Shining a Spotlight on Clinical Innovation at BWH
Bringing together physicians, scientists, nurses, residents, trainees, administrators and other members of the BWH community, the first annual Clinical Innovation Day was an opportunity for BWH to showcase the many clinical innovations flourishing here at the hospital.
The BluePrint event celebrated innovations in process improvement, care redesign, health information technology and more, with panel sessions, workshops, a keynote address and a poster session throughout the afternoon. Read on for a few of the event highlights.
Innovation in Health Information Technology
Wristwatches that record vital signs every second. Devices that constantly monitor fluid levels in congestive heart failure patients. Novel inventions like these are the next frontier of health information technology, with the capacity to churn out truly huge amounts of data. But how can we use these numbers in a meaningful way?
This was the main topic explored during the Innovations in Health Information Technology panel. Panelists discussed the prospect of data being automatically sent to a patient’s physician for review, and using data to engage patients in their own care, showing them how daily choices like going for a walk can affect their health.
Regardless of how data is used, an ongoing challenge will be ensuring patients are comfortable storing and transferring their information, panelists said. “We need to create strong, safe electronic systems that people feel confident using and that aren’t at risk of being breached,” said moderator Jim Noga, chief information officer for Partners HealthCare.
Are We Ready? Innovation in Clinical Care at BWH
Innovative projects and ways of thinking infuse energy across BWH. Panelists shared some of their exciting work, including the use of Webcam technology to enhance care and collaboration with community hospitals; the streamlined redesign of Emergency Medicine at BWH; and the embedding of Mental Health services and the Centering Pregnancy group health model into BWH’s care of high-risk pregnant women.
“The themes represented by these projects include the critical importance of data, as well as collaboration as keys to success,” said panel moderator Jessica Dudley, MD, chief medical officer of the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization.
The Innovator’s Journey
First-person accounts of innovation resonated with those who attended the Innovator’s Journey session, which featured the success stories of four physician innovators. The diverse stories provided key insights into the process of translating an idea into the clinical space-from smart phone photo apps for the electronic health record to creating skin substitutes.
“Leadership at BWH has supported progress like this for 10 to 15 years,” said Ramin Khorasani, MD, MPH, vice chair of BWH’s Department of Radiology, of his work in health IT improvements for medical imaging. “It’s a reflection of our insititution’s innovative leadership in health IT, which has impacted not only how we deliver care from a quality and safety perspective but also financial and operational perspectives.”
“If there is one 30-minute space to think wild and crazy, this should be it,” said Rodrigo Martinez during his keynote address in Bornstein Amphitheater.
Martinez is the life sciences chief strategist at IDEO, a global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations innovate and grow. He engaged the audience by sharing his insight and personal experiences in designing health care products and processes that use simplicity and creativity and keep the human experience in mind. He shared some of his projects, including the design of an operating room based on NASCAR’s pit crew workflow and an insulin kit inspired by everything from personal electronics packaging to pizza boxes.
“Serious play anchors the innovation process,” said Martinez.
Jessica Logsdon, PA-C, MHA, associate director for performance improvement for BWH Neurosurgery, who presented at the poster session, deemed the day a success. “It was a great opportunity for people who don’t generally participate in these types of events, and for us to be able to share our work with the rest of the BWH community. It fosters networking and collaboration.”
Added Mary Pennington, MSN, RN, nursing program director for the Center for Nursing Excellence: “It’s so interesting to see all of the innovations happening across the hospital and service lines, from Neurosurgery to the NICU.”