Patient Safety Technology Challenge Announces Upcoming Competitions and A New Winner

Four new competitions joined the Patient Safety Technology Challenge this month. Funded by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and administered by the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, the Patient Safety Technology Challenge fuels the engagement of students and innovators in creating solutions to reduce preventable harm and reimagine a vastly safer healthcare system.

HackDuke is Duke University's premier 36-hour hackathon. This year's theme is "Code for Good" and will feature a special prize and track for innovative solutions to improve patient safety. The winning team in this new track will receive $1,000. Held September 8-10, HackDuke is a weekend of coding, collaboration, speakers, mentorship, and access to hardware labs. Students of all skill levels are welcome to join this hackathon to build technology that drives social change.

Intelligent Safety: Pioneering Patient Safety Solutions with AI/ML and Data Science is the U-BRITE Hackathon organized by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is focused on patient safety technology. The event aims to revolutionize patient safety through the power of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science by challenging participants to utilize these technologies to identify ways to prevent, detect, and address factors that affect patient safety in various focus areas, including medication errors, diagnostic errors, lapses in care, infections, and procedural/surgical errors. The event will be held virtually September 9-10 and participants from all institutions are welcome.

HopHacks is a 36-hour hackathon held at the Johns Hopkins University on Sept. 15-17, encouraging engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs to explore new ideas and create new applications. Teams of up to four university students will work on technical projects from scratch. At the end of the hackathon, teams will present their projects to judges and compete for prizes, including a $750 prize for the best technology-enabled patient safety solution, which is being offered for the first time this year. The first Patient Safety Technology Challenge event was held at Johns Hopkins and look forward to returning for this event.

The annual Health Innovation Exhibition, hosted by the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University, is another exciting event on the horizon. Freshman Nursing and Health Innovation students will come together to participate in a dynamic competition aimed at fostering innovative solutions in the realm of Patient Safety. Pre-determined teams will immerse themselves in a unique challenge, each focusing on a specific patient safety category, including medication error, patient care, procedure/surgery safety, infections, and diagnostic errors. With an 8-week timeline, these teams will embark on a transformative journey to develop and refine their inventive solutions. The culmination of their efforts will take place on November 17 at the Health Innovation Exhibition where teams will unveil their creative progress through informative and visually compelling posters, showcasing their deep dive into their chosen patient safety realm. Expert judges will evaluate each presentation, recognizing the most outstanding accomplishments. The top team from each Patient Safety category will win a $500 prize with category champions advancing to the final round, a riveting showdown where they will pitch their solutions against their peers. The pinnacle of achievement awaits the ultimate pitch winner, as judges will bestow a Grand Prize of $1,000 for the best innovation. In this environment of knowledge, creativity, and competition, the Health Innovation Exhibition promises to be a hub of inspiration, pushing the boundaries of healthcare solutions and emphasizing the critical importance of patient safety.

To learn more about and apply to these competitions click here.

The winning patient safety team with judge Dr. Benjamin Ranard.

The Patient Safety Technology Challenge recently presented a patient safety-focused award at this year's Society of Critical Care Medicine's (SSCM) Discovery Datathon. The award will fund one person from the winning patient safety team to travel to SCCM's Critical Care Congress in Arizona in January 2024 to present their idea and receive an award recognizing their contributions.

The SSCM Datathon was a collaborative event connecting clinicians with data scientists to develop pragmatic data-driven models applicable to the care of critically ill patients using de-identified critical care electronic health record datasets. Over 70 clinicians, data scientists and students – including two from high school – spent two days on one of three themes: COVID-19, equity, or patient safety. The goals were to: Identify the factors that contribute to patient safety problems in critical care; develop data driven solutions to address these problems; and raise awareness of the issue of patient safety and the need for action.

Benjamin Ranard, MD, MSHP, a patient safety research fellow and a chief fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, served as one of the eight judges. The team that won the patient safety award was focused on answering the question: "What Are the Key Factors Influencing Glucose Variability in Point-of-Care and Serum Measurements?" Thanks to the funding from PRHI's Patient Safety Technology Challenge the team's work will reach a greater audience at SCCM's Congress next year. 

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