Experts from the Independence Blue Center for Health Care Innovation are teaching others how to use design thinking to solve real challenges in health care. This month, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) hosted workshops in Philadelphia and Chicago to introduce students, business and health care professionals, and fellow Blue plan associates to the key principles of Independence’s innovation toolkit — the means through which its experts apply design thinking to help solve problems.
In the workshops — which are geared toward groups of all types and sizes and address a wide range of real-world business problems — Independence uses the toolkit to help people learn how to ask the right questions, conduct research, test their ideas, and move an idea to implementation. For example, one way in which these workshops have been successfully used has been to help Independence’s marketing professionals better understand the health care needs for Philadelphia’s growing Hispanic population.
Other ways these toolkits have been used include a workshop that was held October 6 – 7 during which Independence Director of Innovation Michelle Histand teamed up with instructors from Penn Medicine’s Center for Health Care Innovation to help participants apply solutions to real population health problems, such as how to lower Philadelphia’s high smoking rates. Also, on October 12 – 13, Histand and others from Independence’s Innovation team led an introductory design thinking workshop for nearly 50 executives from 19 Blue Plans across the nation who gathered in Chicago, the headquarters for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.