A strategy for empowering clinicians and increasing innovation: the Magic Wand Initiative

Abstract

Clinicians play a critical role in recognizing, initiating, and adopting innovative solutions to clinical problems. Increasing clinician involvement in problem-based innovation will help identify and solve unmet medical needs. The overall objective of our program was to increase clinician involvement in problem-based innovation. We pioneered and piloted the “Magic Wand” Initiative (MWI) at Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Dermatology, by inviting clinical faculty to voluntarily participate in problem-driven innovation. The primary outcome was the number of unmet clinical needs identified and pursued by clinicians, who were ‘activated’ to initiate problem-based innovation. Other objectives were to enhance clinician-to-clinician dialogue and to develop specific strategic framework for clinician-led, problem-driven research. This pilot MWI was started in 2013 with an announcement at dermatology faculty meeting inviting all clinical faculty to participate on volunteer basis. Academic dermatologists were the main participants in this program. They also contacted, collaborated and worked with research faculty, industry experts and lawyers. Out of 30 unmet needs identified by clinicians participating in MWI, eight are actively being pursued by clinicians. Three of those cases presented here have achieved publications, grant funding, prototype devices and product for patient use. In conclusion, MWI is an innovative approach that educates and equips clinician to identify and solve problems and engages them as leaders in their healthcare ecosystem. MWI has achieved concrete measurable success, affirming that if clinicians are empowered and supported to identify and solve existing unmet medical problems, new and innovative solutions can be invented to improve patient care.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article.

Abbreviations

MWI:

Magic Wand Initiative

AID:

Advancing Innovation in Dermatology

IP:

Intellectual Property

KS:

Kaposi’s Sarcoma

NIH:

National Institutes of Health

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Funding

Dr. Freeman’s time on the preparation and review of the manuscript was supported by NIH R21-TW010221 grant. Some initial funding for this program was provided by Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID) which is nonprofit organization.

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Correspondence to Lilit Garibyan.

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The trademark for Magic Wand is owned by the Massachusetts General Hospital. The authors declare no other competing interests.

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Garibyan, L., Kroshinsky, D., Freeman, E. et al. A strategy for empowering clinicians and increasing innovation: the Magic Wand Initiative. Arch Dermatol Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-020-02111-z

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Keywords

  • Innovation
  • Design thinking
  • Empowerment
  • Education
  • Solving unmet needs
  • Quality improvement