Healthcare's Problems Require Innovative Solutions 



Graduate student presents a business plan in a classroom.


It has been said that healthcare leaders are well-equipped to "elegantly solve the wrong problems," leading to the continuation of the status quo (Roberts, 2017). The innovative Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition challenges graduate students to apply knowledge and behaviors that will prepare them to be disruptive forces of positive change from within the healthcare system, including:

  Experiential learning

  Effective communication 

  Collaborative Leadership 

  Creative problem solving 

  Design thinking


  Emotional Intelligence

  Iterative innovation

Format Advantages

With a format incorporating numerous opportunities for workshopping and mentorship, Healthcare PRISm emphasizes the value of iteration and fosters creative confidence. Its design equips students to navigate a journey spanning numerous months in order to develop truly innovative concepts, easily aligning with a capstone experience, internship, or course project.  And, as a virtual experience, the Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition requires minimal resources for competing teams and enables a wider degree of participation and engagement.

Problem Categories

The open-ended nature of the competition provides an alternative to experiences in which students are all given a common case to solve in advance.  Because Healthcare PRISm does not prescribe a specific problem or issue for teams to address, each team benefits from having to identify, validate, and explore an existing problem or challenge in healthcare, resonating with their unique interests and passions while drawing attention to a wide array of potential problem areas.

Sample Categories

Some examples of potential problem categories that teams may explore include:

  • Appointment management
  • Care transitions
  • Chronic disease management
  • Clinical operations
  • Clinician engagement
  • Clinician safety
  • Consumer experience
  • Discharge processes
  • Health education and literacy
  • Health information technology
  • Informal caregiving
  • Medical transportation
  • Medication adherence
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Pandemic response and management
  • Patient engagement
  • Patient navigation
  • Patient safety
  • Practice management
  • Price transparency
  • Racial/ethnic disparities in healthcare
  • Recruitment and retention
  • Social determinants of health
  • Wayfinding
  • Workforce education and development
  • Workforce stress and burnout

Approaches to Problem-Solving

The competition prompts students to embrace the principles and mindsets of design thinking and invest themselves in important stages of the innovation process, such as:

Identify and understand

Identifying and understanding their selected problem through a human-centered approach

Experiment and ideate

Experimenting and ideating to arrive at unexpected approaches and answers

Challenge and reframe

Challenging assumptions and reframing problems


Iterating to advance solutions that are valued and deeply desired


Communicating a problem and its solution in a clear and compelling fashion

Propose a solution

Proposing solutions that are feasible, viable, and capable of lasting impact.  Proposed solutions must demonstrate how the team can effectively address a problem or need relating to the:

  • Promotion or maintenance of health
  • Provision or administration of health services
  • Experience of seeking or receiving healthcare

Skill Sets Reinforced and Refined

Approaching Diverse Problems

Healthcare PRISm allows teams to consider a wide array of problems, asking students to self-select, validate, and engage with the specific problem that resonates with them.

Ensuring Desirable Solutions

The competition promotes creative problem-solving from a human-centered approach, valuing empathy-driven solutions that deeply resonate with those experiencing the problem.

Having a Bias for Action

Healthcare PRISm embraces a spirit of intrapreneurship, applying entrepreneurial principles to exercise innovation within today's leading healthcare organizations and systems.


In the "Bracket Round", each problem category will have a recognized "Best in Category" winner who will earn $2,000 as a team. In addition the overall "Best in Show" winner of the Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition finals will earn a $3,000 prize as a team.

And, the top team from a CAHME-accredited program will also receive a $2,000 prize thanks to the generous grant from CAHME, which recognized Trinity University and its Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition in 2022 as the first-ever gold recipient of the CAHME/George and Regi Herzlinger Innovation Education Award.

Application Process  Intent to Participate