What are we planning?
We are partnering with the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs & Leaders (SONSIEL), Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and dev up to organize a virtual hackathon bringing together nurses and other frontline healthcare workers with technologists to help solve COVID-19 healthcare challenges by applying technological solutions. This virtual event will take place from the evening of Friday, May 15th to Sunday May 17th, 2020 and all volunteers will be able to contribute their expertise remotely. The primary means of collaboration and communication between teams will be Microsoft Teams and technology teams will utilize GitHub to collaborate (if needed). Beyond that, any technologies, products, or solutions are fair game to teams.
Why are we doing this?
The rapid spread COVID-19 has raised a large number of new healthcare challenges and put our frontline healthcare workers in situations requiring better tools and communication practices to keep up with the overwhelming demand for care. Nurses and other frontline health workers have a unique perspective on these needs given their close proximity to patients. We see an opportunity for nurses to leverage their experience and innovative thinking to define new ways to improve our response to this disease and, ultimately, save lives. We are using this opportunity to bring together technology experts from around the country to work with these nurses to put tangible plans and technology solutions in place.
What kinds of problems are we hoping to solve?
Our initial group of healthcare organizers and volunteers have identified the following areas of focus for our volunteers during the event:
- Technology/Remote Patient Monitoring – Acute Care
- Technology/Remote Patient Monitoring – Home Setting
- Patient Transfer, Hand-Off, and Huddle
- Resiliency and Self Care
- Data and Reporting
The above are intended to provide guidance to teams and volunteers on some of the high-level issues affecting healthcare workers. These are a general idea of what areas we are hoping to focus on, but all participants should be open any idea or proposed solution to help in this time of need. We are also working to collect more specific details around these needs prior to the start of the event to make the most of the available time.
What can you do to help?
We already have hundreds of nurses signed up to participate and provide input during the event. We are in need of a variety of technology focused skillsets to collaborate with these frontline workers on helping address their current needs.
We anticipate the need for participants with the following skillsets:
- Product Owners
- SCRUM Masters
- Developers (web, mobile, or other)
- Reporting and Data Analysts
- Business Analysts
Beyond calling out the above general technology roles by name we are asking for help from anyone with a unique skillset you think could contribute to solving real-world healthcare problems.
This is also a national event and we do not care where you may be located. As it is virtual you may connect and collaborate from anywhere.
While this is being organized as a Hackathon we are ultimately looking to design and implement solutions with an immediate impact on an industry in need. This could include web or mobile solutions, addressing data or reporting needs, integrating 3rd party tools, or even leveraging lower code business solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics and Power Apps. We are ultimately open to any technology or solution which can efficiently solve a real-world problem. We are also anticipating the ability for volunteers to stay involved with their solution or team beyond just the three-day window of time initially budgeted for. If you would like to continue to help, we are hoping to find a way to make that possible.
How can you sign up?
You can find more information about the event on our website at: https://www.nursehack4health.org/
By using the Register link at the top of that site you can let us know your contact information, availability, and general skills and we will include you in all communication and invitations to the event.
As mentioned above, the event will be held virtually and, by volunteering, you will be sent invites to all necessary systems prior to the weekend of the event. We are also planning on organizing a brief introduction to Microsoft Teams for all participants on the Wednesday evening prior to the event (May 13th, 2020). More information on this session will be sent out to all registered participants.
There are many things we can each do to help during this pandemic. There are the obvious things such as staying home and limiting the spread of COVID-19 or reaching out to friends and neighbors to make sure they are safe and sound. You can even donate to various charitable organizations or continue to support small businesses by ordering food and services locally. Volunteering your time is more difficult in the era of “social distancing”. For those of you with the technical expertise and the means to work remotely, I am asking that you consider blocking out some time over the weekend of May 15-17 and to join me and the other participants as we work together to help those who are sacrificing so much to help others.