What is a hack?

Originally, a hack was an event of one or more days where people involved in software development, subject matter experts and others got together to invent and create solutions or new insights to tricky problems. Increasingly, organisation and system leaders are now applying these methods that originated in the software industry (and were about technical data-driven solutions) to solving big strategic issues such as community building, system redesign and transformational leadership development. Across the globe, governments are using hack day methods to create more transparent, accessible services for citizens.

A hack is a learning event at which diverse groups of people collaborate to think beyond their previous perspectives and create experimental solutions to challenging problems. The way that a hack operates is inclusive and open, levelling and participative.

To see highlights of an outstanding hack in healthcare view this film from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital: Hacking Children’s Health 2015

To get a wider sense of the process of hacking, watch the WebEx and view the slides from the recent Edge Talk: ‘Hacked off? Get hacking!

NHS Transformathon hacks

Two hacks ran alongside the NHS Transformathon. Our hosts and panellists regularly linked up with the hacks, so that we could hear about their progress, and help them by providing ideas and expertise.

Central Cheshire System Resilience Group
NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Group brought together people from across Central Cheshire to use their combined knowledge, wisdom and expertise to help find solutions to local healthcare problems.

Working closely with North West Coast Academic Health Science Network, the CCGs organised this event to create a sense of energy and excitement to tackle a really difficult challenge: ‘how do we encourage and promote active well-being?’

The hack took place over a 24 hour period and there was lots of energy and commitment to action. Attendees used social media to voice their concerns, generate disruptive dialogue and positive affirmation with people in the room and elsewhere. Four teams pitched ideas and the winner was chosen to develop a single point of access for GPs to call if they required support.

Find out more about the hack at the Vale Royal CCG website or by watching the film below:

CLIC Sargent
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. They provide clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life.

CLIC Sargent worked with young people and stakeholders to hack how they can help young people find and reach CLIC Sargent’s services.

If you would like to know more about the CLIC Sargent hack, please email us.

Transoformathon Logo
27th Jan 201616:00 - 17:15 GMT

Making history – Welcome to the first NHS 24 hour online event for connection, learning and change

Alison Cameron and Helen Bevan, our hosts for the event introduce the themes covered and who is taking part. Their guest is Gill Phillips


27th Jan 201617:15 - 17:30 GMT

Finance and the NHS

Gayle Wells, from Wigan CCG (England) explains why amazing things happen when clinicians and finance staff come together


27th Jan 201617:30 - 18:00 GMT

Hack the future. How can hackathons change health and care for the better?

Heard about ‘Hacks’ but unsure how they can help you? Expert Perry Timms and Iain Hennessey, Head of Innovation at Alder Hey Hospital discuss how hack methods can energise improvement


27th Jan 201618:00 - 18:45 GMT

Mesmerising measurement: engaging teams in measurement for improvement

Abigail Harrison, from Haelo (UK) on moving frontline teams from “data haters” to “measurement improvement maestros”


27th Jan 201618:45 - 19:30 GMT

Vanguard localities transforming care through new care models

Steve Sewell, Chris Jones and Sam Jones are local and national leaders pioneering new care models in England


27th Jan 201619:30 - 20:00 GMT

Do the people know best? Capturing the collective wisdom of the crowd to innovate and redesign care

Join Nigel Edwards, CEO of health charity Nuffield Trust (UK) and leaders in crowdsourcing to debate the potential of designing-by-crowd


27th Jan 201620:00 - 21:00 GMT

The Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff

Roy Lilley and Terri Porrett describe the journey of the Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff to the point where it has become THE place to go to share all the good things


27th Jan 201621:00 - 22:00 GMT

Creating the future today, literally!

Michael Lin and Mary Katica, from Kaiser Permanente (USA), lead a session on how design thinking and prototyping can create better outcomes


27th Jan 201622:00 - 23:00 GMT

TRIZ: Mindset shift in action!

Marlies Van Dijk, from Alberta Health Services (Canada), on how “Liberating Structures” techniques such as TRIZ can change the status quo


27th Jan 201623:00 - 00:00 GMT

Game on! Using gamification to engage and motivate change.

