How Innovation and Technology are Business Game Changers:
Dr. Naomi Fried, Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital described some new innovations in the medical community that are leveraging technology to improve communication and patient experiences.
- Nurse was challenged in bringing infant temperatures back up after medical procedures (have to cool body to perform brain procedures). Since humans lose 40% of our body heat through the head, she decided to create a warming hat. She applied for and gained an innovation grant through Boston Children’s to develop a thermal cap that is applied to infants on the hospital table and allows them to warm temperatures more efficiently and safely.
- Discharge communication platform that uses text messaging to communicate with patients after they leave the hospital. Responses are received by a nurse and tracked in a dashboard so physicians know who opened the message and who might need a personal phone call follow up.
- My Passport helps patients navigate the hospital through a mobile app that tracks lab results, visitors to patients and even photos of all caretakers.
Deborah Theobald, Co-founder and CEO Vecna Technologies described the cycle of innovation and sustaining activities that keep technology businesses alive. In particular she gave an example of how machines are automating services and changing the human relationships. In one case, she described how this was positive in the hospital setting where the machine/computer took over the negative tasks of checking patients in, collecting co-pays, asking for insurance information, etc. The hospital changed the standard “Clerk” position to more of a “Concierge” or “Ambassador” who was able to great a positive relationship with patients and allow the computer/machine to be the channel for negative energy.
How do you hire for success?
Deborah’s Answer – We look for hands-on practical skills and knowledge. People can’t be afraid of challenges and jumping into things you don’t know. Something on your resume that shows a willingness to learn because they hire people with a diverse set of skills and put them together in project teams based on company needs.
How do you create a culture of innovation?
Naomi – Innovation is hard. Have to stick with it. My advice if you want to attract those who are drawn to innovative cultures is to provide them with resources, don’t forget to reward them (even with accolades over pay) and create an environment where risk-taking is accepted.
Are women risk adverse?
Deborah – I don’t think we are, I just think we need the tools to feel confident in our ability to pull it off. (Women are planners vs men who just act). Women invest more of themselves than their male counterparts so risk taking becomes a reflection of our self worth. We need mentors who can provide tools and roadmaps, and to simply be confident in our ability to take risks.