This is a creative and inspiring TED talk which manages to take viewers through Lina’s own personal improvement journey – solving her own problems to that of solving others.

We learn more about why we should use a hackathon methodology to accelerate healthcare innovations. Hackathons allow us to:-

  1. Look at old problems in a new light
  2. Work across disciplines
  3. To solve our own problems

If we relate this thinking back to our teaching in the School for Health and Care Radicals I would suggest that the hackathon methodology allows us to:-

  • Create strong links from our weak ties
  • Challenge old power and move to new power change
  • Take problems to the edge of an organisation to be solved
  • To co-create change

Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) ran their first clinical hack, focusing on health care for older people. It was an amazing day where over 30 NUH staff from a range of disciplines came together to tackle issues they face every day. After an introduction session, through a process of idea creation, the NUH staff identified four issues they wanted to focus on:

  • discharge planning
  • hearing issues for older people
  • keeping patients and staff happy
  • improving recruitment of staff into the older people service.

At the end of the day teams pitched their hacks to a panel that included the directors of Nursing, Communication and Service Improvement (Better for You) and the Chief Executive of the hospital charity. The hospital charity had made available some funding, and each team pitched for a slice of that money to help develop their idea further.

The final hacks were:

  • Creating a mobile app that had up-to-date information about discharge planning.
  • Installing hearing aid stores on older peoples’ wards, which would include stocks of batteries     and guides to help staff with patients with hearing impairments.
  • Purchasing an iPad for use by patients, to give them access to games, newspapers and Skype etc.
  • Developing a team hub and resource room and creating an education programme.

All the teams not only secured money for their ideas but a commitment from the senior leaders to help the teams put these ideas into practice.

Hacks are a new way of looking at healthcare issues. To showcase more of this approach we are going to be running additional hacks alongside the NHS Transformathon event in January. Each hack will link to the main event and highlight how change is changing.