Shari McKeown from the British Columbia Patient Safety & Quality Council, Canada shows how using games can build energy, engagement and sustainability for change.


28th Jan 201600:00 - 01:00 GMT

Patient-driven change for an improved health and care system

Ben Ridout from BC Patient Safety and Quality Council on engaging service users and families as true partners in health and care


28th Jan 201601:00 - 02:00 GMT

Igniting large-scale change: one ambassador at a time

Leaders aren’t always the ones with positional power. Hear from change agents from British Columbia (Canada) who act as distributed leaders


28th Jan 201602:00 - 03:00 GMT

Letting go of power to build power: enhancing youth mental health and wellbeing

How a public health service in New Zealand changed its approach and moved from doing things to people to doing things with people


28th Jan 201603:00 - 04:00 GMT

Is Co-Design a true collaboration?

Leaders from Ko Awatea (New Zealand) describe how they use co-design as an improvement approach that engages patients, families and staff


28th Jan 201604:00 - 05:00 GMT

How to create change that sticks and spreads

One of the biggest challenges for leaders of change is to spread what works to other teams and settings. We will show you how.


28th Jan 201605:00 - 06:00 GMT

What can we learn about introducing seven day services from another system across the globe?

Jane Evans, from Eastern Health shows howa large multi-site health service in Victoria, Australia, introduced seven day services across General Medicine.


28th Jan 201606:00 - 07:00 GMT

Moving from Quality Improvement as activity to Quality Improvement as culture

Using care for older people as an example, Ruth Glassborow from Health Improvement Scotland talks about developing a sustainable QI culture


28th Jan 201607:00 - 07:30 GMT

How to change the whole system

Change expert John Atkinson, from heartoftheart.org, on how change really happens and why many change models and methods fail to deliver


28th Jan 201607:30 - 08:30 GMT

The Gap: How to destroy value and exhaust yourself in the process

Dr Peter Fuda, a world-leading researcher and practitioner on transformational change, gives a guide to his best research and insights


28th Jan 201608:30 - 09:00 GMT

To infinity and beyond: Using film in improvement

Film is an important medium for communicating improvement. Aaron Gow from Haelo (UK) gives us tips and tricks to make our own films


28th Jan 201609:00 - 10:00 GMT

Why is collaborative working so hard?

Why is it so hard to work collaboratively? Cumbria Learning & Improvement Collaborative’s Stephen Singleton and Joe Nguyen from PPL Consulting have some practical solutions


28th Jan 201610:00 - 11:00 GMT

The Art of Change Making

John Jarvis, Liz Goold and Bernie Brooks draw on The Art of Change Making, a collection of models and approaches, to give a perspective on large scale systems change.


28th Jan 201611:00 - 12:00 GMT

How can innovation labs accelerate change through design methods focused on service users?

Paul Taylor and Vicky Green from housing innovation unit Bromford Lab examine what role an innovation lab can play to support social good


28th Jan 201612:00 - 13:00 GMT

Health beyond healthcare

Malik Gul and the team at Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network on how they are unlocking the skills and capabilities of communities


28th Jan 201613:00 - 14:00 GMT

Working collaboratively with patients as leaders

Find out about the King’s Fund’s Collaborative Pairs Programme, which shows what is achievable when leadership is shared with service users


28th Jan 201614:00 - 15:00 GMT

Transforming healthcare through social media

This session highlights innovators, clinicians, patients and digital collaborators who are using social media to improve patient care


28th Jan 201615:00 - 15:30 GMT

Culturevists (company cultural activists) of the world unite!

Matthew Partovi leads a network of activists who care about their organisation’s culture so much they’re willing to lose their jobs for it! We’ll explore with him some of the actions people are taking


28th Jan 201615:30 - 16:00 GMT

Looking back over the past 24 hours

Our hosts Alison Cameron and Helen Bevan, identify the connections that have been made, the lessons learned and outcomes achieved