About a year ago, Maggie McLaughlin, a Registered Nurse, was caring for a baby in the NICU and his IV tube came unhooked. The baby started bleeding unexpectedly and, while he was alright in the end, Maggie was frustrated.
Doing some research, McLaughlin found that there is no accepted, effective way to keep IVs hooked to an infant's body. And that's when she started prototyping her own.
McLaughlin ended up developing an IV connection that lies flatter on a baby's skin and so holds more effectively than alternatives. She has partnered with a former nurse to create and market the device under the name IV Safe T.
That a nurse may become an entrepreneur may sound unusual to some, but as the Boston Globe reports, "research has shown that nurses spend a significant portion of each shift using workarounds and making impromptu fixes to ineffective processes or equipment... Such adaptations take up time that could otherwise be devoted to patient care, but they also demonstrate creativity that can be channeled into developing new tools and procedures to improve the delivery of medicine."
This finding certainly resonates with our experience with ClickCare. From the very beginnings of the company, we've found that nurses have been the most courageous, principled, spirited, persistent collaborators of them all. From our beginnings in school-based healthcare programs, to today, nurses are a core part of what we do at ClickCare.
In fact, these nurses' entrepreneurship puts a spotlight on three things we think are crucial in healthcare:
- Take matters into your own hands. These nurses found a problem... and instead of waiting for "someone else" to create a solution, they created their own solution. Whether it's pioneering a telemedicine program at your hospital or doing medical collaboration with colleagues, this is key.
- Use your own experience as a guide. McLaughlin used her own experience with infants to identify the problem that she would solve with her product. We believe that whether it's with patient care or with entrepreneurship, your experience is your best guide.
- Don't be constrained by hierarchy. Many people think doctors would be more likely to create healthcare innovations than nurses, because of their place in the medical hierarchy. In fact, we've found that providers across the continuum of care are indispensable for both innovation and healthcare collaboration.
We hope you find these nurses' stories as inspiring as we do -- and that you find ways to take their approach into your own day.
For more stories of innovation and collaboration, download our free medical collaboration quick guide: