?ECRI Institute has named Boston Medical? Center the winner of the 2018 Health Devices Achi?evement Award. The award, now in its 12th year, recognizes innovative and effective initiatives undertaken by ECRI Institute member healthcare institutions to improve patient safety, reduce costs, or otherwise facilitate better strategic management of health technology.

This year, the award goes to Boston Medical Center for its patient-centric mobile app that promotes better engagement with and adherence to the hospital’s recommended postoperative pulmonary care protocol. Named the ICOUGH Recovery app, the tool guides patients through the steps of the “ICOUGH” pulmonary care protocol, which focuses on (I)ncentive spirometry, (C)oughing and deep breathing, (O)ral hygiene, (U)nderstanding the value of these actions, (G)etting out of bed at least three times daily, and (H)ead-of-bed elevation. 

“We congratulate Boston Medical Center for its effective utilization of technology for post-surgery recovery,” says ECRI Institute’s David Jamison, executive director, health technology evaluation and safety. “This BMC team’s research showed effective creation and use of an app to engage patients, implement a protocol, and speed their recovery postsurgery. In one measure, app users ambulated three times more than the minimum number of walks per day recommended in the protocol.”

The app sends notifications to the patients’ phones reminding them to perform certain activities, and incorporates gamification and social-support features to promote adherence to the protocol. For instance, patients can earn gold stars for getting out of bed to walk around the care area, track how long they have been using their incentive spirometer, and compare their performance to that of other patients. A friend or family member can be designated as a “Care Coach” and receive updates via the app to help the patient stay accountable.

ECRI Institute also recognized five other initiatives as finalists for the 2018 Health Devices Achievement Award. The technology management initiatives described by these organizations (listed below in alphabetical order) earned praise from the award selection committee:

  • Boston Medical Center: Identifying and Responding to Clinically Decompensating Patients—Implementing an EMR-Based Early Warning System
  • Einstein Healthcare Network (Philadelphia): Reducing IV Contrast Extravasations during CT Examinations—Validating a New Approach
  • St. Luke’s Medical Center (Quezon City, Philippines): Coping with Delivery Delays and High Supply Costs in the Philippines—Establishing a Medical Equipment Accessories Management Program
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Healthcare Technology Management Program Office? (Bedford, Mass.): Improving the VA’s Ability to Respond to Cybersecurity Threats—Designing a Networked Medical Device Database
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA)?: Configuring Blood Glucose Monitors to Reduce the Risk of Treatment Errors—Conducting a Simulation Study