Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 3 years ago

Nurse-Led Innovation & The Importance of Nursing Input in the Development of Technology w/Dr. Bonnie Clipper

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

There are four times as many nurses as doctors in the healthcare field. However, input from nurses is often overlooked or ignored in the innovation process. How is leaving nurses, a valuable stakeholder group, out of the equation doing a disservice to the whole industry? What valuable skills and information do nurses bring to product development and commercialization? How can including nurses' insights optimize the product co-creation process?

 

On this episode, I’m joined by nurse-led innovation thought leader, author, and international speaker, Dr. Bonnie Clipper, who shares on the importance of including nurses in innovation and how to build innovations that succeed.

 

3 Things We Learned

  • Nurse insights are more critical than you realize at all levels of innovation
  • The viewpoints of physicians and surgical nurses are different from care nurses
  • How nurses can help health innovators develop more commercially viable solutions

 

Nurses play a huge role in the healthcare system, and that’s why it’s so important to weave their input into every stage of the innovation process from concept to product development to commercialization. Nurses can’t be excluded if we truly want to transform healthcare and improve patients' lives. Technology is just one part of the solution — human input is also necessary. Their input can be the difference between the market success or failure.

 

Welcome to Coiq and first of its kind video program about health innovators, early adoptors and influencers and their stories about writing the roller coaster of healthcare innovation. I'm your host, Dr Roxy, founder of Legacy DNA marketing group, and it's time to raise our COIQ. Welcome back toiq listeners. On today show I have Dr Bonnie Clipper with us and she is a really incredible woman. I'm really excited to speak to her today. She is an innovation evangelist, she's a professor, she's an author, she's an international speaker and she what's unique about her is for several years now she's had a laser focus on nurse led innovation, and this is a topic that I don't really hear discussed very often, and so I'm really interested in diving deep and for us to have a better understanding of what she's doing and how that would impact all of our innovative listeners who are bringing technology to market. So welcome to the show, Bonnie. Thanks for Roxy. So, first off, you know, for those of our listeners who don't know who you are, give us a little bit of information about your background and you know what you do there are tons of letters behind your name, so help us make sense of what it all means. Absolutely so. I have been a nurse for almost thirty years. I hate to say that at makes me feel older than I that I like to be, but I've done this for a while and I've actually been a chief nurse executive for twenty years and over the last five years, almost five years now, I pivoted into the innovation space to really focus on that. So my background as a nurse, I actually was in critical care and transplant and very early on in my practice I knew that I wanted to give feedback and make a change and what I learned is that as a bedside nurse you don't always get kind of the uptake or maybe the respect or people to listen...

...to the feedback the way that you believe is valuable. So I learned that I had to move up the ladder to kind of get into a leadership position to truly do things that that I felt like we're going to better the care for the patient, the environment for the nurses. So eventually I became a chief nursing officer and did debt for quite a while. I was a Robert Wood Johnson executive nurse bellow, starting in two thousand and fourteen, and for me that was really a catalyst. That's where I began to just learn about innovation and that was a mind blowing for me to completely different world, as a completely different nomenclature and it's all about sharing and collaboration. So that attracted me and as a result of that, I was actually asked to apply for the position that was new at the American Nurses Association at the time, for the vice president of innovation. So I did that for almost two years and actually we'll just be leaving that position and moving into a different role achieve clinical officer role of a tech company in a week. That's awesome. Will dive deeper into that for sure. So, you know, I think that it because this topic or phenomenon, in my mind, is so new for some people. Let's just start off talking about what do you mean when you say learn nurse led innovation and why is that even important? Yeah, that's a great question. So innovation has a multitude of definition. So often people try to pin me down to what's the definition. There isn't just one right. There's there's literally eight or ten definitions it's important to know about innovation is that it's really around novel approaches or sort of repurposing existing solutions in a way that brings value. It either maybe it saves money, or maybe it's streamlines a process or maybe it affords more people access. So it has to truly do something different. Innovation comes into forms. It comes in very incremental, which...

