Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine has won ECRI Institute’s 2019 Health Devices Achievement Award for developing an app that enables patients to wean off ventilators faster. ECRI Institute’s annual award recognizes a member healthcare facility’s initiative to improve patient safety, reduce costs, or otherwise facilitate better strategic management of health technology.

Penn Medicine’s innovation reduced patients’ mechanical ventilation time by more than 24 hours, compared to baseline data. It also shortened the time they spent in the ICU and hospital.

“This submission impressed us because Penn Medicine harnessed EHR data in real-time to improve patient outcomes,” says David Jamison, executive director, selection and evaluation, ECRI Institute. “Innovations that improve patient safety get at the heart of ECRI Institute’s mission.”

Penn Medicine’s app, called ABC for Awakening and Breathing Coordination, includes a computerized dashboard and clinician alert system that uses electronic health record (EHR) data to allow faster weaning of patients from sedation and mechanical ventilator support. By relying on current EHR data, the system provides clinicians with relevant, actionable information. “The ABC app helped us address one of the biggest challenges in healthcare today—translating important evidenced-based practices to the bedside,” says Barry Fuchs, MD, clinical lead on the project at Penn Medicine.

Mike Restuccia, senior vice president and chief information officer at Penn Medicine, notes, “The secret sauce to driving patient outcome value in the Penn Medicine healthcare setting is the collaboration and teamwork that exists across many different disciplines.”

ECRI Institute also announces three finalists for the 2019 Health Devices Achievement Award:

  • Walnut Creek, Calif.-based John Muir Health for creating a database that formalizes and simplifies the alternative equipment maintenance decision process
  • Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Parkview Health for automating the inventory management process for perioperative supplies
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New England Healthcare System in Bedford, Mass., for establishing methodology to identify equipment that qualifies for alternative equipment maintenance status