debated some more-is anything really innovative or new or is it just reworking the old ways? These questions are heard and debated regularly. What is important in this work is for each of us to gain an appreciation of the essence and science of innovation as we learn to thrive in the digital world. To be sure, it would be unproductive focusing on a debate over what is an innovation, what is an invention, and what is not either of these!!


As we collected innovation articles for this issue, we discovered more articles than one issue could accommodate-what a great challenge to have!! After consultation with Dr. Barbara Brown, we decided there were sufficient articles of interest for a second innovation issue that will follow this issue. This issue (33:3) focuses on innovations, transformative processes, and measures; Issue 33:4 will focus on the leadership infrastructures for innovation. What is so clear in all of these articles is the incredible creativity and innovation that the authors have documented with much passion, perseverance, and expertise. In this issue, the authors discuss topics that emphasize technology maximization and the use of new lenses to perceive and approach old issues and provide exemplars that reflect successful innovations. In this issue, Dan Weberg, a doctoral student, shares his concept analysis of healthcare innovation. This article is especially helpful for those of us who struggle with the definition and description of innovation. Weberg's definition, Innovation is something new, or perceived new by the population experiencing the innovation, that has the potential to drive change, and redefine healthcares economic and/or social potential, is both clarifying and liberating.


The articles by Porter-O'Grady and Lachman et al provide both new lenses and clarifying information specific to the realities of innovation and excellence and processes to measure and document innovation. Beheri's article is especially thought provoking as the paradigm for evaluation of nursing is extended and broadened using the diversity lens. Davis and colleagues present an innovation in the peer review process, using a phased approach and critical questions in this important process for documenting nurse progress and excellence.


Atkinson and colleagues describe a process to enhance patient and family communication using online communication tools. As the population increases in its comfort with these online tools, more and more of our patient care processes will include the best available technology, similar to that described by Atkinson et al. Online mentoring is the innovative approach used by O'Keefe and Forrester to advance development and maximize the use of technology. Social networking applications are integrated into this process and provide new considerations for traditional models.


Day provides a new approach to another long-standing challenge, hand washing!! Using multiple perspectives and considerations from nursing, human factors and facility design each contribute to improvements. Finally Weeks and Keen present an innovative approach to the long-standing patient flow problem, using the complex adaptive system perspective.


Thank you to both the authors and the aspiring innovators who read our journal and will someday share their best ideas and innovations with our readership. We look forward to your ideas and innovations.


Kathy Malloch, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN


Issue Editor