The Mackenzie Health Innovation Unit was initially conceptualized as a living laboratory on a working in-patient unit, where we could study changes in workflow, patient and staff satisfaction, and outcomes that resulted from the introduction of new technologies, practice changes, and alternative service delivery models. We were particularly interested in understanding how these innovations would be adopted by staff, and what lessons could be learned to facilitate spread throughout our organization. We were also developing output specifications for the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, and wanted our work in the Innovation Unit to inform the requirements for our new state-of-the-art facility.
We selected an in-patient medical unit with a staff that already excelled in care delivery, had a history of early adoption to change, and was willing to embrace the challenges of applied innovation. Through partnership with industry and academia, we selected the early innovations that would become the formative elements of the Innovation Unit. In order to accommodate advanced technologies, we retrofitted the unit, located in a 50 year old facility, with both wired and wireless networking.