Dartmouth pilots nursing hackathon: 'Shark Tank for nurses'

Lebanon N.H.-based Dartmouth Health recently gave nurses the opportunity to pitch solutions for issues they encounter on a daily basis as part of the health system's first Nursing Innovation Hackathon. 

The event, described as "Shark Tank for nurses," was held Jan. 26 and 27 at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

Registered nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, licensed nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses participating in the event were separated into five teams to learn about design thinking and artificial intelligence, among other topics. Each group then pitched their innovations to a panel of nurse judges.

The winning team developed a "Go-Getter" strap, which allows employees to transport two wheelchairs at the same time to expedite discharge processes. The winners will undergo a six-month mentorship program in which nursing innovation experts will help them bring the idea to life.

"This first hackathon was a pilot to see what would happen when we put nurses in a room, gave them the tools for design thinking, and empowered them to think out of the box," hackathon organizer Briana White, DNP, RN, manager of clinical quality and care management for Darmouth's home healthcare service, said in a Feb. 9 news release. "What came out of it was exciting and inspiring. There were innovative solutions, empowered teams, new collaborations, and a shared energy to transform healthcare."

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