Session Notes: This workshop does not offer MOC-II credit.

As the need for developing new models of mental health care delivery has grown more obvious in recent years, so has the attention this specialty is receiving. Informaticists across the country are beginning to explore how informatics can help. Unfortunately, most medical environments – even those actively seeking to be creative and innovative – fail to provide the necessary creative resources to sustain a culture that encourages this type of thinking over periods of time longer than a year. In this workshop we aim to provide a collaborative environment in which we can use creative ideation and idea convergence techniques, methods borrowed from the business world, to identify areas of need in mental health to which informatics can contribute, both products to be developed and research to be conducted. To accomplish these goals, we will implement a series of exercises that will take us through each stage of the Parnes-Osborne Creative Problem Solving (CPS) model: objective finding, fact finding, problem finding, idea finding, solution finding, and acceptance finding. This process focuses on encouraging participants to question their basic assumptions, remove the inherent bias that their experience provides, and leverage the variety of perspectives in the people around them as a means of redefining problems and generating ideas and solutions that they would not have otherwise identified. In doing so, we intend to foster relationships between people with varying expertise and resources in mental health informatics in a manner that broadens what projects are feasible. As a working group we hope to utilize that success as a means to galvanize around a collective and connected agenda for members going forward that pushes towards real solutions in this space.

Learning Objective 1: The primary goal of this workshop is to generate innovative research and product ideas to improve mental health informatics, and connect people interested in executing those ideas and those who have the resources necessary to do so. As a result, each participant should leave the workshop with an idea (or ideas) they want to pursue to improve mental health informatics, people to collaborate on these ideas with, and potential resources to help execute this idea.

Learning Objective 2: Participants can also expect to learn how to appropriately utilize divergent thinking tasks in various contexts to foster idea generation, and how to converge on feasible, actionable results that produce innovations in their areas of expertise. Participants will learn both the activities and the demeanor to encourage the ideation and innovation process in their professional world.


Aaron Nathan (Presenter)
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Alisa Busch (Presenter)
McLean Hospital

Piper Ranallo (Presenter)
Six Aims for Behavioral Health

Presentation Materials: