A half-dozen individuals sat at a long table as contestants pitched their ideas. They listened without interrupting to each of four presentations. At the conclusion, they fired questions and probed for more details. At the end of the two-hour session only one of the four was left standing, judged most worthy of the additional support needed to nurture a germ of an idea to full growth.
The contestants had plunged into a version of the hit television reality show “The Shark Tank.” They were not entrepreneurs with dreams of making millions on their products, but rather clinicians fixed on finding ways to improve the quality and safety of patient care while managing resources efficiently. The “sharks” they sought to convince were a group of leaders representing University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, the University of Colorado School of Medicine and University Physicians, Inc.