Penn Medicine, Optum Labs fund 10 innovation projects

Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine's Center for Health Care Innovation and University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics will fund 10 one-year projects aimed at creating innovation for healthcare delivery. 

The funding for this initiative comes from a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania and Optum Labs, the research and development arm of UnitedHealth Group, to support activity toward shared goals in research, training, patient care, community health and innovation. 

The 10 projects receiving funding:

  1. E-consults: A randomized control study that will evaluate the effectiveness of electronic-consults compared to face-to-face consults.

  2. Postpartum care in the NICU: A pilot randomized controlled trial that will assess doula and midwife intervention to see if it can improve maternal outcomes.

  3. Intervention for pregnant patients: The project will develop a web-based screening for social determinants of health for pregnant patients. The screening will be completed on tablet computers in the waiting room before the visit to help clinicians determine patients who may be facing social determinant challenges.

  4. Hybrid technology-enabled care for abnormal uterine bleeding: This project will look at how to incorporate apps and telehealth to expedite the care of patients with abnormal uterine bleeding.

  5. STI screening in pediatric care: The project will implement electronic questionnaires before visits, clinical decision support systems and behavioral nudges within the EHR system to increase STI screening for pediatric patients.
  6.  Access to oncology care: This project will develop a patient-scheduling triage algorithm to prioritize new patient visits by type based on medical versus surgical and urgency of treatment.

  7. Texting program post-discharge: A 30-day automated texting platform to facilitate communication between patients and clinicians after they have been discharged.

  8. Genetic and genomic data within the EHR: A one-year project that will support the development of a central website, educational materials and other tools to advocate for genetic and genomic data integration within the EHR system.

  9. EHR reminders for iron deficiency anemia: A study to evaluate the effectiveness of integrating clinical practice guideline recommendations into the EHR for iron deficiency anemia.

  10. Improving inpatient sleep for neurology patients: The project will test a pilot intervention using noninvasive devices for vital sign measurement and blood collection. The intervention aims at allowing clinical teams to safely care for patients overnight.

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