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America’s First Recovery Inn – True Innovation

We love new thinking in healthcare—ways to better connect with patients and families, uncovering opportunities to generate ideas that reduce the issues and challenges associated with healing, etc. Imagine if those types of services could be provided at a fraction of the current cost. Costs reduced, healing time decreased and infection eliminated.

Healthcare innovators everywhere could learn a lesson from The Orthopedic & Sports Institute of the Fox Valley. Their Recovery Inn was born out of some very simple, very smart research. For years, patients have complained about the traditional hospital gown … so, OSI reinvented it. For years, healthcare has been the brunt of food service jokes … innovations teams at OSI changed it. In all, OSI’s research helped to create more than 30 healthcare innovations as part of this new model of healthcare delivery.

But here’s the thing about the research: patients never said they wanted a ‘Recovery Inn’ or any of the associated innovations. In fact, users weren’t even aware that there was a problem to be corrected. Patients never said, “Why don’t you re-create the hospital gown to resemble nice, warm fleece pants.” They moved through the traditional process without complaining (although knowing that their backsides were exposed to their friends and neighbors). OSI innovations came through the caregiver team, not the ‘voice of the customer.’ How did caregivers know to change? From years of listening to how challenging the existing delivery methods were.

Simply by listening to, and facilitating innovation through, the stakeholders, OSI was able to envision and implement the changes that needed to be made.The job of any organization is to identify an unmet need—a pain point, and opportunities for the industry to close the gap between today and the future. This means understanding the caregivers actual real-world experiences—what they do, not what they say they do. This reveals the genuine patient opportunity.

Innovation like this doesn’t require patients to answer leading questions (all that does is come up with a different color for the same gown), and it doesn’t require that patients design a solution. It simply requires watching, listening and facilitating through tools, what may be possible. Once you observe, “patients seem to be unhappy with the feel, openings and comfort of the current gown,” the stage is set for possible solutions to an age-old problem. Caregivers know, and get it. They have served as sounding boards for patient complaints throughout their careers.

Innovation team members identify and create experiences that are unique, relevant and original for their organization. At Miron, we explore and challenge what employees and patients really want and need to create experiences that are memorable and different. Innovation teams bring newly created experiences to life and ensure they continue long after they are developed because solutions are owned by the healthcare facilities, not us.

Click here for more information on this exciting, new delivery method for healthcare. Pioneered in Appleton, Wisconsin, and innovated through the eyes of 60 caregivers who asked the question, “what if we did it differently?”

Miron’s website for more information on our client successes and the solutions we provide, or contact us directly (920.969.7047 or steve.tyink@miron-construction.com) so we can start to help you envision your facility’s countless possibilities.