...is still very good, or disruptive, right like SPACEX, like Tesla, like Uber, things of that nature. So it's really kind of all over the board. It's hard to put it down. When I talk about nurse let innovation, what that really means is that in healthcare, or even in health, which means wellness as well, there is so much that we can improve or transform, and to do that it's going to have to happen with the help of nurses. So clearly I'm biased. I'm a nurse and there are four million registered nurses. That means there are four times as many nurses as physicians, eight times as many nurses as pharmacists. Nurses need to lead the charge, yet we often are not equipped or trained how to use this skill set we have and we don't understand the terminology and kind of that the hardest of those is it? Oftentimes tech companies don't approach nurses, but rather approach other clinicians when they're developing solutions. So nurses are going to have to leave the charge to truly transform health. So when you say lead the charge, you know, in my mind there's this kind of like two packs where it's like nurse turned entrepreneur, like we see some physicians have turned into entrepreneurship, and so they're kind of innovating their own solutions. And then there's this other path of you know, health innovators that are bringing solutions to market. And how are they weaving in the nurses input at multiple phases of the product development process? Right? So how I like to think about this is if you were an entrepreneur, that happens to be a nurse, or if your tech person, that happens to be a nurse, if you're an innovator, that happens to be a nurse. Right, the nurse piece of it is kind of our superpower. Yeah, so really it's about how is it you go down either that the channel to improve technology or the channel to improve kind...

...of care delivery or models of care, and you happen to be a nurse. So think about it this way. Oftentimes in the world of solutions, there are solutions that are developed, especially still today with tech companies, and many times these examples are brought to me. Right companies will send me an invite and say, Hey, we want to demo this product for you. So I look at the product and I'll say, what problem were you trying to solve? Right, because the problem hasn't truly been refined or defined. Yeah, and they essentially have a solution that's looking for a problem and oftentimes they spend hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of dollars on this solution that really doesn't do what it was intended to do because they're kind of off by a little bit. If nurses were involved in that equation up front, in the design and development, we could actually help eliminate or speed up kind of that development the Rd time, based on the fact that we could really help his zero in on the right problem to define and then approach it the right way. So nursing, I think, is really it's been super, super quiet in this whole equation, but you're seeing right now people start to really raise their hands and say we want to be or need to be included in these solutions or in the process to advanced this work. Yeah, yeah, absolutely, and I mean there's so many different variables that play but I have seen that you're right that there are two approaches. One, I have a technology, let me go find a problem, and then I have a problem and by a way, by the way, technology is going to enable us to solve this problem, and that's a big difference between success and failure. That's right. It is a big difference and what you said there was just key. Oftentimes technology isn't the solution, it's part of the solution. And what nurses bring are the workflows right and we're the frontline people across the entire...

...continuing to care from entry to exit, whether it's home care, outpatient, clinics, in patient, no matter what it is, nurses understand the workflows. So in order for technology to truly be successful, we have to enable it and leverage it, but it also has to meet the needs of the workflows. So those pieces have to work hand in hand. Yeah, yeah, absolutely, and I think that that is just I knew I was going to be excited about this discussion today because it is such a missing piece. You know, as I've worked with technology innovators over the years, it's been a big push to try to get them to incorporate patient input in the product development process of right in, as difficult is that was. I feel like we are making substantial strides and and that vein. And then you have the providers and you know, incorporating them into the product development process. But I have not had one customer or client, not one company, talk about how they were incorporating nurses in this process. I mean, I'm just being really candid. It's how to do more of it. Definitely soolutely. And it's funny because I've even had I demo to product probably a year ago, twelve months ago, and it was an interesting solution and I asked if they had nursing input and they said, Yep, we had nursing input, and I said what kinds of nurses and they said, well, it was sergeant nice. I said, wait a minute, that's not a nurse. Well, you know, we've talked to a couple surgeons. Well, that doesn't give you our vantage point, which is very different, showing. So, while physicians are incredibly important to this equation, their vantage point and their viewpoint and their perceptions are very different than those are the nurses that remain in those kind of care settings much longer, much more. They're closer to the patients in the families. They understand those dynamics better. Yeah, so by not not...

