OCAD University Open Research Repository

Play and Games for Transformational Innovation in the Ontario Healthcare System

Fokias, Marie-Helene and Nguyen, An John (2020) Play and Games for Transformational Innovation in the Ontario Healthcare System. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Fokias, Marie-Helene and Nguyen, An John

With increasingly unsustainable healthcare expenditures and the emergence of more complex chronic conditions, the Ontario Health System is a highly bureaucratic structure that continues to evolve at an incremental rate. What’s challenging however, is that expectations of society and patients are changing and increasing; and at the current pace of change, needs are not being reached quickly enough as a whole.

Healthcare in Ontario is an industry attempting to address wicked problems in a complex system and to do so, requires a shift in thinking and drive towards innovation.

Innovation has been defined in many ways. Here, we consider it within a healthcare context. For the purpose of our research, healthcare innovation means the development of new or novel ways of delivering health services that improve the patient experience and impact the system at a large scale. Healthcare organizations have been promoting innovation as a means to solve problems; however, innovation has not been widely defined within this industry, and innovations have occurred in piecemeal ways toward incremental improvement of the existing system.

We speculate that radical transformation of the healthcare system will require a shift in paradigm to redefine how to meet the health needs of individuals and society. If healthcare organizations wish to be more fully included as active participants in large scale change, they must cultivate the appropriate capacities to integrate futures and design thinking into their practice. Games offer up the potential to encourage problem solving, creativity, and relationship building, all of which are inputs to drive transformational innovation.

In this research, we aim to explore our primary research question: How might Ontario healthcare organizations use games to foster a culture of innovation?
We develop insights by mapping the current healthcare system and examining its behaviour and functions, and by considering its relationship with innovation to date. Further, through a review of literature, we discover what elements contribute to transformational innovation and those that emerge from play and games. Lastly, we select and play two games on the paidic end of the game spectrum (unstructured and open-ended), and discuss their potential fit for the healthcare system. We landed on ideation card games; more specifically, futures-oriented games that would be of interest to a healthcare audience in imagining future trajectories, that offer simple game mechanics easy enough for a group of busy professionals to grasp and align with the theme of transformation.
We assert that, backed by a transformational leadership mindset, integrating play and games into their practice, Ontario healthcare organizations might better cultivate and grow their workforce’s capacities to solve problems, be creative, and build relationships, thereby developing cognitive capacities to participate in transformational innovation.

Date: 17 December 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Play, Games, Innovation, Healthcare, Healthcare Innovation, Healthcare System, Transformational Innovation, Incremental Innovation, Types of Innovation, Serious Games, Foresight, Futures Games, Design Thinking, Hierarchy, Ontario, Patient, Patient-Centred, Problem Solving, Creativity, Fostering Relationships, System Design
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2021 15:47
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 21:00
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3164

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