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New Innovation Center at Atlantic Health System

September 14, 2018

AHa! moments drive ideas 

Everybody loves a great idea – especially when it helps manage costs and improve care. That’s the big idea behind AHa!, Atlantic Health System’s new innovation center and idea incubator.

Short for Atlantic Health Advancements, AHa! is inspiring Atlantic Health System’s team of more than 16,000 employees and 3,700 physicians to generate ideas that will enhance care delivery, improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs.

Out-of-the-Box Thinking

AHa!’s first innovation, the Insulin Safety Secure Initiative (ISSI) Box, is already moving the needle by helping pharmacy and nursing teams administer insulin more accurately. This simple medication management box, which looks like a traditional pill dispenser, is the brainchild of two pharmacists and a nurse at Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center. The Overlook team realized they were inadvertently wasting insulin because of an incomplete process for labeling and storing insulin between shifts, which resulted in the need to continually open new vials.

Working with the AHa! team, they turned their model into a prototype, tested it and eventually rolled it out within Atlantic Health System. Now, when nurses start their shift, they receive their own ISSI Box with different types of insulin, clearly labeled, making it more accessible and more easily tracked by pharmacy staff.

“We know that innovation doesn’t just happen in a lab,” says Amy Perry, senior vice president, Integrated Care Delivery, CEO Hospital Division “It happens when health care professionals – our physicians, nurses and other Atlantic Health System team members – are faced with real challenges and are empowered to create real solutions.”

In the Pipeline

A panel of experts from Atlantic Health System, universities, government labs and private enterprises are currently evaluating other ideas to determine further development opportunities (think Shark Tank for health care). Innovations currently in the AHa! pipeline include an intraoperative nervemapping device for multiple types of surgical procedures as well as a new type of surgical retractor.

Thanks to the AHa! team, we can all look forward to new ways to build healthier communities.