As hospitals care for more people and the population continues to age, medical professionals are always looking for new ways to enhance patient care.
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System is on the cutting edge of new developments with a new resource for research.
The hospitals downtown location is a 245 bed facility, serving the Upstate community. Among the routine services offered at the hospital, there’s an incubator for ideas called the innovation institute.
The innovation institute is an organization based in California that provides business services, innovation solutions and investment management to healthcare systems across the country.
Under its umbrella, hospitals connect by pooling resources and ideas that they hope will ultimately be available on the open market.
James Conner works in the Cardiac Catheter Lab and stands on the front lines of one development.
He’s the brains behind a device used to detect the early stages of a urinary tract infection, James says, “if we can provide an early warning protection, then we can provide an intervention, then we can provide prevention of infection.”
Using his background as a former I.T. Specialist, Conner spent 7 months in research and development on this early alert system. Bon Secours labs provide patient samples to help with the research.
Chase Womack works in Bon Secours lab and explains how an infection is found, “so depending on which plate you use, certain micro organisms can grow and we can isolate which organism is causing the infection.”
The Innovation Institute is an incubator for medical ideas, open to any and all employees in the Bon Secours Healthcare family. Employees present their ideas for a new product or procedure and the full resources of this healthcare system are available to them.
Craig McCoy is CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System and says, “having an outlet for folks that work closest to hands on care and other people involved in healthcare, to help them, to take their ideas and flesh those out to see if there is an opportunity to take something to market.”
Mr. McCoy encourages employees to use the labs resources and equipment connected to the institute.
He says, “it helps employees have access to resources that would be extremely expensive, probably not feasible.”
Conner connected with the institution, they assisted with research, clinical trials and helped him get a patent for his product. Conner says, “our device is currently under a FDA exemption and we expect it to go to market 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2018.”
As healthcare evolves, many providers will shift from traditional models of care and the innovation institute was created to help keep St. Francis on the cutting edge of medical developments.
The Innovation Institute gets partial ownership of what goes to market, however the employee retains 40-percent ownership of the product or device. Ultimately, patients and healthcare organizations benefit from new developments.