The role of boundary objects in health innovation: design for alignment

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    This thesis investigated and explored if and how boundary objects and their perspective can contribute to the meaningful design of innovation for the healthcare sector. The concept of boundary objects has found its way into healthcare and health contexts. Boundary object scan have many forms and can trigger different learning mechanisms: identification, coordination, relfection, and transformation. The reflection and transformation mechanisms are underrepresented in existing literature, but pursuing the reflective mechanism in design, development, and implementation projects is beneficial for a fluid and smooth integration of innovation into practice. Our case studies show that it is significant to trigger the reflective mechanism during the design and innovation process. By applying methods and prototypes as boundary objects and by approaching interventions to be developed as boundary objects, we see good effects in terms of acceptance, adoption, and creating (co-)ownership of the innovation, whit an inclusive design as outcome. The boundary object focus and perspective adds value to existing change and innovation frameworks by not pursuing consensus but harmony in differences. Results of this thesis are useful for both the growing design discipline in health as for policymakers in healthcare who have to come up with innovative strategies to meet the challenges healthcare faces today. Future work should focus on a more unambiguous use of the concept in healthcare, a pursuit to trigger the reflective mechanism in innovative processes in health, and adopt more 'designerly ways of knowing’ in health by applying design research in complex healthcare issues.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Pierie, Jean-Pierre, Supervisor
    • Kuipers, Derek, Co-supervisor
    • van t Veer, Job T. B., Co-supervisor, External person
    • Prins, Jelle, Co-supervisor
    Award date30-Mar-2022
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-6458-064-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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