Ochsner Health System Named A National Innovation Finalist By Harvard Business And Medical Schools

NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health System has been named one of four finalists in the Health Acceleration Challenge by the Forum on Health Care Innovation – a collaboration between Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) – for its work on the Ochsner Hypertension Digital Medicine Program. The challenge focuses on taking compelling, already-implemented health care solutions and helping them to grow and increase their impact through powerful networking and funding opportunities.

         Last year, Ochsner created innovationOchsner (iO), an innovation lab and accelerator that designs patient-centered solutions through technology and data to empower patients to take an active role in their own health and improve efficiency for physicians and clinicians. iO used Apple Watch as a tool to enhance the effectiveness of the Ochsner Hypertension Digital Medicine Program, a program that monitors clinic patients who struggle with uncontrolled blood pressure. Utilizing wireless blood pressure cuffs integrated with AppleHealthKit and Epic, Ochsner’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR), patients regularly measure their blood pressure ratings at home while the data is sent directly to the clinic for monitoring. Specialized pharmacists review the data in real time to provide feedback about important aspects of their care. This could include potential side effects once a new medication is prescribed, renewal notification for prescriptions and medications, and lifestyle modification reminders to ensure good blood pressure control is attained. This new virtual delivery model works by delivering significantly better health outcomes, patient satisfaction and patient engagement.

         “The Hypertension Digital Medicine program focuses on better management of hypertension informed by home-based monitoring, enabling our providers to tailor individualized care plans as well as provide patient-specific reports,” said Richard Milani, M.D., Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, Ochsner Health System. “Collecting data from patients’ daily lives gives us a more comprehensive picture of patient health and information to guide prevention recommendations and chronic care management and engages patients as active members of the healthcare team.”

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         A team of 24 judges – a mix of clinicians, health care professionals and academics – specializing in health care and innovation, reviewed the applications. Applications were rated based on the three Challenge criteria of impact, evidence and dissemination, and given an overall score to create a short list of 21 innovations. These 21 innovations went through additional rounds of judging to identify 7 ‘shortlisted’ candidates and, ultimately, 4 strong finalists.

         “It’s an honor to be named a finalist in the Health Acceleration Challenge,” said Aimee Quirk, CEO, innovationOchsner. “It highlights our focus on creating innovative solutions for the most pressing issues our patients face. We remain committed to creating new solutions enabled by technology to enhance quality of care, convenience and satisfaction for our patients and to scaling them to maximize impact.”

         Ochsner received a monetary prize along with the other three finalists. A winner will be announced next year after the four finalists have pursued their dissemination plans. Each will become the subject of an HBS case study. Since its launch in 2014, the Health Acceleration Challenge has received over 600 applications and attracted more than 25,000 online visitors from 29 countries.

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         The funding for the Health Acceleration Challenge was provided by a gift from Howard E. Cox, Jr. (MBA 1969), a former general partner and now advisory partner in one of the country’s first and most successful venture capital firms, Greylock Partners, and a member of both the HBS Healthcare Initiative Advisory Board and the HMS Board of Fellows. During his long and distinguished career, Cox has been involved in the funding and development of many successful healthcare ventures.

         The HBS-HMS Forum on Health Care Innovation is led by a steering committee composed of Sterling as well as MBA Class of 1961 Professor of Management Practice Richard G. Hamermesh and Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration Robert S. Huckman, all from Harvard Business School, and from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Barbara J. McNeil, Ridley Watts Professor and founding head of the Department of Health Care Policy, and Joseph P. Newhouse, John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management.

         For more information

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