Introducing the 2016 Innovation Accelerator Class

We are proud to introduce the latest class of teams selected to participate in the center’s flagship initiative, the Innovation Accelerator Program; and excited to announce that this year’s program is co-sponsored by UnitedHealthcare- supporting their priority of enabling high value care delivery models.

The projects that make up this year’s class, many of which feature new tools and platforms for integrating care and improving patient outcomes, were selected from an applicant pool of more than 80 proposals from across Penn Medicine.

Over the next six months, the winning teams will learn high impact innovation methods for refining and rapidly validating solutions, and work closely with mentors from the Center for Health Care Innovation and UnitedHealthcare to test and develop their concepts.

In April, the program will culminate with a pitch event, where teams will present their progress for the opportunity to receive additional investment to take their ideas to scale.

Learn more about this year’s teams below and view pictures from the 2016 Innovation Accelerator kickoff event here.

2016 class

Reducing readmissions in cirrhotic and post liver transplant patients: This project aims to reduce the rate of readmissions in cirrhotic and post liver transplant patients using telehealth monitoring. The team has developed a wireless mobile device monitoring system using a tablet provided to patients to detect early signs and symptoms. In a yearlong pilot of 21 patients, the system reduced readmission rates from 28 percent to 5.2 percent. In the next phase of work, the team plans to refine the intervention and expand the pilot to all patients.

Project lead: Vandana Khungar, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Improving nutrition monitoring for critically ill patients: Critically ill, brain-injured patients are especially vulnerable to malnutrition. Enteral nutrition (EN) is a liquid formulation of nutrients delivered to the GI tract through a tube. Early EN has been shown to decrease infections, shorten length of stay, promote faster cognitive recovery, and reduce mortality. However, these benefits are only realized if patients receive more than 80 percent of energy expenditure, which is not consistently observed in current practice. As a foundational starting point, this project seeks to explore how an automated calculation of caloric and protein goals and intake will impact provider awareness of nutrition needs and patient outcomes. The team will then design interventions based on such information to ensure patients receive required nutrition.

Project lead: David Do, MD, Neurology Resident

Increasing the identification and monitoring of OPAT patients to improve outcomes: Close laboratory monitoring and ambulatory follow-up care are essential for outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) patients. OPAT occurs in different settings, including the home, long-term-care facilities, and infusion centers. Due to the diversity of OPAT locations and the higher acuity of this population, readmission rates and complications are high. Publications show a 35 percent readmission rate for OPAT patients. This project aims to explore ways to improve how we identify and monitor OPAT patients — along with changes ensuring the right actions are taken on behalf of patients — to enhance provider efficiency, improve care delivery and reduce readmissions.

Project lead: Keith Hamilton, MD, Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship, department of Medicine, division of Infectious Diseases

Reducing functional decline and loss of mobility for hospitalized patients: Functional decline and loss of mobility for hospitalized patients, particularly in older patients and patients requiring intensive care, leads to increases in length of stay, fall risk, and hospital acquired conditions. This project seeks to pilot a systematic early mobility care pathway for moderate and high-risk populations. Several pilots run at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC) have shown benefits for targeted populations.

Project leads: Jennifer Nelson, RN, MSN, CCRN, Nurse Manager; Staci Pietrafesa, MSN, RN, NE-BC; Nurse Manager

Evidence based guideline for management of hyperglycemic emergencies: This project aims to promote use of an evidence-based, guideline driven tool that will be used by all entities within the health system for management of hyperglycemic emergencies. The team has gathered an interdisciplinary group of stakeholders from multiple entities within the health system to revise the existing protocols. In the next phase of work, the team plans to create strategies to promote adoption of these best practices, as well as collect and implement ideas for revisions to enhance the end-user experience.

Project leads: Ilona Lorincz, MD, Director of Quality, Endocrinology; Nikhil Mull, MD, Co-Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Evidence-based Practice

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