Innovation Series in Pulmonary Medicine

A conversation with Dr. Bruce Levy, Brigham and Women’s Pulmonary Division Chief about the November 2014 Innovation Series

Dr. Levy was looking for a way to bring his faculty together in a new way, “to bring about cohesion within the division” said Levy.  He decided to work with the Innovation Hub on a division “Innovation Series.”  He described the effort as having two main goals: the first was obviously cohesion, but the second was innovation itself.  Levy noted, “We added innovation to the department’s mission statement when I came on board, and after hearing about the hospital-wide hackathon, I was compelled to speak with the Innovation Hub about doing a division-based hackathon.”

He described the process, “within the department we held meetings with innovation leaders to form early concepts, which were followed by formal brainstorms.”  “In the faculty meetings about thirty people pitched problems.  Then, we gave everyone a few stickers to vote on which problems they felt were most important, or that needed the most attention.  After coming together with the iHub team, about six problems emerged as the subjects for the half-day hackathon,” Levy continued.

When asked about the experience, Levy recalled the excitement of the innovation series: “people within the department who had never really worked together before, starting working together in their innovation efforts.  People really came together under the leadership of the Innovation Hub.”

While three of the final ideas were identified as the winners, Levy felt that the most exciting result of the Innovation Series was the team-building and camaraderie that his department experienced.  Levy noted, “other departments should absolutely think about doing this – BWH is an exciting venue for innovation.  We should use the Innovation Series to enable and empower physicians, while providing the opportunity for physicians and researchers to work together.”