Eighth annual research and innovation awards showcases MGH research talent

MGH's annual EPIC Research and Innovation Fair was held on June 13. Watch the highlights reel.

By: Ellen Samek, Corporate Communications Intern

On June 20, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) held the EPIC Research, Innovation, and Education Scholarship Awards.

The awards celebrated community-based, patient-inspired research, innovation and quality improvement projects spearheaded by employees, student learners, physicians and healthcare providers across the hospital. The winning projects reflect MGH's vision of creating health and building community in East Toronto. A variety of different awards and scholarship grants were distributed for outstanding research projects.

Amongst the awards were four stand-out poster projects from this year's annual EPIC Research and Innovation Fair.

The EPIC Fair award winners were chosen by a diverse panel of judges, including patient and community representatives.

Congratulations to the 2018 award winners!

The MGH Infection Control Team accepted the Be Excellent award for their research on implementing human factor design. (Left to right: Wayne Lee, Anna O'Shaughnessy, Benson Joseph, Angela Portsmouth, and Sajeetha Sasikanthan) (Photo by: Ellen Samek)
The MGH Infection Control Team accepted the Be Excellent award for their research on implementing human factor design.

The award for “Be Excellent” went to: Improving Healthcare Worker Adherence to Additional Precautions, a study conducted by MGH's Infection Control and Prevention team.

This study that started in 2016, set out to identify whether putting human factor design into account could help healthcare workers understand important safety measures to eliminate human error as much as possible.

To test their theory, the team improved precaution signage and increased the availability of protection equipment across the hospital.

“It is humbling and gratifying to see that a project aimed at delivering safe patient care received recognition from our peers within the hospital,” says Wayne Lee, manager in the Program Support Executive.

“The team hopes to create a template or process to be used across the hospital to make sure that personal protective equipment is used properly. We really care about protecting our patients and all of our staff and clinicians.”

This study was also conducted at Sunnybrook Hospital.

Leah Dunbar, a project manager for the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team, accepted the Build Community award for her first ever poster project. She credits her success to her director Linda Young (left) (Photo by: Ellen Samek)
Leah Dunbar, a project manager for the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team, accepted the Build Community award.

The award for “Build Community” went to 360 Evaluation Validates Impact of MCIT Expansion for Persons in Crisis.

Leah Dunbar, the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team project manager at MGH conducted a study to see how effective the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team expansion was. In 2014, the program expanded to include all police divisions. These teams are police-hospital partnerships of police officers and nurses who respond to mental health crises together.

The study produced very positive results, showing that 100 per cent of clients felt that their needs were being met by the MCIT during crisis periods.

“It feels really good to have all the work I put into my first poster presentation recognized,” says Leah on her achievement.

“I couldn't have done it without the help of my director Linda Young or the support of the hospital. MGH is really invested in this program that helps people in our community.”

Leah hopes the results of her study will continue to help with MCIT quality improvement and improve emergency processes.

The Complex Continuing Care team accepted the Lead Wisely award for their virtual whiteboard project. (Left to right: Carol-Joy Martin, Karen Kerry, Dr. Pieter Jugovic, and Vanessa Hill.) (Photo: Ellen Samek)
The Complex Continuing Care team accepted the Lead Wisely award for their virtual whiteboard project.

The “Lead Wisely” award went to: Making Mission Impossible a Little More Possible: A Novel Means of Coordinating Complex Patient Care with a Virtual Whiteboard, a project initiated by the Complex Continuing Care (CCC) team.

The CCC team at MGH can sometimes face unique challenges because of how diverse their patient population is. To solve problems the team created a virtual whiteboard to keep track of patient needs including medication, treatment plan and length-of-stay.

“We found that we couldn't just use a physical whiteboard and markers to keep track of information,” says Dr. Pieter Jugovic, a physician in Complex Continuing Care and one of the leads on the project.

“We especially found this in our dementia patients who each have such unique patient needs.”

By using an Excel spreadsheet and a projector, a “virtual whiteboard” was created to keep information centralized for staff and clinicians, but also make it easily accessible and complete.

“The win was unexpected and epic for us,” says Dr. Jugovic. “We're planning to start using this model across all of our units in Complex Continuing Care.”

The virtual white board model was used successfully in the memory care unit and in rehabilitation.

Dr. Jugovic and the CCC team hope this model will be expanded across the hospital to assist in patient care and possibly aid in completing future research projects on the care of dementia patients.

Dr. Gili Adler Nevo (centre) accepted the award with three of her student learners: Erika Kisonas, Ivana Bizic, and Cristina Leone (left to right). (Photo by: Ellen Samek)
Dr. Gili Adler Nevo (centre) accepted the award with three of her student learners.

The final award was “People's Choice”, given to the project with the most votes from fair-goers. This year's winner of People's Choice went to Retraining the Brain: Neurofeedback for Childhood Disorders.

The project, led by Dr. Gili Adler Nevo, a psychiatrist specializing in children and adolescents at MGH, focuses on helping children suffering from anxiety disorders by using neurofeedback (NFB) training. Neurofeedback uses audio or visual cues to help a patient's brain work more efficiently.

Dr. Adler Nevo and her student learners saw positive results from their study on how child and teen patients responded to the medication-free treatment.

Dr. Adler Nevo was assisted by four student learners through the duration of the study: Hannah O'Neill, Ivana Bizic, Erika Kisonas and Cristina Leone.

“My hope is that our study will show NFB is an effective treatment, which we can add to our services at the child and adolescent anxiety clinic,” says Dr. Adler Nevo.

“There was a gap in the literature and a lack of randomized controlled trials. We think our study helped to start filling that gap.”

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