“It’s very fitting that this prize is associated with a celestial navigator because these teams are working to chart the future of this hospital,” said Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president, of the annual Nathaniel Bowditch Prize nominees and winners. Awarded by the MGH Board of Trustees, the prize recognizes individuals or teams that have made significant contributions in improving patient care while reducing cost.

Nominations included projects ranging from improving handoff efficiency in the Emergency Department to standardizing inpatient documentation of penicillin allergies, from the work of Medical Interpreter Services to combatting the opioid crisis. Out of all the nominees this year, the prize was given to two recipients at a ceremony Feb. 27.

An individual award went to Nathaniel Sims, MD, of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, for innovative work throughout his career in engineering medical devices that have improved patient care not only at the MGH, but at institutions throughout the world. One of his most notable projects is the “smart” infusion pump, which has sharply reduced medication errors and their associated costs, and has been licensed, produced and distributed by major manufacturers throughout the world. Most recently, use of smart infusion pump technology has been extended to pediatric patients.

A team award went to the Home Hospital Program – led by Ryan Thompson, MD, director of Quality Improvement in the Department of Medicine – for thegreat level of collaboration in providing acute care at home to patients with conditions such as heart failure, COPD, pneumonia and cellulitis. The Home Hospital Program helps address capacity issues in the Emergency Department. In its first six months, the program has served 70 patients – saving nearly 350 bed days. Partners HealthCare at Home nurse practitioners and registered nurse teams visit patients at least twice daily. Additionally, an MGH Home Hospital physician sees each patient within 24 hours and tele-rounds with the home care team daily.

“Patients can face difficult circumstances in the home environment,” says Thompson. “Extending our reach into the home through programs such as Home Hospital is helping us as MGH providers to better understand how to support our patients at home while avoiding hospital admissions.”

This article was originally published in the 03/09/18 Hotline issue.