For Danielle Auxer, PharmD, Pharmacy Residency coordinator at HUP, thoughts of family inspired her big idea for improving the patient experience at Penn Medicine. “I tried to think about my mother and what would make her experience better if she had to be admitted,” said Auxer. “My mom is very close to her seven grandchildren. Some of them Skype her frequently because they love to see her and talk to her. I think that if she needed to be in the hospital she would need to use Skype to keep in touch with them.”
Your Big Idea was sponsored by the newly formed UPHS Center for Innovation in Health Care Financing. The Center is a collaboration between the Health System and the Leonard Davis Institute Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics. “We set out with the objective of receiving good ideas from the front line. The quantity and quality of the ideas we received exceeded our most optimistic forecasts,” said Tournament facilitator Christian Terwiesch, PhD, of Operations and Information Management in the Wharton School and member of the UPHS Center for Innovation in Health Care Financing Leadership Council. “But the tournament ended up being more than just an idea management process – it released an enormous amount of creative energy and enthusiasm which left a true mark on the organization.”
Ratings and Presentations Narrow Submissions to 10
Penn Medicine faculty and staff submitted ideas in one of three ways: idea dropboxes placed in 15 Penn Medicine locations, by email, or through the Tournament website, www.pennmedicine.org/YourBigIdea. Through a five-star rating system, similar to websites like Yelp, the submitted ideas generated over 66,000 idea ratings from our faculty and staff, amounting to an average of over 37 ratings per idea. This “crowdsourced” approach helped narrow down the 1739 ideas to 200 ideas which advanced to the Round 2 workshops.
“The Innovation Tournament engaged nearly one third of our workforce – faculty and staff either submitted an idea, commented on an idea, or rated an idea,” remarked Judy Schueler, VP, Organizational Development and chief Human Resource officer. “The level of engagement is a tribute to the men and women of Penn Medicine who dedicate their talents each and every day to improve the patient experience.”
During the Round 2 workshops, 200 participants had 90 seconds each to pitch their ideas. Workshop participants themselves voted on which ideas they felt would have the greatest impact on the patient experience. Through this process, the field was narrowed down to 10 ideas that would proceed to the Innovation Tournament finale. People with similar ideas were able to merge into teams, and participants whose ideas were not selected as one of the final ten were given the opportunity to join the teams of finalists.
For Leslie A. Allen, senior practice administrator of Medicine, the experience of advancing from round to round was a bit of a surprise. “I submitted the idea one afternoon in-between tasks and never thought submitting an idea would develop into all of this. Then I received a call that my idea was one of the top 200 and was shocked,” she said.
In preparation for the finale, members of the 10 final teams went through Penn Medicine Academy’s “Present Like a Pro” training and received a series of consultations with presentation experts and designers to help craft their final pitches. “When I made it to the finals, I was surprised that I made it, but also surprised to see how much was planned to help us prepare for the finals,” Auxer said. “I never would have thought I could have given our presentation to that panel of judges a month ago, but I decided to try it. It felt amazing to have so many people that I respect come to me and compliment me on my presentation.”
Over 200 faculty, staff and guests attended the Innovation Tournament finale in the Translational Research Center. Each of the 10 teams presented its ideas to a distinguished panel of judges.
“There was tremendous enthusiasm from the judges -- the discussion behind closed doors was very animated,” said PJ Brennan, MD, SVP and chief medical officer of the Health System and one of the Your Big Idea judges “But, most of all, the level of engagement of the staff, and the quality of ideas and presentations, just blew us all away.”
After the judges’ deliberation, CEO Ralph Muller announced the winners of Penn Medicine’s first ever system-wide Innovation Tournament:
- Team Patient Services Kiosks: Danielle Grant, Beth Hoffman, Fabian Marechal, James Sampson, and Leslie Allen
- · Team MyPenn Scheduler: Paul Lanken, MD; Anna E. Bortnick, MD, PhD; and Karen Bowles, MD
“I am excited to see what happens over the next six months!” said Bortnick, an Interventional Cardiology fellow. “Through our team’s research, we found out that there are various groups in the Health System who are already interested in online scheduling and would like to pursue it in a coordinated way.”
In fact, each of the submitted ideas was sent to leadership at the entity and department levels for possible implementation. And so, while only two ideas were chosen as winners of the tournament, ideas that did not win the Tournament are already being implemented at the local levels.
“The rapid mobilization of Penn Medicine resources to test the winning ideas is one of the great outcomes of the Innovation Tournament,” said Kevin Mahoney, SVP and chief administrative officer, and vice dean, Integrative Services. “The future will require us to be nimble, take risks and continuously adapt our processes.”
To learn more about Your Big Idea: Penn Medicine’s Innovation Tournament, visit the Tournament website at www.pennmedicine.org/YourBigIdea
Thanks to the 'Your Big Idea' Judges!
- Ralph W. Muller, CEO
- Mark O. Winkelman, Chair, Penn Medicine Board of Trustees
- PJ Brennan, MD, SVP and CMO, Penn Medicine
- Al Black, Chief Operating Officer, HUP
- Sandra Jost, CNO, Penn Homecare & Hospice Services
- Nishaminy Kasbekar, director of Pharmacy, PPMC
- Daniel Feinberg MD, CMO, PAH
- Deborah Driscoll, MD, chair, OB/GYN, HUP
- Raina Merchant, MD, Emergency Medicine, HUP
- Kevin Volpp, Director, UPHS Center for Innovations in Health Care Financing
- Kristina Patterson, Director of Operations, CCA
- Theresa Larivee, VP of Finance
- Michael Restuccia, VP, Information Technology
- Jeffrey Drebin, MD, chair, Surgery, Penn Medicine
- Patricia Sullivan, PhD, VP, Patient Safety and Quality
- Philip Okala, VP, Service Line Integration, CPUP
Top Photo: CEO Ralph Muller (r) with the winners of the first system-wide Innovation Tournament (l. to r.): James Sampson, Beth Hoffman, Fabian Marechal, Leslie Allen, Dr. Anna Bortnick, and Dr. Paul Lanken. Not Pictured: Dr. Karen Bowles and Danielle Grant.