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HSE frontline innovation benefits patient

 Spark Team - Neilan Govender, Rachel McNamara, Dermot Burke, Caitriona Heffernan, Jared Gormly, Amy Carroll

Caption: Spark Team - Neilan Govender, Rachel McNamara, Dermot Burke, Caitriona Heffernan, Jared Gormly, Amy Carroll



Speeding up patient referrals, reducing waiting lists and preventing or shortening hospital admissions are among the benefits and results of 45 projects recently recognised at a special HSE Summit.  The Spark innovation Summit brought together healthcare staff, industry, and academics to get informed, inspired, and excited about frontline health innovation. The conference explored the value of frontline innovation, and the key roles played by design innovation and technology. According to Jared Gormly, Head of Corporate Services NDTP & Spark Innovation Programme: These projects support better clinical decision making, make beer use of precious resources, save money, and most importantly of all lead to better outcomes for patients.”

 Innovative projects

The innovative projects ranged from new tools for assessment to redesigned care pathways for patients, technical platforms for resource management to projects that empower patients to be part of their own care, pilot schemes for cutting edge new technologies to machine learning techniques that revolutionise diagnosis.

Noting that the Spark Summit is “there to reward and recognise the great work and contribution made by healthcare workers right across the health service”, Catriona Heffernan, HSE Spark Innovation Lead said it recognised those who “go above and beyond every day – not just to deliver care but to find better ways of delivering care – for patients, for their colleagues and for the HSE at larger.  It is fantastic to gather the group together and allow them to find their tribe.  Hopefully those who attended will feel the benefit far beyond the event itself.”

Trevor Vaugh - Assistant Professor in Design at Maynooth University) and Charlie Bird  - Veteran TV Broadcaster - RTE)

Caption: Trevor Vaugh - Assistant Professor in Design at Maynooth University) and Charlie Bird  - Veteran TV Broadcaster - RTE)


Among those who presented on the day were Trevor Vaugh, Assistant Professor in Design at Maynooth University who gave an emotional account of helping to develop the AI driven voice simulation software currently in use by veteran broadcaster Charlie Bird.  Norma Caples, Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Heart Failure from University Hospital Waterford, outlined how she had developed a mobile phone application to revolutionise the management of the heart failure.

Martin Ryan, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Design Innovation at Maynooth University, spoke powerfully with patient representative and advocate Elaine Chillingworth of their work to improve the patient journey through design-thinking for those with facial amputations at St James’ Hospital.  HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry spoke to the ever increasing need to innovate in healthcare, and the challenges felt throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to date.

Describing the atmosphere as “electrifying,”  Rachel McNamara, National Medical Innovation Fellow added that “to have so many people there with an unquenchable thirst for change and innovation is a wonderful experience. The public know that the HSE has many many  phenomenal workers, heroes in every sense of the word. It is important to empower them in their efforts and celebrate their achievements”

Overall winners:   Design On the Frontline Innovation Award 2021:  PPE Gown Annotation - Bernie Waterhouse, Tony Galvin, Niall Keane, Máire Kane, Dr Chris Soraghan; Arctic Band - Brian Foley, Tom English, Sean Power: Waffle - Tadgh O’Connell, Federico Tusacciu, Sinead Spring, Gareth Byrne & Ava White; Iontach - Giancarlo Nollora, Katie O’Brien & Kate McKenna

Design On the Frontline Innovation Award 2022: Eureka - Gareth Byrne (National Winner); Bubblo - Asia Cheung (Commendation Award Winner); Smoothscan - Alexander Fives (Commendation Award Winner)

Spark Ignite Award 2020: My Checkmate - Norma Caples; Patient-led Education Tool - Dr Lyndsey Paul, Caitriona Gallagher, Anita Flynn; PressiDect - Siobhan Ryan; Blood Stock Inventory Management - Alison Harper, Helena Begley, Fergus Guilfoyle; A Novel, Early Detection Tool - Helen Ryan; Key Performance Indicators for Antimicrobial Stewardship - Marie Ronan, Rose Cafferkey (Regional+National winner)

