Through a new challenge called DO IT — Decreasing Operational Inefficiencies Together — the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub (iHub) is inviting faculty, staff and trainees to help uncover the most inefficient, cumbersome or redundant work-related tasks and technologies that they wrestle with daily.
But that’s just the beginning. The iHub team also wants to solve these day-to-day headaches and administrative burdens using digital technology.
“It’s the little things that amount to mountains — stacks of paperwork, confusing technology, long hours spent on bureaucratic tasks like documentation and billing, resulting in less and less time to deliver care,” said Santosh Mohan, MMCi, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, managing director of iHub. “These everyday inefficiencies clutter our workflows and lead to frustration among staff and patients.”
Now through March 18, the DO IT Challenge welcomes all Brigham employees, regardless of department or role, to participate by visiting bwhihub.org/doit. Using an online submission form, staff can describe an existing problem and share a digital solution, including ways to improve Partners eCare (Epic). Staff can vote and comment on their favorite ideas to give them a better chance at being selected.
The iHub team will begin evaluating the crowdsourced ideas and proposed solutions in late March. One or two submissions will be chosen and matched with resources and support from the iHub and other internal funding to bring them to life. The winning projects will be announced this summer.
“Maybe someone has an idea about moving an inefficient paper process into the digital age, or perhaps they’re interested in how to make any number of arduous and repetitive technology-based tasks in their workflow more efficient,” Mohan said. “Whatever their ‘Eureka!’ moment is, DO IT is all about enabling simple and nimble digital solutions to creatively solve cumbersome problems.”
Channeling a Community of ‘Doers’
In developing the program, the iHub team partnered with Healthbox, the innovation arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and drew inspiration from an unconventional source: Marie Kondo, the Japanese author and self-described tidying expert who became a global sensation for her philosophy of discarding possessions that fail to “spark joy.”
“We are on a quest for digital solutions that can help us get rid of things that don’t ‘spark joy’ for our staff and patients,” Mohan said.
Another large source of inspiration was a similar initiative at Hawaii Pacific Health, a health care system in Honolulu, whose “Getting Rid of Stupid Stuff” program aimed to reduce documentation burdens for clinicians using its electronic health record (EHR) system.
“The initiative struck a chord with us,” Mohan said. “We decided to leverage the crowdsourcing approach, expand the scope of our program to cover more than the EHR, and collect not just problems, but also solutions and votes from staff.”
DO IT’s grassroots approach is essential to ensuring that whatever solutions are implemented address true pain points and resonate with staff, Mohan said.
“Our team believes that those best suited to voice these frustrations and help solve them are the employees who deal with them firsthand,” he said. “We’re bringing together a community of creative, insightful thinkers and ‘doers’ who want to improve the Brigham Experience for all of us.”