...going there you're really missing valuable information and it just seems so obvious when you say it does well, and again I would say so some of this we've done ourselves at disservice. Right. So in nursing we've not leaned into these conversations, we've not said we should be there and we've not sort of demanded a seat at the table to say we're part of this. Right. So now you're starting to see that happen. You're started the nurses say, wait a minute, we need to be in this conversation. You're seeing people pop up around the country. Now there are nursing people that are sharing this innervation passion. That's incredibly important for us and I think that's really sort of the start of the movement. Yeah, that's awesome. So that kind of touches on you know, one of my next questions. You know, when I'm when I'm talking about involving patients or providers in the cocreation process. There's a lot of fear associated with that, of in a lot of uncertainty. Where do I find them? Do I have to pay them? How much do I pay them? What if? What if they give me advice and I don't agree with it? How do I make sure that you know that I don't, you know, ruin that relationship or you know that I don't just feel compelled to incorporate their recommendations and diminish the viability of this solution that I want to bring to market? So maybe just you know, it seems as though, not just with nurses but in general this whole co creation process. Let's talk about some of the barriers and how you think that those can be overcame. Yeah, that's it. That's a really good point. So I think what's important there is that nerve verses right, are professionals, just as physical therapist, physicians, speech therapist others. So everyone across that clinical spectrum should be treated the same way. It should not be discipline specific, and it's really important to think that. Today, Cross functional or interdisciplinary teams are...

...the way we all operate. It is not driven by one profession or another. Those days are over. So now it's very, very equal across that continuoum. So part of what's important is to set guard rails up front, right. So if you're a tech company and you're going to have these conversations and you want a harvest information, it's important to say up front you know, this is what we're looking for and let us help you understand how this kind of works for us. We want to hear your feedback. We're going to incorporate the pieces that we believe are really going to contribute to advancing the product. HMM, everything may not fit in with what we were thinking about. Yes, that's important DEP front, certainly having the conversation well in advance about are we pay you to be sort of a subject matter expert, right as me, or an independent consultants, or are we just picking your brain, you know, on a phone call for a fifteen, twenty minutes? Those things are different. What I am seeing more is a trend in that, as nurses are being asked to provide information if it's something that's kind of an hour or longer, I am started to see tech companies being willing to pay for that. Yeah, I think that that depends on the route that both the company wants to go as well as the nurses. An individual, I coach nurses to ask for money. Physicians are doing it, nurses should be as well. The other thing that you could do is there's actually a really great organization. It's called the nurses on boards coalition. Okay and OBC DOT Org. You, as a company, can actually go to that website and then complete a profile of what you're looking for, and hundreds of thousands of nurses from across the country go there as well. So it's like a match making service. So if you're a company looking for nurses on an advisory board or on your board, that's where you would go to gather that information.

That's huge. Thank you for that. Yeah, I'm familiar with the company we go health, but their platform is strictly patients, right, so their entire this model is incorporating patients, and that was going to be one of my questions for you is, did they have anything similar to that for nurses? And it says it okay, awesome. So help me just understand you know, I know that you're encouraging the nurses to ask for money, which I think is rightfully so, but if you just kind of overall are is it better? Are you getting better insights if they are financially compensated, or is it that you have some folks that are just really passionate about the cause and they all contribute no matter what? I think you're always going to have both of those scenarios right. I think you're always going to have people that want to share their knowledge and their feedback from experience and I think you're going to have people that are willing to share it who maybe more of the subject matter experts that get tapped a lot and over the course of time, when you get tapped a lot, time, your time costs you something. Right, absolutely, there's. That's right. So there's something that you need and should be compensated when it comes to being that subject matter expert on a regular basis. Then that's where it makes sense, you know, to be paid just as you would pay a physician. Hmm, yeah, absolutely. So the other thing that I want to talk about is, you know, is we think about that whole product life cycle. There's there's a lot of discussion around including, you know, stakeholders in the design process, but what I see is is still missing or we're just starting to scratch the surfaces, is talking around that whole ideation and evaluation. So some of the steps that happen before. So instead of like I have a product, what do you think about it? Like you talked about, really that ideation around the product...

