Catalyze Innovation that Advances Health

Innovation Express Winter 2015

Winter 2015

Dear Friend

Welcome to volume 1 / #1 of Innovation express, the MedStar Institute for Innovation’s (MI2) new quarterly newsletter.

In a time when healthcare is undergoing huge transformation, MedStar Health remains committed to being the trusted leader in caring for people and advancing health.

We are embracing innovation to realize that vision.

There is a kaleidoscope of terrifically creative activity going on at MedStar.

Innovation express highlights a small sampling of that activity and aims to remind us to think differently (the MI2 mantra), see differently, and understand differently, all in the service of doing differently and better.

Here’s to a vibrant innovation ecosystem at MedStar and beyond.

Yours in innovation,


Mark Smith, MDDirector, MedStar Institute for Innovation
Sign up here for Innovation express!

MedStar Innovator Spotlight

Each month MI2 highlights the work of an associate in the MedStar Health system who is advancing innovation. This month, our vanguard innovator is Joanne Assarsson, LICSW OSW-C at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. 

MedStar Invents

MedStar inventors Jodi Barth and Gincy Stezar worked with MI2 to develop the Face2Face Rehabilitation App for patients with symptoms of facial weakness caused by Bell’s palsy, stroke and acoustic neuroma. The app is now available in the Apple Store. The Washington Post featured the app and its inventors in December. Learn more about the invention here. Read the Washington Post article here.


What's New at MI2?

  • The MedStar Innovation Hub is Here: On 12-13-14 at 15:16:17 MI2 launched an online innovation hub for everything innovation at MedStar.
  • MI2's "Innovations in... Thinking Differently" Forum: In October, 350 people attended MI2's annual forum on the theme “Memory" featuring thought-provoking experts in magic and illusions, training memory champions, interior design for seniors, neuropsychology and more.
  • Working with MedStar Health Quality & Safety and Emergency Preparedness, MedStar SiTEL Supports Ebola Education: MedStar Simulation, Training and Education Lab (SiTEL) has been an integral part of MedStar’s Ebola preparedness efforts including the development of an online educational module viewed by more than 24,000 associates; four different Donning and Doffing protocols and training of over 200 associates; multiple learning aids including a smartphone app (MedStar Now), infographic, video, and powerpoint presentation; and assisted in Code HERD Drills.
  • In recognition of its status as a national leader in simulation education and training, MedStar SiTEL has earned accreditation as a clinical simulation organization by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). Read more here.
  • NCHFH received the following grant awards:
    • AHRQ R01: Cognitive Engineering for Complex Decision Making & Problem Solving in Acute Care.
    • AHRQ R18: Performance under Stress: Improving Patient Safety Using Real-Time Data-Driven Feedback through Simulation.
    • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Creating a social epidemic of safety: Leveraging the Informal Social Networks that Exist in Health Care Settings to Improve Patient Safety.
    • National Institutes of Health: Developing Computer-Aided Support Algorithms to Mitigate the Disruptiveness of Interruptions in Radiology.
  • NCHFH made 6 presentations at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
  • NCHFH has developed advance visualization dashboards to support the analysis of patient safety event data.

Innovation Everywhere

Innovation Concept: Combining two things to transform practice (1+1=3). Suitcases and wheels have been around forever, but when combined they revolutionized travel. Explore more innovation concepts on our blog and through fun puzzles

Innovation Inspiration

Think you need Silicon Valley to be an innovative genius? Think again. This innovator isn't even old enough to drive. In this short TED talk, a young boy of the Kenyan savanna explains how he solved an age-old problem and made peace with lions. Watch the Video

Take Time to Read

Where Good Ideas Come From by Stephen Johnson

Serendipity, slow hunches, and liquid networks are three of the seven key patterns behind genuine innovation. See More MI2 Recommended Books

 In the Media

MI2 Director, Mark Smith, interviewed by Hospital & Health Networks.

Leader eRounding tool supports MedStar Health customer service.

MI2 Usability Team's primer for medical device development made Med Device Online top 10 list of 2014.

MI2 presents to more than 600 mobile health aficionados.

MedStar Health pilots app to better monitor pregnant women's weight gain and blood pressure and deliver improved care.

MedStar Health uses new platform to ensure its innovative health IT vendors are managing sensitive health data in a responsible and compliant manner.

MedStar Health's new partnership with Cerner represents "an opportunity to change the future of care delivery."

MedStar Health partner, 1776, launches Challenge Cup global competition to identify the most innovative startups.

Read more MI2 media updates.

Click here to sign up for the Innovation express newsletter