Tim Raderstorf - An Innovator of Innovation

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    I have the privilege to share with you all a bit about how Tim got where he is today, the incredible work that he is doing for nursing and healthcare in general, and where his passions and mindset towards innovation are directing him. His philosophies will make all of us nurses rethink our everyday practice, no matter your field. That's why I titled him the “innovator of innovation”.

    Tim Raderstorf - An Innovator of Innovation

    Tim Raderstorf RN, MSN

    Masters prepared nurse, Chief Innovation Officer at Ohio State University College of Nursing, Speaker, inventor, entrepreneur, consultant……..say what???!!! These are just the titles and roles that Tim Raderstorf currently plays in the realm of nursing innovation. I have the privilege to share with you all a bit about how Tim got where he is today, the incredible work that he is doing for nursing and healthcare in general, and where his passions and mindset towards innovation are directing him. His philosophies will make all of us nurses rethink our everyday practice, no matter your field. That's why I titled him the “innovator of innovation”.

    Tim has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He recalls watching the movie Apollo 13 as a child and unlike other kids his age, he did not want to be an astronaut and travel to space. He wanted to be part of the engineering team who was on the ground working out the details and developing the solution to problems on the shuttle. From that point on he knew his mindset was different, that he wanted to provide tangible solutions to an issue. In the quest to use his interpersonal skills, love of helping people, quick thinking and innovative mind, Tim found himself in nursing school receiving his RN license and eventually achieving his Masters Degree in Nursing.

    Throughout his nursing career, Tim worked in pediatric hematology/ oncology. He began to notice that nurses are very innovative in their everyday practice. He refers to this as the “working around” workflow. For example, if a nurse is unable to connect a urinary catheter to a leg bag, he/ she is likely to “work around” this problem and develop their own solution. They will often find a new way to attach the bag and make it functional. This nurse will go on to do this same thing each time they have the problem. They just work around it. Another example is opening an IV start kit. Let's say following the protocol of their care area, the nurse inserts the IV and each time is left with one piece of unused gauze per packet. This gauze gets thrown out. These kinds of “workarounds” can cost the hospital/facility a lot of money over time. Most nurses never think to mention these minor issues to their unit director or nursing supervisor for a closer look to alternatives. They just do their work and head home and no one addresses the problem, it just gets hidden in the workflow.

    Tim encourages that we all look at ourselves as innovators. As nurses and healthcare providers we are natural problem solvers. We just might not know how to find the solution. Sometimes we have ideas to fix the problem, sometimes we just know there is a problem, sometimes we might have an invention that would change healthcare or patient safety and outcomes. Sometimes we may just know that a policy or procedure needs adjusting to fit into the workflow as it exists. Tim knows this through personal experience as an inventor of a care team communication device that promotes patient safety and satisfaction. He recognized a gap in the system and worked with a team to develop a solution.

    This innovative and entrepreneurial mindset is one of the many steps that have lead Tim down his career path. Tim states, “during my time in healthcare, I've studied and focused on neurosurgical research on Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome, skilling the healthcare workforce in India, developing Innovation curriculum, designing clinical spaces, improving patient throughput in the pediatric hematology/oncology ambulatory settings, promoting patient safety and satisfaction in one of the nation’s largest Emergency Departments, transitioning organizations into new physical locations, and developing novel commercial innovations to enhance patient outcomes.” As a speaker, consultant and clinical instructor regarding innovation, his current position seemed to be a natural progression of a life long passion.

    As the Chief innovation officer at the Innovation Studio, Tim and team members assist medical staff and students at Ohio State University bring their ideas, inventions, or problem solutions to fruition with the help of grants provided to the school. “My passion lies in connecting great thinkers and fostering ideation through the innovation and commercialization process.” This team of experts across all of Ohio State’s campus’ work together to bring ideas through all stages of development. “The Innovation Studio exists to foster interprofessional collaboration in creating healthcare solutions. If you have an idea for a health care product, service, or software and would like help developing it into a commercial reality, we have resources, mentors, and tools to help. Besides housing an array of prototyping tools, the Innovation Studio hosts workshops with topics such as product design, pitch development, interprofessional collaboration and maker skills, and provides project mentors, entrepreneurs-in-residence and daily technical support.”

    Besides housing an array of prototyping tools, the Innovation Studio hosts workshops with topics such as product design, pitch development, interprofessional collaboration and maker skills, and provides project mentors, entrepreneurs-in-residence and daily technical support.

    Tim is a true entrepreneur. He credits his success and mindset to the support of his father. He says his father has always been behind whatever he wanted to do. “My Dad never batted an eye when I said I wanted to shift my career focus toward nursing”. This certainly put Tim on a solid path of free thinking that continues to generate ways to get things done “outside the box”. Another individual that helped mold Tim into the professional he is today is Paul Newman. Tim had the privilege of working with the actor and philanthropist through a camp called the Flying Horse Farm (founded by Paul Newman in 1988) to create opportunities for children with serious illness’ and their families Tim has volunteered with this organization since 2006 and has learned a lot about how to use what you are given to help others.

    I am excited to see where Tim Raderstorf’s entrepreneur spirit will lead him. Just think of the number of like-minded people that he and his team will impact through the Innovators Studio. Nurses are the hub of the patient care world. Our ideas matter, our thoughts, subtle workflow changes and substitutions matter. Grab hold of your innovative mind and run with it! Your thoughts may change the day to day aspects of patient care, safety, quality or workflow and alter future of healthcare!

    For more information, see:

    Office of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships

    Flying Horse fact sheet
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    3 Comments

  3. by   The Nurse Motivator
    Tim is an AMAZING human being. Not only is he an incredibly talented free thinker but an all around nice guy. What an honor to be able to interview him. Congratulations!
  4. by   tnbutterfly
    I am excited to see that Tim will be one of the presenters at this year's conference at the National Nurses in Business Association. I look forward to meeting him there.
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Apr 11
  5. by   Gregg
    This is great information. It was an interesting read and I'm glad you shared it!

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Tim Raderstorf - An Innovator of Innovation