It Doesn't Happen Overnight
I had some big out there "Star Trek" ideas. I wasn’t yet familiar with the concept of nursing innovation; I was more concerned about making medication errors.
Back in 2004 I had some big "Star Trek" ideas. As a young nurse, I wasn't yet familiar with the concept of nursing innovation and was more concern about not making any medication errors. If you remember, the first iPhone was released in 2007 and Wi-Fi didn't become readily available in households until 2011. My first idea needed cellular connectivity and an App to read Artificial Intelligence information. I was really stretching my idea.
I really did not have any direction from outside sources when I began innovating. This is what was happening in my head when I had "nursing" ideas:
I want to stop the vicious diabetic foot ulcer cycle that spiral down the patient's health leading to amputation, sepsis, and death. So, I thought about the Remote Diabetic Foot Monitoring System for home use.
I want to organize all the spaghetti I.V. lines hanging low to the ground that nurses and family members accidentally step on and stop the Ventilator hoses from wedging into the side rail and popping out of the ET tube. We find patients with pulled out I.V. lines and low oxygen saturations. So, I thought about the I.V. and Ventilator Holder that adheres to any spot on the side rails and guides the lines safely.
I want to help CPAP users receive some relief from the hoses that limit their movement in bed and not have an actual place to organize their equipment. It is hard enough to use the machine and compliancy is a major problem. I thought about The Original CPAP Hose Holder that is placed on the headboard organizing the hoses and face straps.
- Now all of this didn’t come overnight, and it definitely didn’t come to fruition easily. The inventing part was hard because no one told me about a Minimal Viable Product. This involves customer discovery, patent infringement search, money, prototyping and the list goes on and on. After all that you must pitch to people with a lot of money that want a quick result on their investment. You find out very quickly that the term "Angel" and "Early Investors" don’t really seem to exist.
I have some suggestions to all nursing innovators out there:
Get your significant other on board. If the person you love the most is not supportive then you will have difficulty succeeding. This means that your idea needs to make sense and that there is an actual need for it.
Do a patent search before you pour effort into it. This step will save you a huge headache, wasted money, and the most important thing, TIME!
Include a Non-Disclosure Agreement with anyone you discuss your idea with.
Have a clear path to your idea. Ask your professional friends that might be involved with your idea such as Wound Care, Respiratory, Cardiac, and so on and so forth. The more minds involved the better.
Simply Persevere, Persevere, Persevere.
Curiosity of the problem and having patience in finding the solution has been my driving force with innovation. Traditionally inventing had mainly come from big corporations hiring engineers which seldomly consulted Nurses in the process. Thank goodness that we are evolving, and nurses are taking the lead. It is about time!
I hope this helps, and let's chat another time.
P.S. I have patents on my ideas already! Woohoo!