Penn Medicine Teams Target Eight Health Care Areas to Reinvent
The third year of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation's "Innovation Acelerator" awards was the first to stage a formal "pitch day" auditorium event. Eight teams presented their ideas for reinventing some aspect of health care to an audience of the health system's senior leadership.
“Penn Medicine is a huge organization,” said Innovation Center Executive Director and LDI Senior Fellow David Asch, MD, MBA, “Pitch Day reveals there are great ways for a broad range of people to present their ideas and accomplishments in front of Penn Medicine Dean Larry Jameson and Penn Medicine CEO Ralph Muller, and have their department chair in the room at the same time. This is all about enabling innovation and giving traction to people’s passions and abilities.”
"The Innovation Accelerator has become the Center's flagship program," said Associate Chief Innovation Officer and LDI Senior Fellow Shivan Mehta, MD, MBA. "It is our main way of ensuring that we are working across the health system to provide talented individuals the support, resources, and training to translate their ideas into action."
The teams of physicians, nurses and other staff member finalists offered proposals on a range of potential innovations from a one-stop clinic for the treatment of miscarriages to a virtual tool designed to decrease patient surgery-day cancellations. Interestingly, the teams had performed 90-day fast turnaround tests to evaluate their concepts -- a practice encouraged by the three-year-old Innovation Center to speed the process of moving viable new ideas forward.
"That's a tremendous acceleration of the traditional pace of designing, implementing and evaluating novel interventions in an academic medical setting," said Penn Medicine Chief Innovation Office and LDI Senior Fellow Roy Rosin, MBA. "I've been really impressed how effectively these health system professionals embraced rapid experimentation techniques."
There is no single winner selected. Instead, the eight teams move onto phase 2 and will be funded to continue the broader operationalization of their concepts. Here are the individual team presentations:
Super Utilizer Management Program
Anna Doubeni, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health
The Penn Department of Family Medicine and Community Health team's proposal focuses on "super utilizers" -- patients with multiple, complex problems and a penchant for seeking non-emergency care at emergency departments. The team concept creates a digital system capable of identifying such patients and stitching them into a supportive network of two-way communications that enables them to quickly and easily interact with primary care providers.
The Bridge Project
Rahul Banerjee, MD, Internal Medicine Resident and
Michael McFall, HUP Admission and Discharge Coordinator
Although follow-up appointments are critically important to the ultimate success of a hospital treatment, the current system of scheduling such visits is confusing and inefficient. The Banerjee and McFall team have created a new approach that boils down the dense paperwork of the current system and adds outreach nurses who coach the patient at and after discharge. They manually add appointments to take-home calendars and smartphones; and offer a text message service that reminds patients and their families of appointment details.
Susan Kristiniak, DHA, MSN,
Associate Director of Palliative Care
More than two-thirds of the patients admitted to a hospital don't have an advance directive on file -- a fact that often leads to distress for family members and extraordinary health costs for payers. The care provided during the last year of life now accounts for 25% of annual Medicare expenditures and often is at oods with what the patient actually desired. This team proposal creates a web based tool that conveniently facilitates the creation, storage and easy access to an advance directive.
HiRPM (High Risk Patient Monitoring)
Carmela Vittorio, MD,
Vice Chair, Operations, Department of Dermatology
The laboratory monitoring of patients on long-term, high-risk medications is crucial for their safety as well as for the ultimate cost of their care. Yet, it is widely recognized that current manual systems used to track patients on high-risk medications are not adequate. The innovative HiRPM (High Risk Patient Monitoring) system is a software tool that tracks patients, digitally links them to physicians and staff, sends them reminders of upcoming lab due dates, and converts incoming lab report faxes into pdf files that are automatically distributed to the care team.
PEACE (The Pregnancy Early Access Center)
Courtney Schreiber, MD, MPH,
Director, Penn Family Planning and Pregnancy Loss Center
Miscarriage is the most common complication encountered by pregnant women and occurs in about one in four pregnancies. But miscarriage-related medical care is fragmented and inefficiently delivered. Women typically must see five different types of providers in different locations during the diagnosis and management of a miscarriage (primary care, radiologist, ER physician, OBGYN and operating room staff). This innovative new Pregnancy Early Access Center (PEACE) is a clinic that brings together all early pregnancy care services under one roof.
Marc Royo, MD,
Clinical Instructor, Anesthesiology & Critical Care Department
Ninety-nine percent of the patients scheduled for elective surgical admissions or out-patient procedures don't speak with their anesthesiologist until early on the day of their surgery. New information elicited during these day-of-surgery interviews frequently results in delays and cancellations -- 25 percent of which are preventable. This innovative concept is an online pre-operative assessment software tool that is used in the surgeon's office. It gathers the critical information the anesthesiologist needs to know -- weeks before the day of surgery.
ERAP Engaged Recovery
Stephanie Diem, BS, RN-BC, CAHIMS
John Regan, MSN, RN
Allen Bar, MD
After their procedures, colorectal patients receive large amounts of paperwork whose content is often as dense as it is complicated for lay persons to understand. This is a major reason many patients fail to fully understand or fully follow recovery instructions - a lapse that ultimately results in their readmissions. The ERAP team has created a digital "coach" system based on enhanced recovery protocols. It directly engages, educates, guides and supports patients through their surgical preparation and recovery procedures and behaviors. The team estimates it can significantly reduce colorectal readmissions.
Eyes On-Site (Portable Non-Dilating Retinal Imaging)
Thomasine Gorry, MD, MGA,
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
A sad statistic from the diabetes epidemic is that 90 percent of the patients who ultimately lose their vision to diabetic retinopathy could have potentially avoided this if they had been screened earlier. One of the barriers to wider screening is the fact that traditional methods require the dilation of the patient's eyes -- a procedure that can require time off from work as well as a willingness to go through the rest of the day with blurred vision. This team's innovation employs a new camera technology that doesn’t require pupil dilation and can be used in remote locations in ways that makes screening more accessible to patients .