MORRISTOWN, NJ  – One year after it was created, AHa!—Atlantic Health System’s innovation center and idea incubator—has led to improved ways to deliver care, multiple patents (more pending), and a robust idea pipeline.

At the end of 2017, Atlantic Health System launched Atlantic Health Advancements—AHa!—to inspire Atlantic Health System’s team of more than 16,500 employees and 4,800 physicians to generate ideas that will enhance care delivery and improve clinical outcomes.

“AHa! was designed to inspire our workforce to create solutions to enhance care delivery for patients at Atlantic Health System and beyond,” said Amy Perry, CEO Hospital Division, Senior Vice President, Integrated Care Delivery, Atlantic Health System. “Innovation is a critical component in improving quality, increasing efficiency, and reducing cost. The solutions created through AHa! may ultimately help hospitals across the nation address these priorities.”

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Among its care delivery improvements brought to market:

ISSI® Box- Insulin Safety Secure Initiative, AHa!’s first advancement brought to market, was the brainchild of two pharmacists, a pharmacy tech and a nurse at Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center, who realized they were inadvertently wasting insulin because there wasn’t a clear process in place for labeling and storing it between shifts, resulting in the need to continually open new insulin vials.

The team developed and patented the ISSI Box, which significantly reduces waste. Now, when nurses start their shift, they receive their own ISSI Box with insulin, making it more accessible and easily tracked by pharmacy staff, and resulting in annualized savings of $100,000 in decreased insulin use from one facility alone. The ISSI Box, and soon-to-be-announced new versions, are available through Health Care Logistics.

The AHS Bulk Data Import Tool for the Epic Electronic Health Record - Confronted with the difficult, error-prone and time-consuming task of creating bulk records in the Epic Electronic Health Record, an Atlantic Health System technology administrator was inspired to create a program that expedited the process and eliminated errors by way of a “graphical user interface-based front-end” that uses code to automatically convert information into Epic seamlessly, saving time and resources.

The copyrighted tool is currently being used at Jefferson Health thanks to Atlantic Health System’s ongoing partnership and affiliation with the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.

Lighted Polyhedral Retractor was originally developed to help create space around the thyroid during surgeries, allowing surgeons a wider field to operate away from veins and blood vessels. It is now being expanded into additional uses and enhanced for other surgeries.

Nerve Protecting Dissection Device was inspired by surgeons’ need for an energy-based dissection device that could detect and help avoid damage to nerves and veins during surgery. The device connects to the dissection tool, and disables the dissection tool or makes it operate differently when the potential for nerve or veinous damage is imminent. It also provides a real-time graphical interface that displays the proximity of nerves and veins, including size and location relative to the energy-based dissection device.

Other ideas and devices are currently undergoing enhancement, prototyping and testing. One is the Image Distance Control Device (patent pending). Morristown Medical Center nursing staff were confronted with the challenging task of obtaining consistent photographs of the wound healing process because each time a patient history photograph was taken, both distance and lighting had to be consistent. The Image Distance Control Device system allows nurses to obtain consistent photographs over time by providing positioning, orientation and lighting consistency by way of a novel camera phone attachment—resulting in more consistent and accurate photographs for the ongoing assessment and treatment of healing wounds.

AHa! gives Atlantic Health System innovators access to best-in-class engineering and prototyping support, and uses four independent innovation management processes to help streamline ideas—recording and evolving ideas, training and supplying idea generators with the tools needed to convert ideas into products, using innovation-on-demand methodologies, and education. AHa!’s diverse panel of experts from Atlantic Health System and private enterprises evaluate each submission for further development.

An innovation fair, where the press can meet Atlantic Health System’s employee-inventors and see their ideas and prototypes, will be scheduled in Q1 2019.

AHa! is designed to share a portion of the net proceeds from Intellectual Property that is commercialized, sold, assigned, or licensed to third parties with the physicians, nurses and other employees and staff who contribute to the creation. The remainder will continue to fuel Atlantic Health System’s mission of building healthy communities.

For more information, visit www.atlantichealth.org/AHa, or email innovation@atlantichealth.org.

 

 

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System, headquartered in Morristown, N.J., is an integrated health care delivery system powered by a workforce of more than 16,500 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities. The system serves a population of five million, with over 400 sites of care, including six hospitals: Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Newton Medical Center, Chilton Medical Center, Hackettstown Medical Center and Goryeb Children’s Hospital.

Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs including 11 urgent care centers, Atlantic Rehabilitation and Atlantic Home Care and Hospice. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

In addition to the employed workforce, Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network, represents more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ. Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability, and is a founding member of both the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across six health systems in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and AllSpire Health Partners, a consortium of five leading health care organizations dedicated to serving patients, families and communities in New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania.