News and Events

What's Your Problem? Thinking Outside the Box: Rambam is Turning Problems into Solutions

Publication Date: 8/28/2018

Award-winning competition and partnerships with leading entrepreneurs: At Rambam we encourage innovative thinking among our employees and invite them to use their knowledge and clinical experience to improve medical practices.

Rambam's winning teams. Photography: Pioter FliterRambam's winning teams. Photography: Pioter Fliter

In recent years, Rambam Health Care Campus, the largest hospital in Northern Israel, has been promoting innovation inside and outside the hospital. However, even innovation must be renewed from time to time. In recent weeks, many Rambam staff have been engaged in a somewhat unconventional project—identifying problems and challenges faced by the various medical teams working in their field.  The incentive: a prize-winning competition held at the hospital, in order to highlight challenges and promote creative solutions, from the perspectives of both medical practitioners and patients.

The response to the challenge was amazing with close to 50 teams applying, from which 27 department and unit teams made the cut to participate in the contest, including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, and administrators. The competition, which lasted for one month, was led by the Division of Research at Rambam and by Rambam MedTech (the hospital’s technology transfer company). The two bodies lead innovation and entrepreneurial activities at the hospital in cooperation with the Israel Innovation Institute and, which assists in finding partners to advance innovative solutions for research problems. The judging team was composed of Rambam representatives who reviewed dozens of ideas: Professor Naim Shehadeh, Advocate Ronya Rubinstein (Director of the R&D Unit), Engineers Gennady Sapozhnikov and Alex Tansky; as well as representatives from the Israeli Innovation Institute: Yael Ophir (Director, Healthcare and Life Sciences), Tomer Sharir (Community Manager), and Pnina Vortman (Information Integration). 

"The idea was born following multiple conversations with physicians who had complained about problems and challenges they faced, for which we couldn’t always find a solution," explains Dorin Barbi, Director of Innovation at Rambam MedTech. “The response was amazing and we had the opportunity to review fascinating and original ideas. In the end, everyone wanted the same thing–to improve the quality of care provided to patients.”

Earlier this week, the three finalists in the Rambam Challenge Competition were announced: In first place—the EEG team of the Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery presented an initiative to improve the quality of diagnoses provided digitally to patients. In second place, the Department of Ophthalmology conceptualized an instrument to treat cataracts. In third place was an initiative of the Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Institute in the field of digital health, developed by their physicians, nursing staff, and social workers.

"I am proud of the innovations being developed by our hospital staff,” concludes Professor Rafi Beyar, the director of Rambam. “But most important of all,” he adds, “I am happy to see how much our medical teams want to solve the challenges and problems that arise from various diseases. This helps place Rambam Health Care Campus at the forefront of medical progress.”