Graphic by Rachael Acker


17 December 2021


On 17 December 2021, the Center for Innovations in Care Delivery (CICD), in collaboration with the Healthcare Transformation Lab (HTL) and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH), celebrated the four winners of the first Nursing and Patient Care Services Ether Dome Challenge.

After informing us of their pain points and transforming them into solutions, the winners are now ready to reform the way they work in their clinical setting. The challenge solicited ideas in four categories: Capacity Management, Growing Complexity of the Clinical Environment, Care Team Communication and Patient Communication, and Other Ideas.

The Challenge received 225 ideas. Voting resulted in 40 ideas being invited to submit an implementation plan. The plans were evaluated and 1 winner in each category was awarded. The winners by category are as follows:

  1. Care Team Communication and Patient Communication Category
    • Lauren DeMarco, LICSW
    • MedBox, a tool and process to manage complex medications upon discharge
  2. Capacity Management Category
    • Molly Traynor, RN
    • Fluid intake monitor for patients on fluid restrictions to track their intake
  3. Complexity of the Clinical Environment Category
    • Julie Cronin, RN, DNP, OCN, NE-BC and Kristen Nichols, RN
    • Patient acuity tool for ambulatory oncology infusion patients
  4. Other Ideas Category
    • Hanna Plager, BSN, RN
    • pH syringe with pH strip to check gastric tube placement

The Ether Dome Challenge (EDC) is an open innovation challenge designed by the Healthcare Transformation Lab in collaboration with Harvard Business School. The goal of the EDC is to engage MGH staff to think of solutions to pain points that they face daily in their work at MGH. Winning ideas are granted funding to implement their ideas, and project support from the Healthcare Transformation Lab. The Ether Dome Challenge (EDC) is an open innovation contest seeking solutions to pain points identified by front line staff at MGH. Designed by HTL and the Harvard Business School (LISH) the goals of the program are to engage staff in the ideation and selection process and to fund projects for implementation. EDC consists of four phases: Ideation, Crowd Voting, Application and Awards.

Contact the Healthcare Transformation Lab (HTL) to learn more about running your own EDC.

See our Portfolio page for details on the winner’s projects.