When it comes to innovation, the first things that often comes to mind are companies like Apple, SpaceX, or Amazon. And while these companies are leading the way in terms of technological innovation, they fail to include the widespread implications that innovation has on improving the overall wellbeing of populations. After all, being able to order a replacement rug within minutes of spilling on your existing one with the click of a button is great but improving the quality of life and treating/ preventing disease is better. So, while Tim Cook, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos may be the most prominent names in terms of innovative leaders, nursing leaders have proven themselves to fit within this category as well as they are spearheading the innovational transformation of healthcare.
- Promoting patient-centric care models. Recently, healthcare has pivoted away from models that simply seek to treat and prevent diseases toward those that also encompass the external factors that contribute to patient health.
- As described by Dr. Bradley, COO of the Healthcare Experience Foundation, “I believe our most exciting next-gen movement in nursing has to do not with technology, but with providing a new kind of experience of healthcare. We are in the midst of a true revolution from a disease-centric focus to a focus that takes into account what people experience as they move through the healthcare continuum”.1
- Creating entrepreneurial solutions for healthcare challenges. These days, many nurse leaders hold advanced degrees in business or public administration. This advanced education in finance or administration, coupled with professional leadership experience can make for a seemingly smooth transition into the business realm in a variety of different areas including consulting, user-experience roles and business ownership.
- According to Michelle Greene Rhodes, an RN and public speaker, “When nurses step into businesses—as owners or consultants, they have the opportunity to effect speedy changes. Take electronic medical records (EHRs) for example. If nurses come on board with a company designing the digital products that maintain those records, they can speak to user experience in a way no one else could. They can bring up common grievances with other EHR systems to make the product more efficient and more intuitive for healthcare professionals to use”1.
- Streamlining automation of administrative duties. Unnecessary administrative downtime that detracts from a nurse’s ability to fulfill their bedside duties is among the main complaints for nurses who experience workplace burnout as it can detract from their ability to deliver quality direct-patient care.
- As stated by Sherry Dillion, RN, CPHRM, “When we keep patients at the focal point, a nurse can have an impact whether it’s direct-patient care or creating innovations that make nursing care easier”1.
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