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    Innovative thinking to control healthcare-associated infections

     

    To create hypothetical solutions that can lead to problem-solving, SIT follows a set of given patterns. In fact, for thousands of years, innovators have used these five simple patterns in their inventions, usually without even realizing it.

    The five patterns are: subtraction, task unification, division, attribute dependency and multiplication. These patterns are embedded into products and services almost like DNA. They regulate thinking and channel the ideation process in a structured way that makes people even more creative.

    As an example, consider how to apply the task unification pattern to HAI prevention. Task unification is defined as assigning an additional job to an existing resource. It’s a useful technique to help break the natural tendency toward functional fixedness, a cognitive bias that prevents us from seeing opportunities outside what’s expected.

    To use task unification, make a list of components and resources within a hospital. The component list would include things like:

    • Board of trustees

    • Hospital management team

    • Doctors

    • Nurses

    • Technologists

    • Radiology department

    • Laboratory

    • Rehabilitation

    • Pharmacy

    • Admissions

    • Discharge

    • Patient records

    • Finance

    • Marketing

    • HR

    • IT

    • OR

    • Patient rooms

    • Nursing stations

    Next: Finding plausible solutions

     

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