Over the years, implantable devices have become important tools for treating people with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and epilepsy. In fact, millions of people across the country live with some type of medical device on the body. While these implants are used regularly, there are some issues that are cause for concern.
Implants with electrical components can potentially harm the patient and the device when used with electrocautery during surgery. Many times, surgeries are routinely canceled or delayed if an unknown implant is discovered. That’s because each medical device comes with its own set of instructions for use. And doctors need that knowledge to protect both the implant and the person undergoing a procedure.
In 2015, two advanced practice nurses came up with an idea to help surgical teams quickly extract information from the implant during surgery. Since then, they have worked with OSF Innovation to refine their concept on a new digital platform.
From the paper list to the web-based application
Mary Marvin and Jill Teubel work in the Department of Surgery at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center. To find a solution, they contacted all the companies that had implantable medical devices and produced 50 to 100 pages of instructions for more than 60 implants.
With that information, they developed a Word document that includes surgery protocols for each device. Has contact information for company representatives. And it includes guidelines on how to prepare patients with certain implants for surgery, all in a table format.
“We had a place for information, but we had to continually update it every six months,” Marvin said. “As the medical device industry continues to boom, our document has grown from two to 38 pages of content.”
In 2019, Marvin and Teubel wanted to improve the device table by making it more manageable and scalable. As a result, they presented and presented their idea to the Office of Innovation Management, a part of OSF Innovation.
“We found the Jill and Mary concept to be popular with surgical physicians at nursing conferences across the country. We also discovered that there really is nothing like this on the market, ”said Nathan Pritzker, strategic program manager at Performance Improvement. “That gives it great marketing potential.”
For 18 months, Jill and Mary worked with OSF Innovation to test various designs. They chose a web-based application with a more robust and editable database. It can also easily spread through OSF, as well as to other hospital systems.
“Open the app, log in, and then do two clicks,” Teubel said. “One for the device you want and the second for your affiliate company. Then all the information is at your fingertips. You no longer have to scroll through 38 pages to find what you need.”
Even more work to do
The web-based device table matrix is in use at OSF Saint Francis. It will be rolled out to other hospitals in the organization in the coming months. At the same time, feedback will be collected to plan future versions of the product.
“We are amazed at how the Innovation team helped us transition from our device matrix to a web application format,” said Marvin. “Jill and I are passionate about patient safety. So it will be a huge profit for us if our device table is sold to other hospitals and used to safely perform procedures on patients with certain implantable devices. At the same time, we are helping to keep hospital resources viable. “
Both Marvin and Teubel encourage other mission partners (employees) to follow in their footsteps.
“Our front-line doctors have a lot of good ideas,” Teubel said. “We are a testament that with the right training and resources, you can turn your idea into a viable product, benefiting not just our patients but those across the country.”