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Urgent Matters Names Winners of the 2016 Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award

The winning team, as well as two runner ups will be presenting their innovations tomorrow at the 2016 Urgent Matters Conference: “Disruptive Innovations in Acute Emergency Care: Aligning Payment and Delivery Reform” in Las Vegas, Nevada

WASHINGTON (Oct. 14, 2016) — Urgent Matters, Philips Blue Jay Consulting, and Schumacher Clinical Partners 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 fourth year, provides a platform for sharing effective solutions that address common issues facing the emergency care community. Innovations, or tools, were reviewed by a multidisciplinary committee who rated each submission based on novelty, exportability, effectiveness, clarity, and on their ability to be used by a cross functional healthcare team.

Congratulations to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey for being chosen as the winner of the 2016 Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award. Alexis LaPietra, D.O., the current medical director of the emergency medicine pain management program and the fellowship director of the emergency medicine pain management fellowship at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, will be presenting details of the winning project at the Urgent Matters Conference in Las Vegas on Oct. 15th. 

The team at St. Joseph’s developed The Alternatives to Opioids Program (ALTO) to manage acute and chronic pain as well as opioid addiction and abuse in the emergency department.  The program aims to utilize evidence based multi-modal non-opioid approaches for the pain associated with headache, lumbar radiculopathy, musculoskeletal pain, renal colic, and fracture/dislocation. St. Joseph’s explains that opioids are an important part of pain management but with the ALTO program they are reserved for severe pain, end of life pain, and surgical conditions. In addition, patients that present with opioid overdose or abuse and misuse of opioids are partnered with a peer counselor to offer direct admission for opioid addiction recovery. There is also a strong focus on patient safety and education. Patients are educated on the importance of using alternatives as a first line for mild to moderate pain; reserving opioids are rescue medication or second line treatment. The overall reduction in emergency department opioids (morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and codeine) pre-ALTO to post-ALTO was approximately 38 percent based on preliminary data.

Urgent Matters also awarded two honorable mention winners: Aurora Health Care and the University of Michigan Health System, who will also present at the conference. Michael Rogers and his team at Aurora Health Care implemented a program that locates the triage clinical provider in a remote command center, utilizing innovative software and telemedicine technology in an effort to decrease door-to-provider times and overall patient flow. At the University of Michigan Health System, Benjamin Bassin, M.D. tackled a common problem among most emergency departments – bridging the gap between the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit, using a novel approach. Recognizing the lack of physical space, equipment, staffing or expertise to provide extended hours of complex critical care at the level required and provided by an intensive care unit, Bassin’s team created the Emergency Critical Care Center (EC3), a physical space adjacent to the adult Emergency Department.

“We were so excited to see the many fantastic submissions for the Innovation of the Year award this year,” said Jesse Pines, M.D., chairman of the Urgent Matters Editorial Board, and director of the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy Research. “This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative thinking in healthcare today, addressing major issues facing all Americans including the opioid epidemic, Emergency Department care the critically ill, and Emergency Department crowding.”

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 Center for Healthcare Innovation & Policy Research at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

About Philips Blue Jay Consulting
Philips Blue Jay Consulting is comprised of nationally-recognized emergency care experts who implement effective, meaningful, and lasting changes to optimize service and patient throughput in hospital emergency departments. The team creates outcome-oriented solutions and achieves quantifiable results through process improvement services and enhanced interim leadership. Philips Blue Jay Consulting collaborates with hospitals and health care systems to improve overall performance in the ED. For further information, please visit

About Schumacher Clinical Partners
Schumacher Clinical Partners is a privately held, physician-driven company dedicated to helping hospitals and providers focus on delivering high-quality patient care. As one of the nation's largest and fastest growing health care organizations, SCP partners with more than 7,000 providers to help care for 8 million+ patients annually with innovative, patient-centered solutions covering the entire continuum of care, including emergency medicine, hospital medicine, wellness programs, and consulting services. For more information, visit