Healthy Workplace Innovation Community

Rationale / Objectives

Healthcare workers find themselves regularly being put in unique situations involving life or death decisions, and experience a higher risk of violence than other workplaces. Despite these stressful situations and environments, there is no available curated depository of best-practices that HCPs can turn to that will suggest day-to-day activities they can do to manage their stress and keep themselves safe.

Project/Program Description & Major Achievements

A Toronto-based hospital joined Colleaga to develop a space where healthy workplace best-practices could be identified and to discover how to implement them. They recognize that participating in a community that offers support resources, information on avoiding workplace violence, and creating a healthy environment is essential to ensuring the health and safety of healthcare providers and their patients.

The hospital partnered with Colleaga to transform how they engage staff to address this most critical problem. They created an Office of Innovation that includes business development, transformation, and research and development functions. A strategic framework guides the organization in balancing day-to-day operations with the need to think about the safety and future of its staff. The diverse experiences, background, and expertise of all staff help produce ideas that are out-of-the-box and transformational.

Lessons Learned

This community became the foundation for a challenge using the Colleaga Health Solutions innovation platform. Use of the Colleaga platform provided a unique opportunity to engage staff in potential solutions, as well as raise awareness of the issue. Staff was more likely to participate if they could see the value in how their ideas contribute to better outcomes.

People / Organizations Involved


Further Description

In the fall of 2016, the Toronto-based hospital partnered with Colleaga to run an innovation challenge over a 6-week period to accelerate innovation across the organization by engaging a diverse mix of staff. Colleaga created a public Safe and Healthy Workplace Community of Practice to bring together primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, and other HCPs to share best practices, including relevant resources, and encourage engagement of users.

A project sponsor was chosen to with the commitment and resources to help guide the challenge.

This challenge involved a small test group of users (N=36) to generate ideas on how to reduce workplace violence. A total of 37 ideas were generated, with the first 4 best ideas identified as being valued at more than $1M in cost savings. The top 2 ideas are now being implemented at the hospital itself. Feedback from participants was positive.

Major Achievements

Colleaga developed a Healthy Workplace Community of Practice with a populated knowledge repository with numerous articles, case studies and tools about healthy healthcare workplaces, reduction of workplace violence and stress relief for healthcare workers. The Community hospital Office of Innovation partnered with Colleaga to run an innovation challenge over a 6-week period to accelerate innovation across the organization and generate ideas for improving the health of their workplace and a particular focus on violence reduction. 37 ideas were generated, with the first 4 best ideas identified as being value at more than $1M in cost savings.

The hospital has approved and budgeted for implementing the top 2 ideas. The Office of Innovation received accolades for spearheading a corporate priority that also was very meaningful for improving health worker safety and environment.

Colleaga is a social venture that partners with organizations to solve wicked problems using an Innovation-as-a-Service approach. The Colleaga innovation engine helps healthcare organizations crowdsource fresh approaches to challenges from internal staff and links it into global knowledge and members of the Colleaga Commons through Communities of Practice. The Colleaga innovation engine includes:

  • Structured innovation processes to make the path forward visible
  • Innovation governance to ensure swift decision-making
  • Tools to facilitate idea and innovation portfolio management
  • Online public and private collaboration space

Our process brings together and engages an ecosystem of partners and guides them through an innovation process that leads to implementable solutions.

Supporting Evidence: