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With High Tech and High Touch, UPMC Clinicians Use Beckwith Grants to Solve Health Care Problems

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 7, 2015 – With a focus on improving patient care at the bedside, the Beckwith Institute recently awarded 11 grants to UPMC clinicians and staff worth nearly $89,000.  Incorporating both high-tech and “high touch” ideas, the projects cover a multitude of departments and hospitals and range from improving the notification system for incoming trauma patients to providing the first-ever mobile pediatric concussion testing platform.
Supported by UPMC Chairman G. Nicholas Beckwith and his wife, Dotty, with matching funds from UPMC, the Beckwith Institute annually provides grants to improve clinical outcomes by empowering both clinicians and patients to explore innovative ways of transforming health care.
“Once again, our creative grantees are bringing fresh ideas and sometimes new technologies to solve some of health care’s thorniest problems—from confusing care handoffs to patient infections,” said Tami Minnier, UPMC chief quality officer. “Thanks to the generosity and foresight of the Beckwiths, we have the means to rapidly experiment with projects that can lead to lasting and meaningful change.”
The grants are administered through two complementary efforts: The Frontline Innovation Program, which focuses on improving the patient bedside experience, and the Clinical Transformation Program, which supports comprehensive redesign of processes to put the involvement of the patient and their loved ones at the core.
The recent Frontline Innovation projects awarded 2014-2015 grants include:
  • a notification system for incoming trauma patients that will send detailed yet confidential patient information to TV monitors outside the trauma bay at UPMC Presbyterian.
  • the incorporation of ultrasound-guidance for small biopsies to provide rapid and effective evaluation for patients at the bedside.
  • a system for customizing music therapy for oncology patients to improve symptoms such as anxiety and fatigue.
  • a plan for purchasing 18 iPads to provide the first-ever mobile concussion-testing platform for pediatric patients, aiming to improve the management and treatment of concussion.
  • development of a training program that will improve the handoff of open-heart surgery patients from the operating room to the cardiovascular intensive care unit at UPMC Passavant.

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