23 June 2023

On 23 June 2023 the Healthcare Transformation Lab (HTL) and Department of Medicine celebrated the winners of their first Ether Dome Challenge (EDC) Contest with Primary Care.   Staff from 16 Primary Care practices participated in this opportunity to share pain points in areas important to leadership including, but not limited to:  

• wellbeing and morale

• diversity, equity, and inclusion

• patient satisfaction

• quality of care

• cost saving

Idea submissions addressed the following themes:  

• scheduling

• workflow

• care transitions

• communications

• patient education

Success of the program is evidenced by the fact that there was participation from every role group at every clinic and submission of 71 ideas.  Voting resulted in 4 ideas being invited to submit an implementation plan.  Of special note is that two of the these idea submitters, each from a different clinic and holding a different role, had similar ideas and collaborated to complete a joint implementation plan, so there was a total of 3 submissions overall.  The judges were so impressed with all submissions and awarded 1 grand prize winner and 2 runner ups.  

Second Runner Up
Siamak Malek, MD
“Completing Labs Prior to Visit”

First Runner Up Collaboration
Amanda Madden
“Will they Call Me?!”  

Lydecke Sweet, MD
“Automating Specialty Phone Numbers for Patients to Self-Schedule”  

Grand Prize Winner
Aminata Lawrence, MA
“Prior Authorizations Info Sheet”  

See our Portfolio page for details on each of these projects.  

The EDC program was launched by HTL in 2014 with support from the Laboratory of Innovation Science at the Harvard Business School (LISH) in recognition of the fact that frontline staff know best the pain points they face in their daily work with the goal to engage frontline staff to put forward their ideas and solutions to these pain points.  Ideas and solutions are submitted via an internally designed and developed secure, anonymous platform.  Staff are then invited to engage in the process of deciding which ideas move forward through a crowdsourced voting process via the platform.  Top voted idea submitters are then invited to prepare implementation plans, which are reviewed and evaluated by a panel of expert judges.  Winning ideas are granted implementation funding as well as project support from HTL.  The program has been run within various clinical departments 6 times as well as directly with patients through the Patient and Family Advisory Council members and the Patient Experience Team.   

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