One Idea at a Time: Fixing the World Through Innovation and Documentation
Episode

Hiyam Nadel MBA, RN, Director of the Center for Innovations in Care Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital

One Idea at a Time: Fixing the World Through Innovation and Documentation

Informatics, documentation, and innovation go hand in hand.

 

In this episode of the Future of Global Informatics, TJ Southern talks with Hiyam Nadel, director of the Center of Innovations in Care Delivery at Mass General Hospital, about innovation and how nurses should think of themselves as innovators who can identify the pain points they’re experiencing and coming up with their solutions. Hiyam explains nurse informaticists’ role as the bridge between technology and innovation and the many opportunities that informatics brings in innovation. She talks about the importance of team collaboration to innovate, as opposed to working in silos, a common healthcare practice. At the Center of Innovation, Hiyam and the team mentor innovators and guide them through their process without placing any parameters, giving creative freedom to flow. She encourages nurses to start somewhere by solving problems and building credibility for themselves. Likewise, she urges employers to pay attention to possible innovative solutions their employees might come up with.

 

Tune in to listen about why it’s essential to remind nurses that they are also innovators!

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One Idea at a Time: Fixing the World Through Innovation and Documentation

About Hiyam Nadel:

Hiyam M. Nadel MBA, RN is the Director of the Center for Innovations in Care Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).  As an intrapreneur, she is both a mentor and “incubator” of ideas for front-line caregivers conceiving an idea, for prototyping, and beyond. She is currently an inaugural Johnson and Johnson Innovation Fellow. Prior to accepting this position, Hiyam played an essential role in re-opening the MGH Obstetrics Department after a 40-year hiatus. Along with the re-opening of the Obstetrics division came the opportunity to implement a different nurse-care model and a “Medical Home” for Obstetrics. Hiyam has been instrumental in designing IT programs such as the “Ambulatory Patient Tracking System” and co-authored the design of the “OB EMR”, an electronic medical record, subsequently sold to Hewitt Packard. She was selected as Innovation Learning Network Changemaker, a distinction recognizing leaders who are trying to bring impactful change to their organization. The most recent award she has received is the 2020 Extraordinary Women Advancing Healthcare Award from the Commonwealth Institute for being an emerging and inspiring leader pioneering advances across health care. 

 

She earned a nursing degree from Northeastern University, a clinical genetics certificate from Brandeis University, and an MBA from Babson College with a focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She is the President-elect and founding member of the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders (SONSIEL). She joined Outcomes Rocket to host the SONSIEL Nursing focus of the podcast and to give leaders a unique avenue for thought leadership and recognition.

 

Future of Global Informatics – Episode 9_Hiyam Nadel: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Future of Global Informatics – Episode 9_Hiyam Nadel: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

TJ Southern:
Hey, y’all! Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket Network – The Future of Global Informatics Podcast, where we discuss global informatics through conversations with industry leaders and innovators so that you can understand what it is, what it does, and how it shapes the healthcare of our future. I am your host, TJ Southern.

TJ Southern:
Hey, y’all! Hey, y’all! Good day! Good day! Welcome to another episode of The Future of Global Informatics. It’s your girl, TJ Southern, and today, we have Hiyam Nadel. We have Hiyam. Hi! How are you doing with that beautiful smile?

Hiyam Nadel:
How are you? I’m so glad to be here!

TJ Southern:
Oh, I am great. I am great. Such an honor, such a pleasure to have you. I have a special treat for you guys because she is actually one of my fellow colleagues on the Outcomes Rocket Network. So after we’re done, I’m going to make sure that she gives you guys all of her information so that you can follow her as well, as a fellow nurse, she’s looking at leaders, entrepreneurs. I’m not going to overtalk her, I’m going to let her tell you what she does. So go on ahead and tell the people something about yourself, tell us.

Hiyam Nadel:
Thank you, T.J. So I am currently the director for the Center of Innovations in Care Delivery at Mass General Hospital. So what do we do there? We are very passionate about the fact that our frontline nurses and other roles, that we want them to come and tell us the pain points they’re experiencing, and then innovating and telling us what their solutions will be, right? I feel we have the honor and privilege of caring for patients in all different kinds of settings. So who’s best at really coming to the table and helping us transform health and healthcare?

TJ Southern:
Oh, my God, I told y’all. So, let’s go ahead and back this train up. For my listeners, y’all know how I am. When I bring people on here, they drop nuggets for us. So make sure that you get your pen and your piece of paper because we get ready to have some nuggets and some knowledge drop today, I’m just putting that PSA out there to you. Let me tell you, you, like, make my heart flutter, being innovative in healthcare like, you know, people don’t realize how, or such a critical part that nursing plays in the innovation of healthcare, and to be able to be a director of a unit that’s on the cutting edge of innovation. Oh, my God. Hats off to you. Hats just go off to you.

