The combined impact of an aging population's healthcare needs and the growing prevalence of chronic disease has, and will continue to have, a significant impact on healthcare capacity and economics. In the context of resource constraints there is a tendency to focus on doing more with less. However, the real opportunity may lie in building capacity by doing things differently. The authors propose a new paradigm for innovative hospital care and illustrate its potential by examining recent endeavours at a large, full-service hospital in Southern Ontario.

Innovation is about finding new ways of doing things that lead to better outcomes. Many healthcare leaders characterize their organizations as innovative, asserting they are committed to identifying and implementing best practices in clinical care. Despite this pledge, the lag time in the clinical implementation of translational research can be up to 17 years (Morris et al. 2011). Clearly, there is an opportunity to achieve better outcomes by developing a more systematic approach to implementing this type of research. Creating a culture of innovation in which ideas thrive and there is a commitment to adopting proven best practices should be part of the solution.