...in the solution development. And then I'm also seeing a little bit of conversation around including those stakeholders on the the back end of that when I'm actually going to market. So in making the stakeholders like part of the marketing team where they're actually key influencers, right, so they're helping to get the word out and rise above the noise and they're also even helping to develop content. So just kind of speak to your experience with that. Yeah, so what you're describing is really utilizing human center design or design thinking in a pretty deep and intense way. So human center design or EIGHTCD, it always starts with empathy. So I think that we continue to learn. In the past we've seen that as a really warm and fuzzy word and we're like, oh, that's so sweet, somebody has empathy. Now we really learned to sort of turn this into kind of a quantifiable business approach, right, Yep, or that we did more time we spend truly empathize with what people are going through and why. That allows us to more clearly define the problem that we're trying to solve or the problem that they have, so as we understand it. What's so beautiful about that is we really can peel it back about five times right. So kind of as I was trained in design thinking. What I was trained is is that you ask five layers of why. So, if the problem is that patients, for example, aren't showing up on time to sand a surgery, why? Well, maybe they can't find the signs in the hallway. The wayfinding sport will. Why is that? Maybe the parking isn't in the right place and the parking doesn't kind of connect them as quickly to the fastest route. Well, you know, why isn't that so? Why isn't that easier? Why isn't that obvious? Maybe the parking lots aren't labeled properly? Well, why is that a problem? Well, maybe because they're nervous and they're running late and there's traffic. Well, why is that a...

...problem? Well, cheepers, maybe we're not informing them way back when that they need it will take thirty minutes to find their spot park walk to our office. So they need to add an extra thirty minutes to their process? Or do we have our same day surgery entrance located in the wrong part of the building? Right? So I think as you really dig back, you can understand more about the wise. Once you figure out the empathy component, then you can move into defining the problem and, as you just describe, that next step is going to be ideating. One of the things that we tend not to do well when it comes to ideation is that we don't we're not very thoughtful and used to verge it thinking right. Thinking means we just throw everything on the table and and later we converge those ideas. But we want every idea, no matter how wacky and crazy, because some of them might have merit right. Right and to do in health care is because we have such a low risk, a tolerance and a version of failure is that we actually sort out, even in our minds before we share ideas, the those that are going to be Sillier, goofy or nondoable. So we really don't we're not very tolerant of risk. We're not we don't have a tolerance of failure. So we already try to thin the herd, put the best ideas out there and then as we move through, you know, kind of that pipeline, what we end up with is something that's, not to discomm similar than what we already have. Right, right, yeah, I have this team member who prefaces. We never when we're doing strategic collaborations internally. She will say this is going to sound really stupid and I go, okay, the brilliances come in, because that is when she's just really brilliant, when she thinks it's the most ridiculous idea, I'm like gold. Right. Well, the other thing we tend to do, not only a nursing but in healthcare, is we say we tried that before. Yeah, you know what, good, let's try it and w when people like to say,...

Oh, we've done that, like that's awesome, then this is v two point or V four. No, right, you got to get him out there because maybe the circumstances are different, maybe the timings different, the budgets different, the people are different, the building is different. You know, reimbursement is different, caregivers are different, something's different. But just because you did it that way before doesn't mean you can't try it again? Yeah, yeah, so I feel like you, you know, have your ear to the ground, you know, you have such an influence and then in a network, and so I want to get your perspective on this. I talked about this phenomenon of, you know, the different prints between commercial success and commercial failure and you know, when we have this conversation we really talk about the complexities in the difficulty of commercialized and innovation in the healthcare space, especially compared to, you know, other verticals. So why do you why do you think some innovator succeed and some fail? You know, I think it depends. If it's product innovation. You really need to do a super good job of solving the right problem and kind of creating a solid business case. Right. We all know that the economics are very important. You look at funding, you have to make short sustainable. Then you have the whole market launch, you have the marketing piece. I mean that's very complicated in the nursing world, generally speaking, nurses aren't trained on those things, so they really have to kind of find ways to address those issues and try to fill some of those gaps. And it's not dissimilar that physicians. Physicians aren't trained that way either. Right, right. So what we tendency is it oftentimes positions. When they launch an idea, they can be more successful just because there is an income differential. So sometimes that they're they're from a starting from a different place financially. Right. But we do see a lot of very, very successful nurse innovators and nurse entrepreneurs. So give us some examples. Who's doing it well? So there's actually two guys out of New York, Dr Paul Coyn and Mike Wang. They started a company called inspirin their two...

