Supporting mental health in the Netherlands

Based in the Netherlands, Kwintes is one of the country’s largest providers of mental health care, supporting clients with psychiatric or psychosocial problems. With over 1,100 client care facilities they provide tailor-made care to those with multiple and complex problems, helping clients with their living situation, work and developing an independent life.
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The Netherlands



Improved evaluation for better service provisions

As with many other healthcare providers across the world, Kwintes needed vital funds to offer their services. 

“Money is always a problem in healthcare, and over the last few years we’ve received less and less money from the government, so we have to be creative with how we help our clients. Our board has had some ideas, but they didn’t know how to try them out, so they came to me and my team for help.” Sonja Brouwer, Program Manager I&A/ICT at Kwintes explained.

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With limited funds available, Kwintes needed a way to learn fast; identify good ideas, develop them where necessary and understand their impact before the money is spent on implementation. This need for fast experimentation and evaluation led to the birth of their innovation lab. 

To help with this process, Sonja met with edison365 partner, JSR, who introduced them to the innovation and ideation platform, edison365ideas. The tool would enable the entire organization to get involved, and allow them to vote on ideas, highlighting the popularity and potential impact of them. With JSR’s support, they also developed a standardized process for implementing new ideas that leveraged Microsoft Projects and PowerBI.

With their existing investment in Microsoft 365, edison365ideas was a no-brainer for Kwintes, and the familiar UI along with the support from JSR enabled them to quickly re-brand and configure the instance for their corporate identity.

Robots to the rescue

Kwintes initially launched their Innovation Lab, powered by edison365ideas, to the board. They identified 4 ideas that could have a real impact on their services, one of which was Tinybot Tessa. Tessa is a small robotic helper that helps patients create structure in their day with reminders to get out of bed, get dressed, and take their medicine.

Tessa robot

“Tessa helps clients with the basics, so our employees can do other things. Reminding clients to do things like take their medicine and such can be time consuming, but with Tessa our employees can focus on helping clients to achieve their goals.”

The initial launch of the Innovation lab further streamlined Kwintes’ processes through the implementation of an electronic medicine dispenser. The dispenser enabled clients to take medicine in their room, reducing the need for staff to monitor behaviour in queues as clients had to previously wait to collect their medication. 

Getting employees on board

After seeing the success of this first series of ideas, Kwintes decided to expand their Innovation Lab to include their employees and clients. “The clients, and the people who work with the clients know better than anyone else the problems they have on the work floor. That’s why we wanted to give them a platform to put on their ideas.” Hosting their lab on edison365ideas, they were easily able to expand the number of users on the system and added it to their intranet for greater accessibility.

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“It’s always difficult with a big organization when everyone is busy working with the clients to get them to put on ideas. So, we put a lot of communication out like flyers and in person meetings to tell them about the new platform.” Kwintes worked with employees across the organization to make them feel comfortable using the tool and ensuring that employees knew the changes being made were not there to replace the work they did, but to support them in delivering optimal care to their clients. Kwintes found that once employees saw the impact ideas such as Tessa had had on their clients, they understood the reason for this drive towards change.

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Innovating in a crisis

When COVID-19 hit, all work on in the lab stopped. However, Kwintes quickly realized they needed to maintain their service provisions in the ‘new normal’, and that there was no better time to innovate. “We had other priorities but now we need to understand how we can overcome challenges presented by the crisis, it is time to get back to work on innovations. It is precisely this crisis that taught us that innovations can make an important contribution to even better care.”

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With their lab back up and running, Kwintes will begin to review the ideas previously submitted, and chose four for implementation. The board builds a shortlist from the ideas submitted with the triage function in edison365ideas. They set their own KPIs to help determine which ideas would have the most potential. Employees and clients then vote on their top 4 ideas. They are already expecting greater engagement and more submissions from employees during the lab’s next run.

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