Vancouver Coastal Health Case Study: Generating Ideas to Create Sustainability in Healthcare

3 min readApr 27, 2022

Creating a sustainable workplace has become a pressing concern for private and public entities alike. Reducing waste and carbon emissions demands new approaches, ideas, and strategies to develop momentum around sustainability, and a custom sustainability plan to fit each organization’s needs.

Many workplaces have turned to idea sharing initiatives and brainstorming to craft business-specific approaches to sustainability. It’s also a great way to bring generations together. Research shows 82% of millennials support brainstorming meetings.

In order to create the best sustainability plan, local and federal agencies are creating idea-sharing initiatives as part of their sustainability efforts,using government innovation to meet the needs of stakeholders and inspire publicly funded organizations to get involved. .One public healthcare authority, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), engaged employees in the idea-sharing process to create a sustainable operating room. Based in British Columbia, VCH provides healthcare services to more than one million people across the province.

This IdeaScale case study examines Vancouver Coastal Health’s journey and shows how its idea-sharing efforts led to success.

What Is Vancouver Coastal Health?

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) administers services through a network of primary care clinics, hospitals, long-term care homes, and community health centers. Its global reputation for medical innovation and healthcare excellence makes it a powerful authority in the healthcare industry.

VCH employs more than 18,000 staff members specializing in several areas including:

  • Mental health
  • Primary care
  • Public health
  • Research
  • Home health
  • Public healthcare
  • Community-based residential care

The VCH Innovation Platform

VCH introduced its idea-sharing initiative using the IdeaScale platform. Its goal was to engage staff across the organization and use their insight to develop solutions to operational challenges.

VCH launched “The Operating Room Sustainability Challenge” to discover ways of improving the operating room’s environmental footprint. They chose this as an opening challenge as it:

  • Aligned with the team’s strategic priorities
  • Required strong clinical leadership
  • Would benefit from the ideas of a diverse group of VCH stakeholders.

In October 2020, the campaign was introduced to more than 800 members of the perioperative community.

This call to action was shared via email, at informational events, in posters placed in the surgical suite, and through at-the-elbow encouragement to participate. The community was asked to share solutions to the problem through a presentation by clinical sponsor Dr. Andrea MacNeill.

The pitch was embedded in an interactive campaign brief by the innovation team. Additional media and information were also included for more detail.

Employees were asked to share ideas via their online platform on IdeaScale. Community moderators actively engaged with team members to start conversations around these ideas and the @mention feature was used when requesting comments and additional questions from subject matter experts. This was another great way to source more information.

After four weeks, all ideas were evaluated by a multidisciplinary team. They used a five-star rating system to evaluate the potential solutions.

As noted in our Vancouver Coastal Health case study, after meeting twice, the team decided to move forward with more than 90% of the suggested ideas. Some of these were large-scale initiatives that would take time. Others were small ideas that could be implemented right away. This allowed the team to show immediate results the community could feel while working on larger changes that were needed.

Want to know how an IdeaScale community can spark innovation in your organization? Request a Demo now.

This article was originally published on the IdeaScale blog here.




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