Penn Medicine’s www.upenn.edu Innovation Accelerator Program announced funding for four new projects aimed at addressing disparities to improve healthcare delivery. So far, the Innovation Accelerator Program has provided more than $2.5 million in funding for inventive projects over the past five years.
Past award winners and their studies range from developing a novel care model allowing women with signs of miscarriage to avoid unnecessary ER visits, and studies on the total cost of care for a range of complex, vulnerable patient populations.
Additional projects have included a connected healthcare model to reduce morbidity for women at risk for preeclampsia and the development of personalized automated antibiograms for improved antibiotic stewardship.
One newly funded project includes doing a more rapid assessment of post-discharge needs from a hospital for older adult patients who will be going back to their homes.
Older medically stable hospitalized adults are usually discharged only after post discharge care has been organized which may take a while and delay their departure from the hospital. This means patients must remain in the hospital longer than medically necessary while waiting for services to be arranged.
This project is going to test a transitional care model developed to improve outcomes for patients while moving them quickly back into their homes while using appropriate care and support while discharging the patient.
Another project includes studying primary care doctor visits and using telemedicine technologies. Studies have shown that telemedicine video visits can increase care-provider capacity, improve patient satisfaction, and reduce costs.
This project will test algorithms to see if remote care is appropriate and if the tools and infrastructure required will increase access for care. The goal is to determine how telemedicine would be able to benefit patients, clinicians, and payers while establishing a sustainable business model.
A third project will study how to improve managing symptoms for heart failure patients on hospice. Today, late-stage heart failure care is often suboptimal and can result in untimely fatigue which can produce more ED visits and hospital readmissions.
This project will develop a novel hospice heart failure program to improve symptom management for patients, increase teamwork between hospice and cardiology personnel, and at the same time provide for timely referrals to hospice.
The fourth project involves developing a multidisciplinary cost effective transitional care program for COPD patients. One of five patients admitted to the hospital with COPD is readmitted within 30 days and up to half of these readmissions may be preventable.
This project will develop a multi-team transitional care program for COPD patients that will include evidence-based interventions for high risk hospitalized patients who are discharged to the home.
Winning team researchers working on projects will receive seed funding to develop and test new ideas on these projects using rapid experimentation methods while receiving mentoring and support from partners across the institution.
The aim is to develop new ideas and gain recognition from health system leaders at forums so others can hear about early progress on the projects. Also there may be opportunities to secure additional funding if the projects show promise.
Go to https://healthcareinnovation.upenn.edu/innovation-accelerator-program for more information on the program.