Hiyam Nadel:
My heart still flutters.

TJ Southern:
Oh, my God. Like, I’m so excited sitting in this seat, being able to talk to you. So what inspires your current work in that space, in your healthcare innovative space, your think tank space? What inspires your work in that space?

Hiyam Nadel:
Well, you know, I have to go back a little bit, a little bit of history. Even as a nursing student, I was innovating and inventing. And some of my colleagues would call me two years later and say, Hey, Hiyam, is that your invention on the market? And I’m like, what? So after about three of those incidents, I said, what am I missing here? And of course, I look around, and all my other colleagues are also inventing. Our equipment doesn’t work right, we modify that. We do whatever we need to do to help out patients, and so it has become a really strong passion of mine to really get those nurses to think of themselves as innovators. That’s the first thing because no one thinks of themselves as that.

TJ Southern:
Yes! We don’t.

Hiyam Nadel:
That’s right.

TJ Southern:
Oh, my God. Just see, even in our thought processes, guys, that’s all it takes for the light bulb to just switch on, is that we have to think of ourselves not as just, we’re just this little old meek person with not, you know, we have to think of ourselves as strong, you know, pursuing innovators, entrepreneurs, think takers, engineers, creators. I mean, the list just goes on and on and on. And I know that the topic, or our podcast is about the future of global informatics, but informatics and innovation go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. So this is so amazing that we actually have leaders out here that are at the helm that are pushing others to think innovation, to go to, you know, help create, oh my gosh. Oh, my gosh. So what are some of the biggest challenges that you see in that space? What are some of the biggest challenges that you see?

Hiyam Nadel:
Yes, so, you know, as an innovator, you love challenges. I used to tell my staff, you have a problem, that’s great. That means we can innovate. If we don’t have problems to solve, then we can’t innovate. But so, what we’re doing a lot is educating. What does innovation mean? We also just tell people it isn’t something that, it’s so out in the sky, 30,000 feet that you can’t reach it. It’s really about solving problems, and how you solve the problem is innovation. So we use human-centered design thinking, so I think one challenge is to really get out there and try to educate nurses about what this really means. Also, what we’re trying to do here is we actively elicit for ideas and pain points, and solutions, and that’s also not enough, right? So the other challenge that we always are mindful about is we have to mentor those very staff that come forward with their ideas and solutions. So we’ll take them right from idea all through the innovation methodology and then all the way to prototyping whatever it is, we don’t put any parameter. So it could be an innovative process, it could be technology, it could be a product, it could be a device. So we’re not putting any parameters yet because I think what you really want people to do is just get those creative juices flowing and letting us know what problems and what their solutions are.

TJ Southern:
Oh, my God. So the fact that, first of all, I like the fact that you’re like, oh, we have a problem that is amazing because we can fix it. Like that attitude right there, oh, come on, guys. I mean, that’s the point of us getting into nursing, right? That’s the point of us going into informatics. That’s the point of us just going into the field of doing what it is that we have a passion to do, right? We see a problem, we want to fix it. So Hiyam’s team is like, yes, we’re going to fix the world, and that’s the one thing that I absolutely love. She’s like, we are going to fix the world one idea at a time. Oh, my God. And the fact that you don’t put any parameters on it, so it allows people to have creative flow and creative movement without restriction. And guys, that is the way that we get most of our cutting-edge healthcare technologies. I mean, somebody has to be somewhere thinking of a solution for a problem, and your team just happens to be one of those teams that takes it, tackles it head-on. So your organization, right, how do you feel that the innovation out of your organization will assist with patient outcomes?

Hiyam Nadel:
I think the patient is at the center of everything we’re doing. Therefore, it has to have a positive outcome. And I love the fact that my nursing informatics colleagues, because there’s so much digital and technology, they’re right in the middle. So they act as our buffer between the technology and the staff. So they’re always on the units and trying to figure things out or make things better. I mean, it’s just, it’s beautiful, right? And we try to, I think they’re very good at making technology human. So we don’t over-rely on technology so that we continue to listen to the patient. I think technology is unbelievably successful, but we always have to remember not to over-rely. We need to use our assessment skills and critical thinking and really stay in tune with the patient.

TJ Southern:
You know, the thing that I truly, truly like, again, it makes my heart flutter is the fact that you understand where the nurse informaticist role plays a critical part in the bridge between technology and innovation. A lot of times, organizations don’t understand the need for that critical piece. And you so eloquently put it, as my colleagues are there. They’re there to help me. They are there, they understand because they have to sit in that seat with technology, but then they also have to understand us as innovators to be able to say, okay, how can we actually materialize this or matriculate this into physical technology? Informaticists, that’s the jam. That’s the jam that she’s talking about. So if you are one of those individuals that loves to be in the mix, that’s what we do. We come in, we assist all departments. Innovation just happens to be one of my favorite departments. I’m even shocked that your organization has a Department of Innovation because most organizations do not. They don’t see the value in having a department strictly for innovation, which is already a kudos to your organization that they have a department like that. So to be able to have an innovation department and then have nursing informatics work with that, oh my God. I can only imagine what you all are getting ready to create, you know, within the next six months, within the next year, within the next two years. So that just, it just floods my heart. So my question, my next question is, what opportunities do you feel are out there for nurse innovators? I, I’ll be honest with you, I consider myself a nurse innovator myself because I’m here doing this podcast, talking about nursing informatics, it’s not something that is talked about. Nursing informatics has always been this hidden discipline, right, that people don’t really know that we exist. But then you have those few pockets of people that understand the criticalness of our discipline. So what, do you think opportunities exist for innovators like myself?

Hiyam Nadel:
Oh, my goodness. There’s so many opportunities. If you think about how many problems we have in healthcare and all the problems that we can solve. I’m also a big proponent of teams. So lots of times when we work together, it isn’t just, we don’t want to do anything, especially innovation, in silos. We need to bring everyone together. We include patients, we include our physician colleagues, our engineers, our BioMed engineers, our nurse informaticists. And that’s, because everybody brings different perspectives to the table, and that’s how you really come up with lots of good transformational solutions. And I just, I see it very simply, I know it’s not always simple, but that’s my belief. And hopefully, my next passion will be, is to bring payers to the table. So if we’re trying to tackle mental health, you are already doing tele-visits, we want to be able to tell our payers, look, we may not have enough mental health people here, but in the next state, we do, so let our patients access that across state lines so we can start to pay for things. So we can’t do it all alone, but that would be my next passion, is to bring lots more people to the table.

TJ Southern:
I love the fact that you talk about interdisciplinary care, interdisciplinary focus, right? A lot of people think, and I’m just going to, I’m going to bring it concrete home, and let’s just talk about this EMR for a second. A lot of people think building an EMR is just this one siloed thing. Guys, like EMR has so many tentacles, it’s mind-blowing. And the biggest thing when you’re implementing an EMR or optimizing or even supporting an EMR is to make sure that you have the correct disciplines to the table. You know, Hiyam just said, she just told us this. You have to have, you have to do this in a team atmosphere. You cannot do it by yourself. Healthcare for the patient is not siloed. Whenever the patient comes in and they have a stay, they’re seeing dietary, they’re seeing housekeeping, they’re seeing a specialist for this, a specialist for that. So your documentation can’t be siloed either. The team who helps to create and innovate that documentation cannot be siloed. So I love the fact that you bring that point back home to us to say, it’s a team effort, it’s a team effort. I also love the fact in your organization, that you all are mentoring innovators. That is one of the biggest things about having innovation. You almost have to put them in a crockpot, right?

Hiyam Nadel:
That’s right. That’s right, it’s not enough just saying go innovate. What does that mean exactly?

TJ Southern:
Yes, you got to put them in a cooker, right? Your rice cooker, you keep it on for 30 minutes. You got to mentor them. You’ve got to create those think tanks and those individuals to help them get to the next level of innovation. In doing all of this, you not only help that individual to go to the next level in entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation, you also help your organization.

Hiyam Nadel:
Very helpful to the organization.

TJ Southern:
It is a give-and-take situation. So all of these leaders out here that have organizations and you’re a CIO, CTO, CEO that are at the helm of these massive healthcare organizations, you need an innovation center, you need an innovation team, a think tank. She’s giving you all of the chips of what it is that you need to do. Oh, my God, oh, my God. So my question is to you, what do you think needs to be talked about more to bring awareness to this need, right? We’re sitting here and we’re talking about that we need these things, but what do we do to say, hey, this is what you need to do?

