Why—and how—did a diverse group of MedStar Health Emergency Department (ED) associates (innovatively) share more than 50 ideas that could improve the ED experience across our system—regardless of their job in the department?
This March, the 2019 MedStar Health Emergency Department Innovation Challenge invited MedStar associates whose main job responsibilities focus on the ED—including nurses, physicians, advanced practice clinicians, techs, security, social workers, and any others—to submit ideas individually or in teams of up to five people that could change their ED shift. MedStar Emergency Physicians co-sponsored the Challenge with MedStar Institute for Innovation, MedStar Risk Management, and MedStar Nursing, offering two great prizes to both winning teams: MedStar exploring the ideas and tickets to a sporting event. Entries were submitted online and summarized the problem the idea addressed; the solution and its implementation; the value proposition of the innovation; metrics for measuring success; why the idea (like any idea!) might not work; and the people entering.
Selecting the Winning Ideas
Both peers and judges ultimately helped identify the two winners via a multi-part process. First, the Challenge Steering Committee identified 25 semifinalists from the 52 submissions for inclusion in a peer voting process. Next, from April 3 through April 10, ED colleagues could each cast up to 10 votes for ideas with the greatest potential via an online survey, logging nearly 1,500 votes overall to identify the eight finalists detailed below, along with event pictures.
On April 25, seven crowd-sourced finalists each presented a 4-minute pitch, either in-person or via recorded video, followed by a 4-minute Q&A, to a panel of judges and other attendees at the MedStar Innovation and Design (MIND) Lab located off the main lobby of MedStar’s corporate headquarters in Columbia, MD. The judges who selected the winners after a closed-door discussion included MedStar leaders Jonathan Davis, Susie O’Mara, Chris Richter, Larry Smith, and Mark Smith.
The winners included:
- It’s 2019, and we read a MRN on the phone to admit a patient? A hospitalist communication system for admissions
Carolyn Phillips and Michael Yacovelli
MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital emergency medicine resident and attending physician team
- Less PercoceT and more PT: The MedStar Health Urgent Physical Therapy Program
Munish Goyal, John Brickley, Lindsay Batson, and Liz Delasobera
MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and MedStar Health Urgent Care physician and physical therapist team
The Challenge Steering Committee stressed that they may also further explore other finalist ideas, in addition to summarizing the themes from all submissions for leadership review.
Igniting Innovation Energy at MedStar
The timing of the Challenge also marked the one-year anniversary of the MIND Lab, an innovative space for all MedStar associates and visitors to see, think, and work differently. The MIND Lab is a venue for creativity, collaboration, and curiosity—all qualities that made the first MedStar Health Emergency Department Innovation Challenge a success.
Stay tuned for information about future Innovation Challenge opportunities and outcomes, and congratulations to all participants.
Note: Named in the order pictured, from left to right, if applicable. Those who are not pictured have an asterisk next to their name.