You are here

Sharing Innovative Solutions Across Industries

The most creative solutions to common problems often come from the least expected sources. In one such example, clinicians in the medical field embraced the experience and knowledge of NASCAR teams to drastically improve patient care.

Forbes recently published an article about NASCAR’s Hendrick Motorsports, and the role they have taken in sharing their model with orthopedic surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). The world of high-speed motor racing involves pit stops in which teams must come together in a high-risk, complex environment to solve an issue as quickly as possible. They do so by using an extremely well-tested and efficient team-based model.

When his daughter was being treated by orthopedic surgeons at BCH, the president of Hendrick Motorsports saw the overlap between the two professions, and began an important collaboration between his team and the surgical team. “Both NASCAR and providing good health care required a unique combination of human and technological resources, as well as preparedness and interdependent yet interactive operations.”

With input from Hendrick Motorsports, the orthopedic surgery department at BCH has implemented a unique simulation program, where they run through high fidelity scenarios with a full team, including anesthesiologists, doctors, nurses, equipment teams, and residents.

OPENPediatrics has always recognized the vital role simulation can play in healthcare training and strives to share innovations in the medical field. In a similar effort to the BCH/NASCAR collaboration, Dr. Allan Goldman from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London created his own “Formula One Handover Process,” which has since been widely implemented. In July 2014, OPENPediatrics published a World Shared Practice video in which Dr. Goldman shared the development and practice of using his Formula One Handover Process.

He and his colleagues also saw the incredible potential racing had to translate to the medical field. As he explained, they noted of Formula One racing teams, “These guys are the world experts in how teams come together, configure as a unit at a pit stop and perform a complex task.”

Dr. Goldman tracked down a formula one team and then translated those lessons back to his own setting, and they have since implemented a series of checklist and handoff steps to mitigate risk during patient handoff from one medical team to another.

Goldman and the clinicians at BCH managed to independently unlock the power of this team-based model, yet without OPENPediatrics or news media coverage, these innovations would have been slow to spread beyond the two institutions. How many other clinicians have discovered innovations and creative solutions that are not shared around the world, simply because of geographical and technological barriers?

As the medical field continues to evolve, it will be essential to draw lessons such as these from other industries. The OPENPediatrics community provides a place for clinicians to come together and freely share their ideas, innovations, and best practices to benefit pediatric care across the globe.