Healthcare Innovation

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Fostering Healthcare Innovation

Since 2013, the UConn School of Nursing has fostered a strategic vision to infuse and promote innovative thinking patterns and behaviors throughout the culture of the school among the faculty, students, and staff. As a School of Nursing, we see the impetus to educate the next generation of nurses to identify and implement new ways of delivering care that meet the current and future demands of the nation.

UConn School of Nursing is at the forefront of nursing education with a strategic plan underway to educate students on core innovation competencies across all degree programs. With a generous gift to fund the first Visiting Professorship in the United States for Innovation and New Knowledge in Nursing in 2018, UConn School of Nursing is well positioned to lead the future direction in nursing and complimentary healthcare disciplines of educating our students on how to successfully innovate in healthcare. With essential theory and application, we are confident our graduates will lead the future in transforming healthcare delivery. Beyond the classroom, we have extensive experiential opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to take their ideas and move them forward. Whether in the School of Nursing or the UConn University at large, the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem allows for one to take their idea and foster it as across the entrepreneurial growth stages. In addition to incorporating innovation across the degree program curriculum, we are preparing for the launch of the first cohort of the Healthcare Innovation Certificate Program beginning in January 2020. We are currently accepting applications and welcome any inquiries.

Faculty and Student Led Innovations

Our SON faculty and students are often at the cutting edge of new discoveries needed for the benefit of our patients, families, nurses, and the healthcare industry at large. Below are exemplars of student and faculty innovations at the UConn School of Nursing.

Student Innovations:

Concussion Watch: Joey Fetta, UConn SON undergraduate class of ’18 and current PhD student identified an opportunity to support individuals who are recovering from a concussion or traumatic brain injury at home with a device that helps monitor symptoms at an individualized level.

No Size Fits All: Carlie Cassells, UConn SON undergraduate class of ’21 and Werth Innovator is working to develop her assistive clothing company, No Size Fits All. Carlie recognizes that there are many who have temporary or permanent disabilities that affect one’s ability to purchase clothing that will fit. Through No Size Fits All, Carlie sees an opportunity to provide custom clothing at an affordable price point.

ReduSeal: Ellen Quintana, UConn SON undergraduate class of ’21 invented the patent-pending ReduSeal. ReduSeal is an antimicrobial shield that adheres to the front of a standard box of gloves, thereby reducing the volume of potential microbes going into the glove box while also reducing glove waste by only allowing one glove to exit the box at a time.

Faculty Innovations:

Breastfeeding Diagnostic Device (BDD): Ruth Lucas, PhD RN, UConn SON Assistant Professor invented the Breastfeeding Diagnostic Device (BDD). The BDD is a biomedical device created to identify where and what is triggering the point of failure in breastfeeding leading to early breastfeeding cessation. To identify potential points of breastfeeding failure, the BDD uses custom-built miniaturized accelerometers and pressure sensors to assess milk flow from the breast to the infant’s stomach.

Infusaport: Christine Meehan, MA, RN, UConn SON Entrepreneur-in Residence was one of the inventors for the first infusaport. The Infusaport was the first implantable vascular access device (VAD) developed for patients undergoing chemotherapy. It provides safe and long-term vascular access and allowed for outpatient chemotherapy for a greater number of patients without the risk of infection or extravasation of drug into the surrounding tissue. VADs are the gold standard today for patients requiring chemotherapy.

Know My Patient®: Tiffany Kelley PhD, MBA, RN, UConn SON DeLuca Foundation Visiting Professor for Innovations and New Knowledge in Nursing saw the need to provide essential information to nurses and healthcare professionals through a mobile application that promotes interoperable use of data between a mobile software application and electronic health record (EHR). Know My Patient® supports nurses with information needed from the start of their shift throughout their work day, reinventing the paper-based report sheet currently kept in every nurse’s scrub pocket.

The Healthcare Innovations Program was featured in UConn Today as part of coverage of the university's first annual Werth Innovations Expo on October 29, 2018!

Quick facts about the Healthcare Innovations Program!

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