Health IT

Penn Medicine to launch innovation contest to improve patient experiences

Penn Medicine is holding an “innovation tournament” for staff and faculty to propose ideas to improve the patient experience throughout its health system.

In a phone interview with MedCity News, Judy Schueler, Penn Medicine chief human resources officer and vice president of organization development, said the competition is scheduled  for a February 7 kick off.

Faculty and staff at the Philadelphia health system will submit ideas through the Web, e-mail or idea boxes with the contest culminating in a town hall meeting in which competitors will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges representing Penn Medicine’s leadership.


“Like American Idol does for aspiring singers or March Madness does for college basketball teams seeking the national championship, “Your Big Idea: Penn Medicine Innovation Tournament provides a structured competitive environment for ideas from Penn Medicine’s faculty and staff to be evaluated, and potentially developed and funded,” a presentation on the competition read.

In the first round of the competition in March, ideas will be presented to users randomly on a website. A five star rating system like that on Yelp’s website will be used in the judging. The top 15 percent to 20 percent will go on to compete in workshops in which participants will hone business plans with proposed budget and cost-benefit analysis in April. The top 10 contestants advance to the third round in which they pitch ideas to Penn Medicine’s leadership in a town hall setting in May that will be open to Penn Medicine employees. The winning ideas will get funding and resources for implementation.

Penn Medicine has carried out two pilot programs to test the innovation competition format. For its department of anesthesiology and critical care, the goal was to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical care delivery. The Abramson Cancer Center sought ideas to improve staff learning, patient satisfaction and financial performance.

“We have selected a broad theme to generate lots of ideas. We [also] wanted to provide an opportunity for physicians to participate,” said Schueler. “I think this can be a game changer and I’m excited about that.”

The competition underscores the pressure healthcare systems are under to cut costs while improving patient care as the provisions of the Affordable Care Act kick in over the next few years.

No comments