...nurses. They noticed that there were safety issues with their patients. So they develop this thing that's called in I end. It's a cognitive patient assist device that they brought in. They spent their own money on this and brought in some NASA engineers and actually defont design something that uses kind of the cloud, right aws, and it uses purposeful movement tracking and essentially what it does is it can tell if a patient's moving in a purposeful manner or an unsafe manner. The device changes colors kind of the the red, Yellow Greens to alert people as to whether or not there's a safety issue and then it also sends an alert to the nurse and that and the text phone to let them know that a patient is potentially in an unsafe situation. It can also track to know who you know who's in the room, how long someone's in the room, those kind of things. So they're able to run reports if patients, if you're on a unit and you might have a high vap evaporate or a pressure also rate, they can actually run reports that show how often caregivers, they can break it out by nurses or PCT's or CNAS have been in the room. So that's an amazing product. Joe Novella out of Oregon, he actually designed and developed a scal staffing and scheduling software, nurse Grid. That's absolutely amazing. Tiffany Kelly, she developed an APP that can be used for giving report that allows nurses to do it on their phone and have that information in their pocket. But there's tons and tons of examples out there. I mean I could literally go on and give it probably another ten that you know. That nurse grid thing is fascinating because it's like my initial reaction is, do we really need another scheduling platform? So there must be doing something really unique and different that create that value and create their own space in that category. And he's been around for a couple years and he's a nurse. So it was designed from a nurse centric view right, and they have tons and...

...tons of users and it's sort of schedule Agnostics, so it actually incorporates different schedules into it and it allows you to look at your view very differently and you can communicate it and share it with friends and family and stuff. So there's some really amazing stuff that nurses have done that that are out there and I see that as continually growing. So I love to talk about that and help nurses who have an idea in their head, Yep, get it out and develop a business plan. HMM, absolutely. So. So you recently left the American nurse and association, like hot off the press, I think, just as of this week that press release went out. Yes, that's right, I just left, so Wednesday was my last day. That's right. So tell us a little bit about what you're doing next and how that's exciting for you. Yeah, it's real bitter sweet. I mean, the American Nurses Association's a great, great organization. They've been around for twenty five years doing really amazing stuff. I'm super, super honor to abandon the first vice president innovation. I created the role, I created the innovation framework for them. I developed what's called Nurse Pitch, which we've done three of those very successfully. OF DEVELOP THEIR INNOVATION LAB platform. That's been a blast. Wow. So it became apparent to me that I really, really get excited by this innovation step. So as I started to build relationships with tech companies across the country, kind of develop some really good relationships to the point of saying, Hey, what could we do here with this company and how might we really leverage this skill set so that we could make a difference, a true impact to patients and nurses with this particular product. So as of next week I will be working with Womby, which is a patient engagement and a staffing kind of a nursing recognition platform, and it's powered on gratitude. So...

