The Innovative Connection Between a Children’s Hospital and the Ferrari F-1 Pit Crew

The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children is one of London’s most respected healthcare institutions. Despite their long history of success, hospital leaders wanted to explore new ways to improve patient safety and decrease medical errors. In their efforts to deliver the best possible outcomes, they turned to a surprising source of inspiration.

It turns out that many healthcare errors occur during transitions, such as transporting a patient into surgery. In rapidly changing, high stakes moments, split second errors can lead to disastrous outcomes. Instead of studying other hospitals, the leaders at Great Ormond Street asked a critical question: Where else?

Where else in the world do transitions need to be perfectly choreographed to deliver results? Where else does every second matter? Where else could simple errors lead to catastrophic outcomes? Where else do diverse teams need to integrate and adjust with precision?

Enter Ferrari’s Formula One pit crew team. In just a few seconds, the team changes tires, refuels, makes critical adjustments, diagnoses any problems, and gets their car back on the track. The Pit Crew’s flawless execution is a key factor in the team’s overall results, so every move has been studied and optimized. With this in mind, hospital leaders travelled to Italy to observe and study Team Ferrari’s approach to their highly efficient work.

Back in London, the medical team filmed their own processes and sent the recordings off to their new friends in Italy. Ferrari pit crew experts studied the tapes and provided a host of suggestions to drive speed, boost efficiency, reduce errors, streamline transfer protocols and improve safety conditions. The unlikely partnership that spanned borders and industries led to a 66% reduction in errors, delivering significantly better outcomes to young patients.

When we’re working to boost our own results, it’s easy to get caught in the echo chambers of our industries. Just as the hospital leaders did in London, ask yourself where else in the world does a similar situation exist? Innovations of all types and sizes can be borrowed from another field of study or part of life and may just be the inspiration that you’ve been looking for.

If a children’s hospital in London can learn from a Formula One pit crew in Italy, just think what you could discover by looking outside your normal area of focus. Borrowed ideas can be the high-octane fuel you need to accelerate toward your own checkered-flag championship.