Last week our founder Sophie Brooke was interviewed by the Digital Health CNIO Network on Twitter. They are the UK’s largest independent professional community dedicated to collaboration and sharing best practices for the effective use of digital technologies and data across the NHS.
Sophie shared her story from being a midwife with an idea to developing a software company to solve a real problem within the NHS. If you missed it you can read the conversation below.
Q: Hi Sophie, can you tell our followers at DHCNIO a bit about yourself?
Hi DHCNIO, thank you for interviewing me 😊. Sure – I’m a Midwife, QI advisor and Co-Founder of Lister, on a mission to bring positive change to the NHS.
I believe in clinical entrepreneurship, and it’s a central role in transformation.
I’m also a digital council member on the shared decision making council, and somehow do a masters in my spare time.
…And just so people don’t think I’m just a busy alien, I’m also a wife and a dog mum! 🐕
Q: Why did you become an entrepreneur?
If I’m honest, I didn’t mean to 🤣 but every time I went back to the wards, the problems I experienced remained the same despite digital maturity. One day I felt confident and decided I wanted to do something about it and solve the problems I experienced.
Q: Can you tell us more about Lister…
Of course, we are a task management solution that aims to eradicate unsafe paper job lists and handover sheets that still saturate our wards (>80% of clinicians still use this method).
We have a co-design approach to UI and have leveraged our clinical knowledge to create a solution that can work in the fast-paced clinical environment.
We’re replacing the paper job lists that most clinicians come home with in their pockets, worrying what they’ve forgotten to do for their patients after a busy clinical day.
Q: What are you currently working on at Lister?
We are in the process of planning our evaluation stage. It is looking likely that Lister will be piloted in 4 different trusts this year, it’s taken a lot of work, but I’m excited that we will be on the wards helping both clinicians and their patients very soon!! 😆.
Q: What skillset does a midwife have to make them based placed to innovate?
It’s simple. Their knowledge of the reality of clinical environments is everything. You can’t teach that, but you can teach everything else about being an innovator/ entrepreneur.
Being close to the problem that you’re trying to solve, and people who are experiencing it day-in day-out really helps you understand where to focus, and what functionality will (and won’t) help the most.
Q: In your opinion how could NHS Trusts support nurses or midwives to become entrepreneurs?
Doing some myth-busting and learning regarding IP (intellectual property). From engaging with other clinicians, this seems to be a really misunderstood topic and a potential barrier to innovation.
Also support for an improvement culture and shared governance. The NHS system is incredibly complex and diverse, so good innovative ideas can and need to come from various job roles.
Q: What advice would you give to any midwife thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?
That everything is learnable. Don’t be put off or intimidated by the level of knowledge that you believe is needed. The learning process itself has been my most valuable asset from this journey.
So sometimes it’s about knowing that you win whilst doing, you’ll be learning a ton that will help you in areas of life you won’t have imagined. It can seem quite daunting, but breaking things down into small manageable chunks and measuring progress on learnings, and not just by outcomes really helps!
If you’d like to learn more about the work we’re doing at Lister, or would like a demonstration of the product – please don’t hesitate to follow along and get in touch!