Spark Ignite Award 2021: The Rapid-Access Online Active Back Care (ABC) Program  - Aoife Collins (Regional+National winner); Remote Learning in Bronchoscopy  - Dr Kevin Deasy and Dr Marcus Kennedy (Regional+ National winner); Animammo - Claire Ahern; Upper Limb Rehabilitation App - Edel Siney, Andy Byrne, BrianO'Ceallaigh; A Novel Ankle Range of Motion (ROM) Measuring Device - Dr Ramy Khojaly; The FIGO Nutrition Checklist - Sarah Louise Killeen, Prof Fionnuala McAuliffe

Spark Ignite Award 2022: "ADMiRE ADHD" - Prof Jane McGrath; PnPlus, Paediatric Nutrition Plus - Niamh Murphy, Emma Gentles; Empower yourself - Dr Jennifer Edgeworth; New Graduate Nurse in Critical Care Support App - Sinead Gill, Shauna Vandendries, Shauna Delaney, Lisa Dunne, Bernie Garvin; My Kidney Health - Dr Sinead Stoneman, Dr Sarah Moran; My Healing Wounds - Noreen Whitehead; Wee catch it! - Bernadette Higgins, Anne Murray (Regional + National Winner); CORRIB - Physical Health Template data entry tool - Emma Beatty

Bright Spark Award: The Introduction and Evaluation of Beta D-Glucan Testing - Dr Breda Lynch, Dominic Gilmore, Fiona Hegarty, Nuala Scanlon, Leah Colclough, Louise O’Sullivan, Assumpta Killarney; Predicting Bacteraemia in Maternity Patients - Dr Richard Drew, Ciarán Mooney, Maeve Eogan, Fionnuala Ní Áinle, Brian Cleary, Joseph J. Gallagher,  John O'Loughlin; Ambulatory Emergency Care for Older Adults - Dr Rosa McNamara; Steth-o-cope - A Smartphone App for Interns on Call - Dr Louise Rabbitt, Prof Dara Byrne, Máirín Murray, Dr. Lyle McVicker; An Automated Portable iCare for Measurement of Intraocular Pressure in Retinal Clinics -  O. Scannell, B. Woods, S. Powell, G. McCabe, I. Dooley; Children's Asthma Pack (CAP) - Mary Devitt and Catherine Carrig; Your Little Sleep - A Perioperative Information Resource for Children  - Dr Anne Marie Crowe; Traumadoc - Dr Shane Broderick; Online Patient Joint Replacement Education Programme - Dr Christine Kiernan; Hemiplegic Shoulder Pain: Can we offer more than a Pillow? - Sinéad Coleman, Helen Kavanagh, Conor Keady, Joseph Halpin, Natasha Clarke, Dr Chris Soraghan ; Empowering Self Care Through Educaton Post Transplant - Siobhan Manning;  Pathology Tool for Head & Neck Surgery - Dr Mary Toner, Mr Conor Barry, Dr Paul Lennon, Cait McCarthy, Ellie Conheady, Morgan Cobban, Dr Chris Soraghan; Machine learning in Urology and kidney stone disease- Dr Derek Hennessy; PPE gown - Jincy Jerry, Niamh Lynch; QR Maternity - Amy Carroll; Syringe Safety Clip - Dr Richard Skelly; The Exchange - Old Space With A Familiar Face - Paul Phelan ; ORMS 1.0 - Orthopaedic management system - a digital platform to improve orthopaedic patient care – Dr Christopher Fenelon

The Spark Innovation Programme

The Spark Innovation Programme is a frontline staff-led initiative that seeks to support, promote and recognise innovation amongst healthcare staff, and is supported by National Doctors Training and Planning, Office of Nursing and Midwives Director (ONMSD), National Health & Social Care Professionals Office (NHSCPO) and Coru.  Spark Summit is also supported by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.