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Innovation Center

Innovation happens when we break free from old ways of thinking and embrace new ways to solve problems or meet needs. It’s something that happens routinely at Saint Luke’s Health System—from using the nation’s first artificial kidney in a hospital setting to being the first hospital west of the Mississippi to introduce CPR to revive patients.

Today, as health care continues to change, we have more opportunities than ever before to improve the efficiency and quality of care we provide. That’s why Saint Luke’s Health System launched its Innovation Center in 2015. This exciting and unique opportunity is a resource for anyone who has ideas to improve the efficiency and quality of our care. We encourage all physicians, pharmacists, and nurses to submit proposals to creatively, safely, and effectively increase the value of health care throughout the Saint Luke’s Health System.

Recent highlights

In its inaugural year, the Saint Luke's Innovation Center received 53 submissions—a testament to the creativity and commitment of our staff. Two projects were selected to move toward implementation with Innovation funding, salary support, and protected time over the next two years:

Impact of an Integrated Approach to Antimicrobial Stewardship with Rapid Diagnostics in a Multi-Hospital Health System
Team leads: Nick Bennett, Pharm.D.; Sarah Boyd, M.D.; Cindy Essmyer, M.D.
Project manager: Andrew Warnes, MHSA, operations project consultant
Research mentor: Donna Buchanan, Ph.D., researcher/outcomes manager

This project will leverage the existing Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and two forms of rapid identification diagnostic technology to restructure the process of communicating positive blood cultures to physicians. It aims to improve patient outcomes and reduce antimicrobial resistance.

A Primary Care Centered Lung Cancer Screening Protocol
Team lead: Janakiraman Subramanian, M.D.
Project manager: Christine Fuss, B.S.N., R.N.
Research mentor: Suzanne Arnold, M.D.

This project will result in the development of a screening tool application embedded in the electronic medical record to help primary care providers identify high-risk patients for whom a low-dose computerized tomography test would be appropriate, and refer them for screening to detect lung cancer in early stages.

Additional Innovations

Funding from other sources made it possible for Saint Luke’s to pursue two additional projects:

Meeting the Medicare Challenge: Lowering CV Risk in Kansas City
Team lead: Richard Lustig, D.O.
Project manager: Kory Barrett, director, central operations for Saint Luke’s Physician Specialists
Research mentor: John A. Spertus, M.D., M.P.H.

This project has the potential to progress later in 2016 depending on a grant through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It would use Epic during outpatient visits to more efficiently estimate patients’ risk of cardiovascular disease and identify the need to treat those at higher risk.

Palliative Care Group
Team leads: Marci Ebberts, R.N.; Katie Jaschke, R.N., Sharon Mannering, R.N.
Project manager: Tracie Breeding, B.S.N., R.N.
Research mentor: Paul Chan, M.D.

This group will continue working with Carol Quiring, president and CEO of Saint Luke’s Home Care & Hospice, to implement ideas aligned with the current Saint Luke’s Health System palliative care strategy.