The Care Collaboratory

A Human-Centered Approach to Defining the Future of Healthcare


The Care Collaboratory for Healthcare Innovation

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The Care Collaboratory for Healthcare Innovation


a center without walls

We are Making a Positive Difference in Healthcare


◼︎ Through a human-centered approach to creating innovations, we unlock positive organizational transformation to define the future of healthcare.

◼︎ We build and support learning communities of engaged stakeholders, including patients and caregivers, focused on making practical decisions that lead to human health and flourishing and to the welfare of the human spirit.

◼︎ We utilize collective creativity to explore care innovations by offering training and coaching resources and open learning and design spaces to solve healthcare’s wicked problems.

Simply stated, our present industry is at odds with its purpose. Redesign of our health system must begin with the human beings rendering and receiving care. Positively caring offers a very different and powerful perspective. The work of the policy-maker, the work of the leader, the work of the caregiver, and the work of the patient have to be different by design—positively designed with empathy. Positively caring is what our Care Collaboratory is all about.
— Why We Positively Care
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Designing Memorable Patient and Workforce Experiences


Positive-Change Leadership and Design-Thinking Innovations

We do this through care Design-Training Solutions


Care Design-Training Solutions offer healthcare organizations the innovative 4-3-2-1 Design™ for Positive Human-Centered Healthcare, enabling their reach of the Quadruple Aim. Positive-change leadership workshops, design-thinking training sessions, and workforce development programs help organizations design memorable patient and workforce experiences leading to human flourishing and the welfare of their human capital.

Some human touches I have noticed in our clinic over the last few months are heartfelt laughter among patients and staff while handling disease and life changes, smiles and kindness in the atmosphere even during the most tense of times, side conversations focused on raising the bar for our approach to patient care, questions of why we function in certain ways and if it can be improved, and innovation in clinic-patient communication to raise satisfaction for every patient every visit.
— Primary care physician
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Offering Conversations to Make Innovation Happen


Understand, Shape and Build Real-World Innovative Designs

We do this through Care Design-Leaders Network events


The Care Design-Leaders Network gathers healthcare organizations, supporting partners, technology startups, and individuals, including leaders, scholars, expert advisors, trained facilitators, skilled faculty, entrepreneurs, artists, innovators, and patients, who might not otherwise work together, and gives them a learning platform and a process to empathetically engage, radically collaborate, and rapidly build care innovation prototypes.

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Solving Design Challenges by Positively Caring


Making practical decisions that lead to human health and flourishing

We do this through building learning Laboratories of engaged stakeholders


Our approach is to draw attention to featured care design challenges, foster collaborative conversations, and identify organizations willing to try care innovations.  We hope our care innovation learning laboratories, with our enabling positive-change technology, new business models and value networks, offer organizations new paths to innovation, positive culture, compassionate care, memorable patient and workforce experiences, and healthcare value.


Featured CARE Design Challenge

Great Dad in Bed 10 of the ICU


The Design Challenge: Healthcare professionals in critical care are experiencing high levels of burnout causing many to leave their jobs.  The causes of burnout are multifactorial and include moral distress and a sense of futility in the care of people dying of terminal chronic disease.

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The Innovation: Participating organizations will commit that, for (initially) a single bed in a critical care area, newly admitted patients (or their families/healthcare proxy) will, in addition to all usual admission processes, be asked the question: “In order to provide you (your family member) with the best care possible, what three non-medical facts should your healthcare team know about you (them)?”  The response to this question will be displayed somewhere in the room-—via a dedicated whiteboard, via a poster board, or other method of visual display.  This is the front-end part of Great Dad.

At the time that the patient leaves that critical care room, improved or not, alive or not, available members of the healthcare team will huddle in the room and remind each other what they learned about that patient as a person, from the responses to the above question and through any other methods (artifacts, stories, etc.) that may have occurred during that person’s stay in the unit.  This is the back-end part of Great Dad.

Prior to participating in Great Dad all care team members will play the conversation game Hello together for 30 minutes.  The above question is derived from Helloand as part of the gameplay experience, players respond to that question for themselves.


The Outcome:  We will measure moral distress, empathy, and workplace satisfaction among participants pre/post.  We anticipate improvements in all of these domains.

For more information, please contact us here.

This innovation originated in a design session associated with the End Well Symposium: Design for the End of Life Experience.

This featured design challenge is in cooperation with Common Practice and The Berkeley Innovation Group.


Common Practice

Start a conversation about living and dying and what matters most.


The Berkeley Innovation Group


A useful infographic on finding new human-centered ways to change the work of care can be downloaded here.

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Creating Our Future Healthcare


Unlock Positive Organizational Transformation

WE DO THIS THROUGH Action Learning and Care Innovation INSIGHTS


✔︎ Actionable insights and solutions to healthcare's wicked problems

✔︎ Access to cross-industry designers and educators

✔︎ Real-world design innovations with a return on investments

✔︎ New ventures and shared intellectual property opportunities

✔︎ Design and deployment of care-design innovation centers

✔︎ Positive cultures for new consumer-oriented facilities

✔︎ Innovation and design training for emerging talent

✔︎ Design and deployment of sustainable positive healthcare organizations


Innovations Making a Positive Difference in Healthcare

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Contact Us

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The Care Collaboratory for Healthcare Innovation

For more information on Capacity Building, Innovation Labs, and Action learning

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