Innovation Matters

Oct 26, 2017

The Urgent Need for Innovation in Emergency Care

Estimated reading time: 4-6 minutes

Taking a look at 2017 winners at the Urgent Matters annual meeting at ACEP 

Every October, during the American College of Emergency Physicians’ (ACEP) annual scientific assembly, the George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences’ emergency department division, “Urgent Matters,” recognizes an “Emergency Care Innovation of the Year,” a crowd-sourced strategy developed to improve patient flow and reduce ED crowding.


Blue Jay Consulting (now Philips Blue Jay Consulting (PBJC)), along with Schumacher Clinical Partners, has sponsored the award since 2013; however, to preserve the integrity of the award, PBJC does not participate in the judging process or the selection of winners. We do this because we want the focus to remain on what matters most: recognizing innovation that improves patient care. This year, the meeting will focus on improving the value of acute urgent care while aligning with new payment models and government programs.


The ED is a high-stress environment for both patients and clinicians. Often called the ‘font door’ or the “heart” of the hospital, the ED is where acute, unscheduled care must be available at a moment’s notice. For this reason, previous winners of the Urgent Matters Emergency Care Innovation of the Year focused on improving ED efficiencies with new thinking. For example, a past submission recommended an app to reduce the time nurses spend calling patients after they’ve been discharged and provide a text option.


Last year’s winner, the Alternatives to Opioids Program (ALTO), was recognized for its approach to managing opioid addiction in the ED. The program, submitted by St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, aims to leverage evidence-based multi-modal non-opioid approaches for pain management. The program focused on patient safety and education, working to pair peer counselors with patients exhibiting a history of opioid abuse. Through ALTO, patients are educated on the importance of using opioid alternatives as a first line of defense against mild to moderate pain, reserving opioids as a second line treatment. As a result of the program, St. Joseph’s was able to reduce the number of emergency department opioids (morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydromorphone and codeine) prescribed by 38 percent[1].


Perhaps most importantly, the Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award has a strong emphasis on education for all. Every submission (with sufficient merit) is incorporated in the Urgent Matters Toolkit, a resource that is designed to target specific issues facing EDs and is made available to the public all in the name of better acute urgent care. Through our sponsorship of this award, we are supporting an open-sourced approach to emergency care as we look to improve EDs for patients around the world.


The emergency department is a unique environment that requires unique solutions – we’re looking forward to seeing this year’s winner at the Urgent Matters annual meeting at ACEP this fall. Philips Blue Jay Consulting wishes all who enter the best of luck – see you in October!



About Philips Blue Jay Consulting

Philips Blue Jay Consulting is at the forefront of providing consulting services to assist emergency departments achieve sustainable change. Our ED consultants have the experience and commitment to implement real and effective change, regardless of department size or obstacles encountered. Working collaboratively with clinical and management teams to improve ED processes and deliver quantifiable results, consultants tackle each project with a hands-on, in-the-trenches approach and are strengthened by a genuine dedication to the quality of emergency care. Learn more about our healthcare consulting services and engage with us on ED topics via Philips Blue Jay Consulting LinkedIn.

About Innovation Matters

Innovation Matters delivers news, opinions and features about healthcare, and is focused on the professionals who work within the industry, as well as Philips as a cutting-edge health technology organization. From interviews with industry giants to how-to guides and features powered by Philips data, our goal is to deliver interesting, educational and entertaining content to empower and inspire all those who work in healthcare or related industries.


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Mark Feinberg

Mark Feinberg

Managing Partner, Philips Blue Jay Consulting

Mark has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare, leading client engagements focused on ED operational effectiveness, patient throughput, supply chain optimization, pharmacy improvement, case management, interim ED management and perioperative services. He brings a critical eye and significant management expertise to each project. He co-founded Blue Jay Consulting in 2006, which was acquired by Philips in 2015. Trained as an emergency medical ambulance technician, Mark holds a master's degree in business.