Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health

Have a crack at a Hack

27 Apr 2023

At the CEIH, we recog­nise the impor­tance of cre­at­ing a cul­ture of inno­va­tion across the health­care sys­tem, and walks the talk with­in its own busi­ness. In March, we con­duct­ed an inter­nal Hackathon to address the ques­tion; What do you envi­sion com­mu­ni­ca­tion to look like in the future? How can the CEIH devel­op an effi­cient and effec­tive way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing that is engag­ing and pro­duc­tive across a vari­ety of roles in the health system?” 

This inquiry aimed to encour­age crit­i­cal and cre­ative think­ing around how we com­mu­ni­cate and con­nect with indi­vid­u­als through­out the health sys­tem, espe­cial­ly those who don’t use elec­tron­ic devices for most of their work­ing day. 

The pur­pose of a Hackathon is to go beyond tra­di­tion­al per­spec­tives on prob­lem solv­ing and fos­ter cross team col­lab­o­ra­tion for improved ideation. This method of crit­i­cal and cre­ative think­ing is not only rel­a­tive­ly time effi­cient, but also builds knowl­edge and skills around inno­va­tion, in an inter­ac­tive, team-based environment. 

Struc­tured mile­stones and drop-in ses­sions guid­ed each team through the inno­va­tion life­cy­cle process, lead­ing up to the final pitch­es to a pan­el of exec­u­tive judges. By har­ness­ing col­lec­tive wis­dom and includ­ing diverse per­spec­tives, the Hackathon process gen­er­at­ed high­er qual­i­ty solu­tions than oth­er­wise would have emerged. 

A post Hackathon eval­u­a­tion was over­whelm­ing­ly pos­i­tive with the major­i­ty of par­tic­i­pants indi­cat­ing they would par­tic­i­pate in future Hackathons, rec­om­mend the process to oth­ers and adopt it as a valid tool in their own core busi­ness into the future. 

Lit­er­a­ture indi­cates that inno­va­tion needs time and space to emerge and grow, and Hackathons pro­vide an ide­al for­mat to do this. Through this ven­ture, we demon­strat­ed the val­ue in giv­ing staff an oppor­tu­ni­ty and resources to ideate and col­lab­o­rate in the short term, under­stand­ing the long-term ben­e­fits that fos­ter­ing inno­va­tion will bring to sys­temic reform and effec­tive change. 

Con­nect with us to learn more about how a hackathon can help your teams use inno­v­a­tive approach­es to go beyond tra­di­tion­al meth­ods of prob­lem solving.