Health system to implement employee idea


The University of Michigan Health-West has named the winner of its first “Shark Tank” style event to encourage employee innovation and improve patient care.

The first Health System Innovation Challenge received 27 submissions after inviting employees to submit their best ideas to better serve patients. Following the submission period, five finalists were selected to present their proposals during the “Big Pitch” phase of the challenge. The best ideas were presented to a panel of internal judges in January, and a winner was chosen for funding and implementation.

The winning entry, titled “The Nuance of Refills,” developed a process to simplify the way patients call for prescription renewal requests. Developed by Caledonia Health Center office leadership team members Cassie Baker and Amy DeGood, the idea leverages health system IA patient documentation to overcome backlogs in prescription approvals.

According to the healthcare system, the innovation will reduce the burden of tracing patients to ask clarifying questions about their prescription refills and will benefit understaffed patients and medical teams.

UMH-West is providing $66,000 to implement the idea over the next six months. The second runner-up, a team from the system’s community health center, will receive $9,000 to purchase 10 home monitoring kits to help vulnerable patients manage hypertension.

“Innovation has always been part of our identity. It is also a core value that we share with University of Michigan Health,” said Dr. Rakesh Pai, President and Director of Population Health, University of Michigan Health Partners. “As we live our values, it means we listen to our people and the brilliant ideas inspired by their daily work.”

The other finalist ideas were:

  • Develop videos to explain procedures in an inclusive manner so that all patients can follow through at their own pace on portable tablets
  • Expand the use of the UMH-Ouest mobile unit to provide access to care for patients with transportation limitations
  • Establish an apprenticeship program for administrative roles, help emerging West Michigan talent explore healthcare careers

“These proposals address not only our value of innovation, but all of the values ​​– caring, inclusion, integrity and teamwork – that are part of our heritage and our common purpose with the University of Michigan Health. … You can see from the proposals how one innovation leads to another. It’s our culture,” Pai said. “We listen to our employees because we appreciate the creative and caring thinking they bring to work every day.”


About Author

Comments are closed.