An ambitious goal

In 2016, Johns Hopkins Sibley took on the ambitious challenge of being the national role model for innovation in healthcare. Every manager, director, VP and C-Suite leader at Sibley is responsible for undertaking four innovation projects a year. We think it's the largest roll out of lean and design in any community hospital, ever. 

Staff-led projects follow the Sibley Innovation Method, our open source three step process of: Listen, Imagine, Do! Teams are small, focused and encouraged to solve within arm's reach.

Hubster-led projects span longer timeframes and have more ambitious scopes. Examples include: 

  • RoomOS - bedside technology to understand and react to the needs of patients in realtime. 
  • Centre Sibley - a concierge-like space and team to help visitors and patients with anything they may need while visiting the hospital. 
  • The Tranquility Room - designed by Artist in Residence Yoko Sen, the tranquility room is a space for caregiving staff to recharge. 
  • About Me Boards - born of a secession of failed prototypes, the simplest solution proved to be the best. About Me is a fixture in every patient room designed to help recognize the non-patient identity of everyone we care for. 


The Sibley Innovation Method

The Sibley version of innovation incorporates design + lean + tech. To make the process simple, enjoyable and approachable, we've cut the jargon. We call it Listen, Imagine, Do! 

The Sibley Innovation Hub uses design thinking to find the perfect mixture of what is desirable, viable and feasible. Design thinking is a process for tackling problems.  Rather than beginning with the end goal in mind, we begin with the end user.  To us, design thinking is about solving problems for our end-user, whoever that may be.   

To learn more, please sign up for a class, read about our projects or watch the videos below! 

Building a Culture of Design 

We believe a culture of design leads to a more engaged, creative and people-centered organization.  A culture of design promotes multidisciplinary problem-solving, always with the end user in mind.  We’re building on the success of other companies from other industries, like IBM, to get there. 

At Sibley, the Hub promotes a see one, do one, lead one model.  It begins with offering a two day intensive introduction to design thinking for everyone from the front line to senior leadership.  From there, Sibley staff have the opportunity to join a design project.  Many go on to lead their own design challenges!

Hub Rules

  • Run Towards the Challenge 
  • Always Be Designing
  • Design With, not For
  • Solve within Arms Reach
  • Empower Everyone

Here is one example:


The how

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”-Tim Brown president and CEO of IDEO


I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past.
— Clara Barton, Founder of the American Red Cross