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Urgent Matters Names Winners of the 2015 Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award

The winning team presented its innovation at the 2015 Urgent Matters Conference, Increasing Value in the Emergency Department: Innovations to Improve Cost and Quality.

WASHINGTON (Nov. 12, 2015) — Urgent Matters, Blue Jay Consulting, and Schumacher Group are pleased to announce the winners of the Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award, a competition to foster innovation in emergency departments nationwide.

The Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award provides an opportunity for multidisciplinary teams to be acknowledged for cutting-edge innovations in emergency care. The award, now in its third year, provides a platform for sharing effective solutions that address common issues facing the emergency care community.

Innovations, or tools, were reviewed by a committee comprised of representatives from Urgent Matters, Blue Jay Consulting, Schumacher Group, and the Urgent Matters Editorial Board. The top rated tools were assessed based on their novelty, exportability, effectiveness, clarity, and on their ability to be used by a multi-disciplinary health care team.

Congratulations to the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, for being chosen as the winner of the 2015 Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award. The team at Geisinger developed the Community Based Care-Mobile Health Paramedic/Mobile Integrated Health to provide coordinated care to high utilizers of the emergency department: medically complex patients and patients diagnosed with heart failure. The innovation trained three paramedics as mobile health paramedics to address gaps in care by utilizing mobile equipment, audio-visual technology to connect care providers, integration with nurse navigators and case managers, and a direct link to primary care providers. During the initial pilot, 42 hospitalizations, 33 emergency department visits and an estimated 168 inpatient days have been prevented, while maintaining perfect patient satisfaction scores (rr 52%) with the program.  A six month retrospective review of Medicare heart failure patients in the program demonstrated that heart failure patients receiving mobile health paramedic services integrated with the heart failure coordinator reduced their emergency department visits by 22% (p<0.04), hospital admissions by 67% (p<.0001), and hospital costs by 55% (p<.0001). Qualitatively, patients developed a trusting relationship with their care team, improving their overall satisfaction and ability to manage their own care.

David J. Schoenwetter, DO, FACEP, Medical Director Geisinger EMS and Geisinger Life Flight Medical Director and Kathleen Sharp, CPC, CMM, LBB, Sr. Performance Innovation Consultant, Population Health represented the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center team and presented details of the winning innovation at the Urgent Matters Conference in Boston on Oct. 25.

Congratulations to Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, who was recognized as a Recipient of Distinguished Recognition. The team at Yale New Haven Hospital developed a patient navigation program aimed at helping Medicaid frequent emergency department users access primary care services, with the goal of decreasing avoidable emergency department visits and hospital admissions. Medicaid enrollees are at high risk for being frequent utilizers of the emergency department and often face barriers to accessing primary care.

All submitted tools that met initial criteria will be posted to the Urgent Matters online searchable toolkit, a collection of strategies and tools developed by hospitals across the country to target specific issues facing hospital emergency departments. The toolkit is available at


About Urgent Matters
Urgent Matters is a national initiative dedicated to finding, developing and delivering strategies to improve patient flow and reduce emergency department crowding. Urgent Matters has a long standing reputation for producing unbiased content from a multi‐disciplinary perspective.  Through educational activities such as e-newsletters, web seminars, podcasts, online tools, and conferences, Urgent Matters disseminates best practices for emergency care. Urgent Matters is managed by the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health

About Blue Jay Consulting
Blue Jay Consulting is comprised of nationally recognized emergency care experts who implement effective, lasting changes to optimize service and throughput in hospital emergency departments. Blue Jay creates outcome-oriented solutions and achieves quantifiable results through process improvement services and enhanced interim leadership.  Blue Jay Consulting empowers hospitals to be the best they can be. For further information, please visit

About Schumacher Group
Caring for more than 4 million patients annually, Schumacher Group is one of the largest emergency medical staffing and management companies in the U.S. as well as a health care resource for Hospital Medicine, Wellness Programs, and Billing & Coding. Schumacher Group is focused on providing excellent patient care and partnering with hospitals and health systems to address challenges in the current healthcare environment. For more information, visit