Hackathon: A GP think tank

Morgan Liotta

17/02/2020 3:59:49 PM

‘Hackathon’ workshops give members a platform to collaborate and develop innovative solutions with their GP colleagues.

Hackathon logo infographic
Hackathon provides opportunity to be part of developing solutions to general practice challenges.

GPs and other healthcare professionals have the opportunity to be part of a bigger solution and drivers for change through a series of two-day workshops taking place across the country from March.
Hackathon 2020 aims to inspire GPs to unearth common challenges they face in their everyday practise and feel empowered to put their ideas and innovations forward to overcome these challenges with like-minded health professionals, with the overall goal of improving healthcare delivery and patient experience.
The RACGP selects 10 common general practice challenges for the workshops, then ‘hack’ teams of up to five people are formed and allocated a challenge to solve.
The teams will be supported by developers and marketers to bring their ideas to life through sharing ideas. The workshops are designed to empower GPs to distil their visionary concepts into actionable solutions through a supported, collaborative, creative and risk-free problem-solving environment.
The winning team from each Hackathon is fast-tracked via a mentoring program to become a finalist to showcase their innovative solution to a group of expert judges at Pitchfest, held during the RACGP’s annual conference for general practice in October – GP20 in Perth.
At last year’s inaugural Pitchfest at GP19, the winning Hackathon team presented on innovative solutions to communication barriers in antenatal care.
As a mentor on the program, Siddharth Verma’s role is to help the teams in ensuring they continue to develop and grow their idea.
‘Regular catch-ups with the mentor following the Hackathon keeps the team motivated and focused on solving the problem,’ he told newsGP.
Mr Verma believes the workshops inspire participants and help to enhance their careers in general practice, as well as preparing them as potential Pitchfest finalists.
‘GPs are at the coalface and deal with challenges in primary care on a daily basis,’ he said.
‘They have to be a part of the solution. The collective intellectual capital is an incredible asset that would benefit not just the Pitchfest finalists but a much larger RACGP member base.’
Based on feedback from last year, Mr Verma said it was evident a lot of members were excited and keen to participate in subsequent hackathons and Pitchfests.
‘[Members realised] the reality of how much can be achieved in such a short amount of time,’ he said.
Mr Verma has some advice for GPs who might wish to participate in Hackathon 2020.
‘For the participants that are still unsure of participating, self-doubt can be stubborn ... You have to be in it to win it,’ he said.
‘Strangely enough, it is not the solution but the person who is going to benefit from it. Do it for them.
‘For those of you who have already thrown your hat in the ring – be open to collaboration, be open to fresh and new ideas. You will be surprised with what can happen over a weekend.
‘Let’s not forget, when all is said and done – it’s all about the patient.  Are you ready to do something different this time?’
Hackathon dates:

  • Sydney – 21 and 22 March
  • Perth – 2 and 3 May
  • Melbourne  – 30 and 31 May
  • Brisbane – 13 and 14 June
Further information and registration details are available on the RACGP website.
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Dr Toni Marie Weller   18/02/2020 9:13:51 AM

If you can please do!
50yo here who did the mini hack last year. A great way to think and invigorate the brain. Can apply these techniques in other situations. Very collaborative environment and helps you hone your negotiation skills in a cognitively diverse group.
Highly recommend.