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Innovation in action


Harnessing the power of nurse-led innovation.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) embarked on a journey of innovation as a part of its 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. Here are some highlights of the efforts to cultivate and celebrate nurse-led innovation.

 innovation action hackathonMaking nurse hackathon history

The largest-ever nurse hackathon took place at the ANA Quality and Innovation Conference in Orlando, Florida, last spring. Nearly 850 nurses participated in the hackathon to develop innovative ideas on a variety of topics, including ethics, sharps injuries, and workplace violence prevention. Thirteen teams worked toward a goal of having the most innovative idea. Using a collaborative design process, nurses worked in groups pitching their ideas to each other and then to larger groups, with the goal of quickly filtering through the concepts to finally share the most novel and compelling ideas with the audience. Out of this effort emerged a small group of nurses who are working to commercialize their mobile app concept with the help of funders and app developers.

innovation action awardsANA Innovation Awards

ANA Enterprise launched the ANA Innovation Awards™ on June 18. The purpose of these awards is to encourage nurse-led innovation that improves patient outcomes and/or patient safety by awarding $25,000 to an individual nurse and $50,000 to a nurse-led team. The awards are made possible by fundingfrom BD, a global medical technology company, tothe American Nurses Foundation.

The awards will be presented for proposed projects that best exemplify nurse-led innovation, whether it be a product, program, project, or practice. The award winners will have 1 year to further develop their innovation.

To apply, visit nursingworld.org/aia. Applications will be accepted through December 31, 2018.

innovation action frameworkANA’s framework and the Innovation Advisory Board

The innovation framework highlights how ANA will advance this work. In May, the Innovation Advisory Board was convened to inform ANA’s efforts. The board is composed of a select group of leaders with expertise or deep experience in innovation. Photos and bios of members are available on NursingWorld.org.

Nurse Shark Tank

Startups and entrepreneurs gathered on June 4 for the Disruptive Solutions for Home Health Pitch Competition, hosted by Northeastern University in partnership with AARP Innovation Labs with support from ANA. The event focused on solutions using disruptive technology, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, and other devices, to assist caregivers or nurses who empower individuals to live longer and more independently.

The winner of the event was Wellivity, which received a $5,000 prize sponsored by Medline. Wellivity is using technology to develop automated documentation to reduce nurses’ administrative burden.

Coming soon

This is the second in a series of four articles on innovation in 2018. The next article will include more details on ANA’s innovation framework and upcoming events, including innovation labs at the 2018 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Magnet Conference®, ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference®, and ANA Quality and Innovation Conference. Stay tuned at nursingworld.org/practice-policy/innovation-evidence/.


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