Support for Nursing Innovation: This Week, This Year & Always

Support for Nursing Innovation: This Week, This Year & Always

In January, the World Health Organization declared 2020, “The Year of the Nurse and Midwife,” and nearly immediately, the sentiment couldn’t have been truer. In the current state, as society and health professionals of all specialties and licenses manage the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the above and beyond efforts of our nurses have not gone unnoticed. First and foremost, we’d like to thank our nursing caregivers for their unwavering support of this health system and steadfast devotion to the patients we serve.

As we sit mid-May, at the intersection of ‘Nurses Week’ and “The Year of the Nurse and Midwife,” we reflect on the statements made by the WHO and the American Nurses Association Enterprise (ANAE) at the turn of the year. With the idea to have the role of nursing amplified and promoted in 2020, “The Year of the Nurse” was set to celebrate the profession and advance nurses’ vital position in the transformation of global healthcare. This feat was to be accomplished through plans to engage with nurses, thought leaders, and consumers to promote nursing excellence, infuse leadership, and foster innovation. This call to action far from fell on deaf ears in our office of innovation specialists. And while nearly all business operations have shifted with the current state of healthcare, our support of nursing innovation remains.

From 2015 to 2019, idea submission from the Nursing Institute at Cleveland Clinic quadrupled – with a 43% increase seen between 2018 and 2019 alone. The Nursing Institute now sits at number two of the top five institutes for quantity of invention disclosure to our office. With increased funding committed to their submission and prototyping in 2020, our nursing colleagues will be given even more power in the invention process.

“Many nursing disclosures were initially getting closed prior to the prototyping stage due to intellectual property (IP) concerns. What we’ve found is by getting prototypes in nurse’s hands and letting them iterate in their workflow, they are creating IP organically,” said Nursing Innovation Manager, Amanda Wochele, on her experience with the program through the years. “Nurses are natural innovators. They have forced us to look at our process differently, and we are now in a better position to provide them the tools and resources they need to solve problems.”

Said Will Morris, MD, Executive Medical Director, Cleveland Clinic Innovations on the necessity of organizational emphasis, “The innovative culture in nursing displays itself not only through clinical excellence but in research and education as well. With a keen eye for problems, rather than solutions looking for problems, they are able to bring truly revolutionary technologies to light. It is essential organizations support their innovation.”

With the above plan to further prioritize the development of ideas out of the Nursing Institute, we are continuing to ensure innovation for and by nurses is a priority this week, this year, and always.

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