ECRI Institute has selected Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation as the recipient of its 11th Health Devices Achievement Award. This award 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.

The award goes to Penn Medicine’s Center for Health Care Innovation for the technology platform it designed for creating custom apps to help clinicians better manage specific populations of patients. With the platform, Penn’s developers can rapidly create and refine apps that bring relevant data to clinicians at the time they need it—enabling continuously improved patient care.

“We hear from many hospitals that are searching for ways to get key clinical data from multiple IT systems to support decision-making, and Penn Medicine has created a system that does it well,” says David Jamison, executive director, health technology evaluation and safety, ECRI Institute. “The innovative approach Penn Medicine took to identify patient need is a good example for hospitals nationwide.”

Penn’s team has used the platform to design a variety of apps, including those that:

  • Alert care providers when a patient’s critical medication order is expiring
  • Remind providers to perform an extubation risk screening
  • Identify patients who frequently use emergency department services so that those patients can then be provided targeted services, including mental health access or transportation vouchers

The platform proactively extracts information from electronic health records (EHRs) and other data sources to identify patients who require a particular intervention. This information is then processed, formatted, and communicated to the patient’s care provider, either through a secure text or email or via a dashboard that the provider can access.

“This platform allows us to continually make improvements to the applications, be sensitive to clinical workflow, and meet the needs of our patients,” says Yevgeniy Gitelman, MD, clinical informatics manager at Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation and a developer on the team.

“If clinicians need to know when a specific action is required for a targeted patient population, we can quickly and efficiently add applications to test new interventions, using the infrastructure we’ve put in place,” adds Gitelman.

ECRI Institute also recognized three additional organizations as finalists for the 11th Health Devices Achievement Award:

  • Norton Healthcare (Louisville, Ky.) “Strategic Planning in the Clinical Engineering Realm”
  • Service New Brunswick (Fredericton, NB, Canada) “IPM Completion Rates: Hitting the Mark with 100 Percent”
  • St. Luke’s Health System (Boise, Idaho) “A ‘Role Model’ Approach to Creating a Highly Reliable Recall Management Program”

To learn more about the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation’s award-winning submission, Designing Custom Apps to Improve Patient Care, read the profile on ECRI Institute’s Health Devices website (log-in required).