...never in a million years would I have thought that I would have left the job to work for a tech company. Except this company's incredibly unique and it doesn't work based on sharing data and pushing hard on people who are performing, but rather it works by patients in their families, showing gratitude and recognizing their caregivers and then through a game of fight a roach in the dashboard. People want to compete to be in the top couple of places. So it really helps to bring everyone up instead of pushing on those that aren't performing well, because we all know that has kind of a carmmy feel to it. Right, right, but when you have people that are wanting to compete and be number one, that's a whole lot more fun. So that's the approach and I'm really excited about shifting to that company next week. That's awesome. So what's going to be your role? Yeah, so I'm going to be the chief clinical officer, you know, really focusing a lot on thought leadership, clinical innovation, strategic partners to obviously to help grow the company, but also make sure that we're making an impact in the lives of nurses in patients. So that's important. So you're a personal mission and cause hasn't changed one bit. Hasn't changed one bit. Well, and of course I would say I'm putting in a plug here, but I am going to be speaking and already I'm getting emails from people that are very, very interested in having me come in and speak for their events and things of that nature, even doing workshops on innovation. So I think there's so much out there that we can continue to do for nurses. That's awesome. Look, congratulations on your new valve. I look forward to seeing all that you're going to do for that company going forward. Excellent. Thanks. And we have a book coming out in August, the nurses guide to innovations. So that's going to be pretty cool and that's kind of a culmination. There are eight of us that are authors on that and they're the most common questions that I ever received as I've traveled...

...around the country in the last two years, from nurses around building a business plan. How do I become an innovator? How do I write a business plan? How do I secure funding? How do I protect my intellectual property, which is, you know, is a huge problem, and you know, how do I engage nurses in my hospital, my department, my unit, so we can solve problems more collaboratively? How do I use design thinking? So we wrote a book on it, so that's pretty cool and that's coming out soon. That's great. You'll have to let me know when it's ready and I'll help promote it for you. Wonderful. Thank you so so one of the last questions that I have for you is, you know, we talked about, we talk a lot about like patient adoption and physician adoption. So what, from your perspective, what are some of the strategies that you would recommend for our health innovative listeners who are launching innovations and they are struggling with nurse adoption? So I think there are a couple of ways. First, make sure you get input right. It's hard to solve a problem and think that you have the solution when you haven't define the problem accurately. So I would say start up front, ask nurses for their input, their feedback, their ways to do focus groups, their expensive ways. You can do focus groups if you're a big, well funded organization or they're probably are cheaper ways that you could do focus groups. Pay Attention, know what's going on in social media. There are there are some of US nurse influencers that are really pretty active. So I have people reach out to me probably a hundred times a week that asked me if I can connect them with somebody or do they know someone else that's working on this for something. So I try to match make as best I can. I try to answer questions as best I can or send those are inquiring, I send them to others to kind of find some solutions. That's really one way to do it. Through social media, look at the NBC dot Org site. That's another way to try to get input on your advisory Boards and your boards. And then I would...

...say just stay really, really close to the ground and what's going on and what's contemporary in nursing practice. And the best ways to do some of those things are looking at the conferences going on or what's being, you know, written. When you do kind of a Google word alert or something, you'll find out what's going on with that particular topic or idea. Sure, that's great. So that leads me to my last and final question for today is how can people get Ahold of you? If Oh yeah, if you, what's the best way? So I'm very active on social so I love I'm actually, I think, the top two or three number nurse influence on Linkedin. So I have a linkedin profile. Feel free to connect. I really do correspond with people pretty regularly. I'm also pretty active on twitter, so I'm at thought leader R N on twitter, and then I'm just starting to get into instagram because I love just the ability need to be very visual and have people respond to that. So new to that platform, but that's getting to be a blast so far in on that one I'm urn I NNOV and the number eight, eight R and innovate love. So there's some really cool ways to reach me. It are out there and if people want to find me in a look hard enough through my linkedin profile, they'll actually get my email as well. Dig Deep, right, dude, that's right, awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom today with our listeners. I really appreciate it. Yeah, that it's been awesome. Thanks so much. Thank you. What's the difference between launching and commercializing a healthcare in avation? Many people will launch a new product, few will commercialize it. To learn the difference between launch and commercialization and to watch past episodes of the show, head to our video show page at Dr Roxycom. Thanks so much for watching and listening to the show. You can subscribe to the latest episodes on your favorite podcast APP like apple podcasts and spotify, or subscribe to the...

...video episodes on our youtube channel. No matter the platform, just search coiq with Dr Roxy. Until next time, LET'S RAISE OUR COIQ.

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