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Mission possible: open innovation in nursing and patient care services at Massachusetts General Hospital
  1. Hiyam M Nadel1,
  2. Nour Al-Sultan1,
  3. Alex Berger1,
  4. Paula McCree2,
  5. Gaurdia Banister1,
  6. Olivia Jung2,3
  1. 1 Institute for Patient Care, Mass General Brigham, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Healthcare Transformation Lab, Mass General Brigham, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3 Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hiyam M Nadel, Institute for Patient Care, Mass General Brigham, Boston, MA 02114, USA; hnadel{at}


Objectives Although front-line nurses and staff are uniquely positioned to identify the inefficiencies and gaps in care delivery, formal processes are not always in place to hear from those very employees.

Design We established a scalable process that embodies open innovation principles, to broaden and distribute the innovation locus.

Setting Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

Particpitants We invited 8800+ nurses and other direct caregivers to participate in organisational problem solving.

Interventions We solicited employees to (1) identify pain points and develop solutions and (2) crowd vote to indicate which ideas they want to see implemented.

Results 177 employees submitted 225 ideas, and 928 cast a vote. The 40 participants who submitted top-voted ideas were invited to develop a detailed implementation plan; of those, 27 submitted one. Four ideas emerged as winners.

Conclusions Formulating a clear call for ideas, securing leadership buy-in and generating excitement about the process were essential to our efforts. Challenges associated with opening the innovation process involved managing a large volume of participants and submissions, and providing on-the-go training to nurses and staff who were not used to being asked to participate in organisational problem solving.

  • engagement
  • health system
  • multi-disciplinary
  • mentoring
  • nurse

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  • X @hiyamnadel, @_ojung

  • Contributors All listed authors contributed to the work’s planning, conduct and reporting.

  • Funding The philanthropic funds from the Connell Family supported the implementation of the Ether Dome Challenge and winning ideas.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.