2013 Hackathon

About the Hackathon

The BWH Hackathon will bring together inventive, forward-thinking minds to change the status quo and create disruptive solutions in healthcare today. The event will bring together a diverse, multidisciplinary group to “pitch” problems impacting healthcare, develop solutions over a two-day period, and then present demos of solutions to a panel of judges for recognition and honors.

The event provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with experts in a variety of fields and novices with infectious passion, pitch an idea for transforming a current health care process and then, together, ‘hack’ or devise a real solution. These solutions could be as straightforward as a wireframe sketch, or might require running to a local store for parts to build a prototype, or reaching out to a physician to ask a pressing question for a mobile app.

Whatever the process may be, the ultimate result could be the beginning of the next big health care transformation. End the weekend with a team, new connections, and prizes with potential access to BWH’s iHub resources, and a hack on its first steps towards disrupting healthcare. Past teams at hackathons just like this one have gone on to found companies, enter business plan competitions (MIT 100K), join an accelerator, and secure venture funding.

See the 2013 Hackathon Schedule of Events

The themes of this event will focus on areas that Brigham and Women’s Hospital is continuously working to enhance, in order to improve patient care and treatment:

The Patient and Family Experience

The patient and family experience is now recognized as a vital component to providing optimal care. A positive patient and family relationship with healthcare providers is central to developing trust. This trust enables patients to partner with care providers and ultimately achieve better health outcomes. As an organization, we are committed to continually improving and fostering this critical relationship between our community of caregivers and patients. Therefore, we are seeking innovative and effective strategies to improve the patient and family experience. Promising solutions might explore how to best:

  • Understand and capture patient and family experiences and needs (taking advantage of opportunities and methods of collecting feedback in the support of service recovery and improving service and care, harnessing the patient as a teacher)
  • Empower staff and engage patients and families to support efficient resolution of potential breakdowns and improve service (creating both a provider and patient culture that seeks help when there are signs of a communication breakdown, fostering patients to be honest in explaining challenges and experiences)
  • Inspire and educate all levels of the healthcare community on how to best communicate and partner with patients and families (sharing positive experiences or lessons learned to motivate change and improvement)

Chronic Disease Management in the Outpatient Setting

We are all touched by chronic disease in some way or another. In 2005, 133 million individuals in the United States – nearly 1 of every 2 adults – had a chronic illness. Chronic diseases — such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis — are the leading cause of disability and are responsible for 70% of deaths and 75% of healthcare expenditures. One of the greatest opportunities for improving the quality of life, increasing lifespan and controlling healthcare costs lies in managing and preventing chronic diseases. What e-solutions can help transform how patients, providers, and systems manage chronic conditions? Innovative ideas might tackle how to:

  • Identify high risk patients and gaps in care (combining and analyzing data from different sources, defining high risk, creating registries, developing and sharing metrics)
  • Provide the best quality of care (promoting the use of evidence-based guidelines at the point of care, closing gaps in care between visits, enabling patient self-report of outcomes, facilitating provider review of patient-reported outcomes, understanding and reaching the patient outside of the clinic)
  • Support and engage patients in managing their health and taking medications (improving access to care and education, increasing trust, identifying root causes of challenges to find the right solution for the each patient)

Modernizing the Practice of Evidence-Based Medicine

The use of evidence-based clinical guidelines is critical to providing standardized, high quality care. Retrospective studies and prospective trials have been central to the development of these guidelines. However, to improve care in conditions for which the best approach is uncertain, the medical community needs innovative tools to strategically collect, analyze, and act upon clinical data in a flexible and continuous way. How can we harness the wealth of information being created with each clinical encounter across diverse patient populations to revolutionize how clinical guidelines are developed, updated and put into practice?

Standardized Clinical Assessment and Management Plans (SCAMPs) are a novel method of advancing decision support by taking into account the clinician’s reasoning to follow or not follow a guideline as well as patient characteristics, clinical scenarios and outcomes. Deviations from the guidelines are then reviewed and the guideline may be updated. Currently, SCAMPs are utilized via a paper-based data collection tool presented to clinicians during the point of care. However, to fully benefit from SCAMPs, several challenges need to be overcome. Innovative ideas, solutions, or tools, might explore how to best:

  • Identify patients that meet current clinical pathway criteria
  • Integrate with clinical systems
  • Perform strategic data collection that does not impede the workflow and workload of clinicians
  • Capture the relevant factors that go into making complex judgments

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