What ‘Sparks’ Innovation in Rural Health Settings: A case study

Article


Lloyd, Sheree, FitzGerald, Gerard, Collie, Jean and Cliff, Cynthia. 2022. "What ‘Sparks’ Innovation in Rural Health Settings: A case study ." Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management. 17 (2). https://doi.org/10.24083/apjhm.v17i3.1609
Article Title

What ‘Sparks’ Innovation in Rural Health Settings: A case study

ERA Journal ID13828
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsLloyd, Sheree, FitzGerald, Gerard, Collie, Jean and Cliff, Cynthia
Journal TitleAsia Pacific Journal of Health Management
Journal Citation17 (2)
Number of Pages18
Year2022
PublisherAustralasian College of Health Service Management
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN1833-3818
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.24083/apjhm.v17i3.1609
Web Address (URL)https://journal.achsm.org.au/index.php/achsm/article/view/1609
Abstract

Objective: To determine how innovation occurs and identify the factors that support innovation in a rural hospital in New South Wales, Australia.

Design: Situated within a larger case study, this research collected qualitative data using semi-structured interviews.

Setting: Inner regional hospital, located in a city, providing a broad range of acute and primary health services to a rural community.

Participants: Hospital executives, department managers, consultant and staff specialist surgeons, physicians, nursing, nursing managers and allied health staff were recruited after a phone, personal or email approach.

Main Outcome measure: Qualitative interviews (n=25) conducted in a rural hospital.

Results: Fourteen innovations were identified. Factors supporting innovation were when individuals who were valued by team members had the ability to make within team innovations with ease; clinicians with ideas for improvement led innovation; external agencies- the Clinical Excellence Commission and the Agency for Clinical Innovation provided expertise, ideas, and motivation for innovation. Limiting factors included time for innovation, creative thinking, planning, and implementation. Funding, the bureaucracy and multiple points of consultation to make changes were also identified.

Conclusions: Innovation occurred despite the absence of factors theory suggests are required. In rural settings, there are limited staff and resources leading to scarcity with no additional capacity in the system and innovation is a necessity. Further innovation could be unleashed if small amounts of resourcing and time were provided to staff with innovative ideas to improve services, change processes or introduce new ways of working.

Keywordsrural health; interviews; qualitative; case study; organisational factors; innovation
ANZSRC Field of Research 20204203. Health services and systems
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Tasmania
Queensland University of Technology
University of Wollongong
University of Southern Queensland
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