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| 2 minutes read

International Fellow, NHS Horizons Team Day 6 #jodemeontour

I have come to Glasgow to experience my first 'Health and Care Sprint".  A sprint to apply design thinking to health and care realities.  

I haven't experienced a #SprintSchool before.  I am now a fan.  Sprint school connects us to our common humanity as a way to unleash our potential to innovate and drive radical change and improvement.  

The Horizons Team have collaborated with @design4ahs to bring the #sprintschool to Scotland.  The Horizons team knows that connecting design thinking to improvement efforts in health and social care is a way to act in #newpower ways. With partners, the Horizons team has not only brought the session to run in Scotland before the start of the BMJ / IHI's International Forum on Quality and Safety, but they are also participating in it.  Amazing to see how curious and eager the team is to continue to learn and grow.  I personally love this about the team.  Leading radical change while constantly growing and learning.  This is in the DNA of the team and I believe the reason why they continue to sit at the forefront of catalysing radical change driven by shared purpose.

Key principles:  no hierarchy, equal access, co design with patients, caregivers (carers), clinicians, CEO's etc...  all driven by our own personal stories in health and social care to connect us to the emotions that we experience so we get out of our heads and into our hearts. 

I shared the experience of my mom going in and out of hospital during this past year and what it has been like for my sisters and I.  It forced me to be vulnerable and it forced others to be vulnerable with me.  We found a deep human connection by opening up to each other. 

After we connected from the heart, we could then move to using both our head and our heart to create the energy and thinking for change that's embedded in shared purpose.  


Sprint schools often generate 800+ ideas and 30 get prototyped and move into organizations. It is also about creating and being hands on to innovate and prototype. Sprint schools are designed to address the 'wicked problems'.  They are to create ideas and solutions that have not yet been created so that we can disrupt the status quo and move transformational change forward.

The entire process is #codesigned with everyone involved including patients and their caregivers (carers)

"People come to @design4ahs with complicated problems that have no clear solution and sit squarely in the grey zone of right and wrong". It has been wonderful finding Canadian colleagues to be inspired by while I am in Scotland.  Thank you, Marlies @tweetvandijk and Erin @erin_4508.

If you’re in the mood to check out some more info about design thinking and health + care sprints, @design4ahs put this list together. check out these links:

Read these articles from IDEO to learn more about design thinking:

Visit the Google Ventures wseebsite to learn more about running a sprint:

Watch these videos from AJ+Smart to learn specific sprint tools:

Use this decision tool from D4AHS to decide if a health + care sprint is right for your problem:

Read about the Scottish approach to service design (check out the blogs):

The biggest opportunities to transform healthcare lie not within strategies or processes, but mindsets @design4ahs #sprintschool connects us to our common humanity as a way to unleash our potential to innovate and drive radical change and improvement.