Dr. Kendall Ho, eFIT co-chair, and Darcia Pope, VCH VP and Chief Transformation Officer, attended the eFIT Technology Innovation Engagement Forum.

Physician innovators share ideas, experiences

It wasn’t that long ago when VGH required an entire building to house its mainframe computer. Today, that computer power –and more – is contained in the palm of our hands as physicians rely upon tablets, iPhones and dozens of other innovations in their daily work. This rapid evolution of technology, and the accompanying challenges and opportunities, was the topic of the Technology Innovation Engagement Forum held January 25 at VGH.

Organized by the engagement For Innovative Technologies (eFIT) Interest Group, the forum had three primary objectives:

  • Leverage technology for innovation in practice
  • Share experience to translate ideas into clinical care, system innovation and commercialization
  • Bring together peers, experts and mentors to build a thriving community of interest

Shared passion for technology

VCH President and CEO Mary Ackenhusen opened the session noting the important role of technology in health system transformation, themes echoed by Dr. Dermot Kelleher, Dean, UBC Faculty of Medicine, and other speakers throughout the evening, including Dr. Trina Larsen Soles, President, Doctors of BC and Barbara Grantham, CEO, VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation.

Approximately 150 physicians, medical trainees, health care leaders and industry partners gathered to hear brief presentations from physician innovators who shared their insight and experience.  Presentations were followed by a panel discussion, dinner and an opportunity to network and learn more from poster displays and colleagues involved with medical technology initiatives.

“This event is about bringing people together to make connections and start the conversation,” said Dr. Kendall Ho, eFIT co-chair. “This is just the beginning.”

Innovative ideas in action

Dr. Corinne Hohl, emergency physician, highlighted a software application for reducing repeat adverse drug events; Dr. Jan Venter, family physician, shared a “check-engine light” concept to monitor brain vital signs and Dr. Igor Brodkin, anesthesiologist, compared the OR activity whiteboard to airline industry technology, which inspired the creation of an OR real-time Activity Display Board.  These were among the many ideas shared throughout the evening.

Dr. Igor Brodkin, anesthesiologist, compared the OR activity whiteboard to airline industry technology, which inspired the creation of an OR real-time Activity Display Board.

Of course, not all innovative concepts make it. Dr. Eric Cadesky, eFIT co-chair, emphasized how quickly technology changes and that all too often an idea is obsolete by the time it is ready to be shared. His advice to early innovators: “Make sure you fail fast so you can learn and innovate again.”

The event, sponsored by the VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative and VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation, and supported by Vancouver Coastal Health, was also livestreamed via webcast and available for later viewing. Tweets were flying as presentations sparked ideas and generated interest. There are already requests to hold another forum  for physicians again soon.

In the meantime, Vancouver physicians are welcome to attend VCH-Vancouver’s All-Staff Forum on innovative uses of technology in health care on February 28. Drs. Kendall Ho, Jacqueline Trudeau and Tyler Smith will be participating. The forum will be followed by an Innovation Fair featuring live demos and interactive displays. See related articles below for more details.

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