Waikato DHB to launch Dragons' Den concept

Health board member and retired cardiologist Clyde Wade said hospital staff should be encouraged to be innovative.
MARK TAYLOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Health board member and retired cardiologist Clyde Wade said hospital staff should be encouraged to be innovative.

Waikato health bosses will use a Dragons' Den format to help unearth innovative ideas among its staff.

The concept is borrowed from a television reality series in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of potential investors.

Under the Waikato DHB initiative, staff will present a 10-minute ideas pitch to a panel for funding and resources.

The DHB will make $10,000 of funding available for staff initiatives each month.

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Staff will then have 25 working days to research and test their ideas.

The health board plans to establish an innovation incubator to help foster and promote new ideas.

A report by DHB's virtual care and innovation executive director Darrin Hackett said creating a culture of innovation was essential to meet the challenges of the coming health crisis.

The current health care model was no longer sustainable, Hackett said.

"There's a recognition that to create a culture [of innovation] we need to put some structure around it and give staff the opportunity to do things differently," he said.

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Hackett said it was important the whole process was transparent so staff across the organisation could see what's possible.

Board member Clyde Wade, a retired cardiologist, said the Dragons' Den platform was an opportunity to encourage staff to think outside the square.

"From my point of view we've got 4900 or something tertiary qualified people in this organisation and I don't think we're encouraging them to use their brain other than the bit focused on doing it within the box," Wade said.

"Clinicians are terrible at just focusing their right eye or left eye on whatever it is...and not on the whole organisation, so this is good."

Wade said the initial focus of the innovation incubator should be on likely successes so the health board can demonstrate the process works and "get some runs on the board".

 - Stuff

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