Innovating from the Front Lines

Last month, several team members walked into our Innovation Lab in the hospital to find a note on our whiteboard (pictured above).

In large writing it read:

Lower the cost of goods sold/consumed by using medical staff at every level to help innovate and engineer product and patent creation. Everybody, everywhere, see [a] need, fill a need.
— David

Here at iHub we couldn’t agree more with David.

iHub’s goal is to surface great ideas from every part of the hospital community – research scientists, doctors, nurses, social workers, support staff, volunteers – they’re the ones working with patients and families on a daily basis. Recognizing that they’re the most powerful sources of innovation in healthcare, iHub tries to make sure their voices are part of the conversation.

This “while you were out” message was the perfect preamble to our May Innovation Hour last week. Every month we host a guest speaker presentation: past topics have included debunking machine learning myths and how to craft the “perfect pitch.” This month, we welcomed Dean Nancy Hanrahan, PhD, RN, FAAN, and two nurse entrepreneurs – or, since I can’t resist, entrepre-nurses – from the Northeastern University School of Nursing. In addition to its unique, immersive co-op requirement, which provides hands-on clinical education (some trainees coming through BWH), the progressive program is a strong supporter of innovation and entrepreneurship, and will be hosting its first-ever nursing Summit and Hackathon later this month.

Northeastern alumnae and entrepre-nurses Tiffany Kelley, PhD, MBA, RN, and Rebecca Love, RN, ANP, each presented on growing businesses out of solutions to everyday pain points nurses face. Their experiences were inspiring examples of how important it is for innovation to come from the front-line deliverers of patient care. They also gave practical advice on how to get started with innovation.

In particular we loved this nugget from Tiffany: “Think about the things that drive you absolutely crazy, every single day.” At iHub we’re all about getting people who know the problem best to think about how to solve their real-world problems. If it’s driving you crazy, it’s likely you’re not the only one.

What would you like to innovate on today? You can comment here, send us an e-mail, or write on our whiteboard when no one is around.

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Bev Hardy
iHub Innovation Strategy Manager