Get rid of the pager, time for the social snack

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We are approached through so many different channels, so can we not go without the pager? And if we would go lunch more often with staff members, it would improve the educational environment. During the first Innovation Friday, medical residents came up with solutions to problems they face in the field.
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Innovation Friday

The world is changing fast, and healthcare has to change with it. But as a medical specialist, how do you innovate in the field? Rick Pleijhuis, internist-allergist and immunologist, came up with a new concept: Innovation Friday.

‘I have always had an affinity for innovating’, Rick says. Together with trainers Thera Links and Goda Chois, internist-nephrologist Annika Berends and supporter Geke Rozema, he organised two days during which medical residents would work together in groups. The first day, they spend mapping out the problems they encountered in their work. The second day, they looked for solutions to those problems.

Good solutions

‘Great ideas came out of the sessions’, Rick states. ‘Within the theme “intercollegiate cooperation”, the doctors in training are approached through different channels all day long: phone calls, WhatsApp, messages via the EPD, email… All sorts of digital consult channels, and on top of that, the pager. It became very clear that the pager is no longer desirable. Their solution? ‘The pager has to leave the hospital.’

Within the theme ‘work and education environment’ the medical residents came up with the social snack: they are linked to staff members to get lunch every once in a while, thus reducing the distance between them. ‘You have to get lunch anyways’, Rick laughs.

Wellington Candido was one of the participants. His group focussed on the theme ‘IT-systems’. The biggest challenge they face, is the efficiency of Epic. ‘Sometimes, there is a mismatch between what is created for Epic and what the user needs or finds helpful’, he explains. ‘It would be great if we have a system that supports us. So: no more unnecessary clicks, no more filling in the same information twice, and a more user-friendly system.’

Great success

According to the organisers and the participants, Innovation Friday was a great success. ‘At the end, there was even some applause and cheering for the various ideas’, Rick tells. ‘Because both days were compulsory for the medical residents, and their schedule was cleared so they could participate, they were present in large numbers. Clearly there was a need for this.’ Wellington: ‘It was very nice to discover that I am not the only one that encounters certain problems.’

The follow-up

And how to proceed next? ‘Each group has a spokesperson who will take the idea forward’, Rick says. During the morning reports, the groups will report on their progress and the newsletters will also focus regularly on the innovations. ‘Which is good, because the UMCG is so large that many people feel like nothing can really change here’, Wellington says. ‘But we show them that it is definitely possible!’

Next year, Innovation Friday will be organised again. Do you want to know more about it, then contact Rick Pleijhuis (r.g.pleijhuis@umcg.nl).