Hiyam Nadel:
So interestingly, you ask, because I am helping other health systems really try to develop some of the innovation work, and the way we started here was really how do you build credibility? You have to think about credibility. And what you do is you want to try to solve some problems. It doesn’t have to be a big event, you could start very small, be patient, but solve a problem, not just for yourself and for your patients, but also think about the institution. What problem is big for the institution? So let’s take pressure injuries or hospital falls or think about central line infections. You know, let’s try to solve some of those bigger problems because you will benefit, the patient benefits, but also your institution benefits. Then you begin to develop more credibility, and then they will say, oh, this is a great way to work, we have to measure it, you know, measure it, have your metrics really prove yourself. And that’s essentially what we started, and it has really morphed to, you know, we have a big, what we call the … Challenge now where all 8800 of our staff get to put in ideas and solutions. And then what we do is put it back out to them and then they vote for the best idea or whatever ideas resonate with them. So that’s telling us, it’s all coming from the front lines, that these are problems, and we begin to pay attention. Also, the benefit is if you involve your leadership right away, it helps them close the gap. As a leader, what I think is a problem, and now I can hear what the problem is from my front line, so it closes that gap, and it becomes a better working environment and culture.

TJ Southern:
I’m telling you, like, hello, leaders, if you guys do this, it keeps your staff. It keeps people wanting to work for you because they understand the fact that you want to hear from them. Nobody wants to find problems at work every day, tell leadership, and then leadership is like, whatever, right? You start to get disgruntled employees, people don’t want to work for you, they don’t want to innovate for you, and then guess what happens to your organization? Your, the credibility for your organization starts to decline. So, use some of the best and the brightest talent that you’ve already hired there within your organization, allow them to go out and be innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders, right? That is the only way technology is rapidly changing our views, our thoughts. All of those being leaders and innovators, they have to be able to flow to change with the times. Leaders, yes, I’m calling you out, I’m making you think today. Yes, so now, how can people find you? Because I’m gonna be honest with you, if I’m listening to this podcast today, I’m like, I’m a leader, I’m an innovator, like, and leaders are innovators, we want to be around other leaders and innovators, that’s what we want to do so how can people find you? How can they connect with you?

Hiyam Nadel:
Well, I’m always happy to have an email, hnadel@mgh.harvard.edu. I’m on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, however you get on social media, happy to hear from you. Yes, let us help you, let us come together so we all can share and innovate together and not in a silo.

TJ Southern:
So do you have any words of wisdom or parting words for our listeners today?

Hiyam Nadel:
I do, just start somewhere. Don’t say, oh, I have to have a program or I have to restart it out. It’s just a simple email to our staff and say, hey, tell us what’s really bothering you on the front lines and what are your ideas for solution? And then you take it back and see how you can work on it. That’s it, that simple.

TJ Southern:
Oh, my God, I love, you know what? I love that for motivation. I love that for encouragement. I love that to, you know, to sustain any, look, just do it, Nike.

Hiyam Nadel:
Just do it.

TJ Southern:
Just do it.

Hiyam Nadel:
Do it.

TJ Southern:
Thank you so much for meeting with us today. Let me tell you, it was an honor and such a pleasure. Guys, again, she hosts a podcast here on the Outcomes Rocket Network. So you will see me on her cast as well because I’m going to go over there. Yes, I am an innovator, I am a leader, I am an entrepreneur, I am all those wonderful things that she and her team talk about what they do. So I will check us out on her cast as well and check her out here.

TJ Southern:
Hey, y’all! Thanks for joining us today for another episode of the Outcomes Rocket Network – The Future of Global Informatics Podcast. If your organization is looking for informatics talent, go to www.Beryllus.net. That is www. B E R Y L L U S .net, and we can assist you in finding some of the best nursing informatics talent this continent has to offer. We’ll talk to you later! Have a great day! See ya!

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Things You’ll Learn:

  • Nurses must consider themselves strong, pursuing innovators, entrepreneurs, think-takers, engineers, and creators.
  • Problems present an opportunity to innovate, how you solve the problem is innovation.
  • At the Center of Innovation in Care Delivery at Mass General Hospital, they take innovators through a methodology right from their idea all the way to prototyping, without putting any parameters.
  • Nurse informaticists act as a buffer between the technology and the staff, ensuring the patient will still be listened to.
  • Team effort is vital for innovation, not working in silos.
  • As a leader, listen to what your front-line workers identify as problems. 
  • Front-line workers can be innovators as well. 
  • Teaming up with front-line workers will close existing gaps and create a better working environment and culture.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Hiyam Nadel on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Contact Hiyam by sending her an email to hnadel@mgh.harvard.edu
  • Follow Massachusetts General Hospital on LinkedIn.
  • Discover the Innovation Programs at the Massachusetts General Hospital Website.
  • For more information on topics related to informatics or on finding talented informaticists for your organization, please visit the Beryllus Website.