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Healthcare delivery is filled with cumbersome, redundant and inefficient activities. Many of us can think of at least a few work-related tasks that inspire unnecessary headaches.

In many institutions there exist bureaucratic processes that discourage employees from surfacing and organizations from solving these issues.

The Brigham and Women’s Digital Innovation Hub, or iHub, made it their goal to improve the Brigham employee experience by empowering all staff to present ideas and use lessons learned from a hospital-wide initiative to engage staff in supporting COVID recovery efforts.

“The iHub used crowdsourcing to elicit ideas from front-line staff to solve everyday problems,” said Caroline C. Coy, Innovation Strategy Manager at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Coy will address the of crowdsourcing to drive innovation at HIMSS21, explaining how a digital crowdsourcing tool was used to make the process of submitting ideas simple.

“This was accompanied by a sophisticated marketing campaign to engage staff where they worked,” she said. “Marketing materials featured example ideas, such as moving a paper process to be digital or eliminating clicks in a digital tool, accutane hypokalemia to provide context and provoke ideas.”

The iHub also held listening sessions with key stakeholders to understand their opportunities and challenges with improving efficiency by using digital tools.

These sessions informed development of the program and helped to socialize a new concept across the organization.

“Engaging front-line staff early can help to build relationships and interest in the program,” Coy noted. “Developing processes for collecting, evaluating and triaging ideas should be done early to understand how different resources, such as internal committees and existing marketing channels, can be leveraged to assist.”

She also pointed out key performance indicator metrics should be aligned to the goals of the innovation program.

“User engagement is often an important component, so developing metrics to assess how many people were engaged and the number of ideas submitted is helpful,” Coy said. “In many healthcare organizations, priorities can shift quickly, so measuring agility and effectiveness of programs can ensure that goals are met even with changing conditions such as the COVID crisis.”

She recommended targeting issues that matter by engaging front line staff since they notice looming problems and exciting opportunities every day.

Coy noted it’s important to make it easy for staff to offer “in the moment” insights through their daily work.

“Using a web-preferred, mobile responsive platform to collect ideas and drive collaboration is beneficial,” she said. “Consider a sophisticated and fun outreach strategy to share your message across multiple channels, engaging a variety of audiences. Then design a seamless process to drive analysis, feedback, decision making, execution and follow-ups.”

Caroline Coy will discuss the value of bottom-up, employee-led, innovation efforts at HIMSS21 in a session titled “Leveraging the Power of Crowds to Tackle Everyday Challenges.” It’s scheduled for Wednesday, August 11, from 4-5 p.m. in Wynn Lafite 2.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @dropdeaded209

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