Design Thinking: An Innovation Process for Healthcare Workflow Transformation

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Monday, Feb. 21, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Hospitals and health systems are looking for innovative ways to re-engineer their operations and processes to enable improvements in quality, cost, efficiency, workflow and patient satisfaction. Often innovation occurs when established practices in one industry are applied in another industry to solve a similar problem. The use of Design Thinking has been proven to generate innovative products and services in a breadth of consumer and industrial markets. This session will share insights as to how one health system pioneered the use of Design Thinking to re-engineer workflows within an existing hospital and then used those techniques to help design a new hospital focused on achieving results in satisfaction, patient safety, clinical outcomes and operating performance.

Speaker Information:
Robert Porter, JD, MBA, president, programs and services/chief strategy officer, SSM Health Care - St. Louis

David Butler, BS, MBA, FHIMSS, director, Best Practices Center for Healthcare Operational Excellence, Washington University Olin Business School


  • Describe the concepts of Design Thinking and how it differs from conventional efforts at performance improvement.
  • Review how Design Thinking was applied in the development of a contemporary healthcare facility.
  • Discuss how a university is exploring the use of Design Thinking methodology and other process improvement techniques in order to engage students and faculty in projects to assist local hospitals in workflow redesign and operational excellence.