A design thinking framework for healthcare management and innovation

Healthc (Amst). 2016 Mar;4(1):11-4. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2015.12.002. Epub 2016 Jan 14.


The business community has learned the value of design thinking as a way to innovate in addressing people's needs--and health systems could benefit enormously from doing the same. This paper lays out how design thinking applies to healthcare challenges and how systems might utilize this proven and accessible problem-solving process. We show how design thinking can foster new approaches to complex and persistent healthcare problems through human-centered research, collective and diverse teamwork and rapid prototyping. We introduce the core elements of design thinking for a healthcare audience and show how it can supplement current healthcare management, innovation and practice.

Keywords: Design thinking; Human-centered; Innovation; Systems thinking.

MeSH terms

  • Creativity*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Health Services
  • Humans
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Problem Solving*
  • Research Design
  • Thinking*