The 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Awards have been designed to correspond to the Four Pillars of our work: Collective Impact, Program Management, Professional Services, and Innovation. Corresponding with the Innovation pillar is the Innovation Award, which recognizes an individual or organization with the most compelling new idea to deliver better health, improve care, and/or lower costs. The innovation must measurably improve significant business and/or clinical processes that positively impact patient care. Nominees must be a member or customer of The Health Collaborative.

Finalists for the 2016 Innovation Award are:

Brookwood Retirement Community: Brookwood is leading the charge in telemedicine with a Cardiac Recovery Program, a Pulmonary Program, and also an Orthopedic Program. By implementing an in-house laboratory, Brookwood ensures physicians are able to bring their residents the best care and outcomes possible, in as little time as possible. They entered an experimental study with Christ Hospital in cardiac telehealth (video conferencing). A Samsung Tablet was given to elderly participants, allowing them to video conference with their physician utilizing a “puck” placed on the chest to relay heart rates and cardiac information to the physician. Over 90% of the population studied utilized the tablet correctly and were satisfied with the process. With 60 elevated-acuity cardiac patients participating in the program, only one resulted in re-hospitalization. Extensive cardiac education was given to each employee in almost every department, and nursing staff got to experience classroom-style education along with “live” training in cardiac care. With these advances, Brookwood has demonstrated that a skilled nursing facility can support a high acuity cardiac patient with minimal physician support.

Cincinnati Eye Institute (Marsha Wylie & Ron Sprinkle): Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI) has pioneered a way for its ophthalmologists to electronically share eye exam results and electronic health records (EHRs) for their diabetic patients with primary care doctors at area health systems. Dilated retinal exams are important because diabetes can cause blood vessels in the eye to hemorrhage, leading to blindness. Learning if a patient has retinal disease can help a primary care doctor prescribe treatment for diabetes and avoid organ damage. CEI worked with HealthBridge to develop a computer interface program so diabetic eye exams generated by CEI’s NextGen EHR could be directly imported and read by the Epic health record system. This has improved healthcare for thousands of diabetic patients, potentially reducing healthcare costs by informing the PCP in real time of the patient’s eye exam results, in addition to helping doctors and payers comply with HEDIS reporting requirements regarding patient care. In addition to sending important information about the status of the patient’s diabetic eye exam, CEI is also communicating findings regarding glaucoma and cataracts.

Conversations of a Lifetime, supported by Bethesda Inc.: Hospice of Cincinnati’s Conversations of a Lifetime™ (COL) is a program that links education and training to practice with the goal of improving end-of-life care and planning for adults with life-limiting or terminal illness, ahead of a crisis or end-of-life circumstance, to achieve better patient-centered care. COL combines several evidence-based strategies to create an innovative program that educates and builds awareness for better and earlier advanced care planning. COL employs four key components: physician coaching, advance care planning facilitator training, technology enhancements, and community engagement. It offers a custom coaching program in collaboration with VitalTalk®; advance care plan facilitator training available for Registered Nurse care coordinators, social workers, chaplains and others in outpatient settings, hospitals and long-term care facilities; process improvements for documenting patient wishes and making advance care planning documents available in the EMR; and traditional and novel public engagement strategies in order to stimulate conversation around end-of-life and advance care planning among diverse populations.

The StartStrong Initiative, supported by Bethesda Inc.: StartStrong goals were to reduce preterm birth and the unnecessary use of the Cincinnati Children’s emergency department, targeting two urban neighborhoods: Avondale and Price Hill. To accomplish this, the group committed to changing the way high-risk women and their infants access and use health and wellness care, forming better linkages between clinicians and community services like home visitors and community health workers, concentrating more intentionally on the social influences of health and helping moms become better health care consumers. The focus of this perinatal intervention called upon the excellent but typically unconnected services that are available in those communities. What emerged from StartStrong was an improved system, improved outcomes, improved family satisfaction and enthusiastic support from administration. Now, more babies are being carried to term, more pregnant women are gaining access to prenatal care, and more families are benefiting from nurse case managers and home health visitors (nearly twice as many as before StartStrong was implemented!) in these neighborhoods.

Partners in Care at St. Elizabeth Healthcare: St. Elizabeth Healthcare (SEH) is dedicated to a Partners in Care culture — a culture based upon four core patient- and family-centered care principles: respect and dignity, information-sharing, collaboration and participation. A component of this culture includes interactive patient care (IPC) through the GetWellNetwork. IPC technology provides even greater opportunity for our Partners in Care team to engage, educate and empower patients and loved ones to take a more active role in a patient’s health. At the same time, the system works to provide additional education opportunities for patients, enhance communication with the patient care team and to help personalize, humanize and demystify each patient’s healthcare experience. In clear support of the IPC technology and continued improvements in patient care, associates made significant pledges to the current St. Elizabeth Associate Vision campaign, making it possible to create better patient experiences through the purchase of the GetWellNetwork — initially launching at St. Elizabeth Edgewood, Florence and Ft. Thomas locations in August 2015.

Hospice of Southwest Ohio for VGo: Hospice of Southwest Ohio’s two newest team members are called VGo. Both of the VGos are utilized in many ways to increase the presence of loved ones who may be experiencing their final journey of life and for those who are not fortunate enough to be bedside with their loved ones. VGo may be utilized any where in the world as long as the user has internet access, sound and a camera on their computer. When a loved one cannot make their final visit, Hospice of Southwest Ohio can place VGo at bedside and the end user can manipulate it in several ways. VGo is similar to Skype but one party has no need to handle a cell phone, tablet or computer. VGo is driven by the end user and can move about a room in many ways. Not only is VGo utilized to visit with Hospice of Southwest Ohio patients but VGo has also been utilized for those unable to be physically present at a memorial service or funeral for their loved one.  Hospice of Southwest Ohio physicians can also access VGo twenty fours a day, seven days a week to look in on patients if requested to do so. VGo has provided many a family member and friend the opportunity to visit that one last time with those patients of Hospice of Southwest Ohio.

Congratulations and good luck to all Innovation Award Finalists!

Below is a gallery of photos taken at the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists Breakfast, held on September 14 at Bronte Bistro in Rookwood Commons. For more information about the awards and the Inspire | Healthcare event on November 2, please