Innovation Challenge Winner Revealed


Dell Children’s Hospital Innovation ChallengeLocal business leaders, Mayor Adler, inventors celebrate creative health care solutions at Dell Children’s

Creative thinkers, business leaders and health care providers came together to recognize winners of the first ever Innovation Challenge at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.

The winning innovation – a small plastic box that hooks onto an IV pole – is designed to eliminate precious seconds and steps needed when a health care provider reaches for an alcohol swab to clean an IV connector (“clave”). The expected result: lower risk of infection for patients and ease of use for practitioners.

“I’m hopeful that in an environment where nurses are constantly weighing what we need to do against what we have time to do, this plastic box can make their work easier, faster, and safer,” said Monica Smith, RN, who won the grand prize for developing the IV pole supply bin.

Dell Children’s Hospital Innovation Challenge“This is quintessential Austin, Texas,” Mayor Steve Adler said. “It is this kind of entrepreneurial spirit that is in the DNA that mixes with our creativity in this town and the innovation in this town,” said Adler. He referred to Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas as “the real all-stars of the community.”

Starting a legacy of innovation

“Let’s take today to celebrate the finalists’ projects and consider this the official kickoff to our ongoing work as innovators in our field,” said Mark Shen, MD, President of Dell Children’s.

Leaders at Dell Children’s pledge their efforts to implement one of the top three winning ideas within the hospital in 2017.

Winners were selected on their ability to articulate a problem, communicate the solution, and make significant a case for the impact, vision and financial viability of their idea. A total of $15,500 was awarded to the competition’s top 11 finalists.

Among the judges were Joshua Baer of Capital Factory, Dell Medical School innovator Mellie Price, Providence Waco Health System President and CEO Brett Esrock and Mark Shen, MD.

Innovation Challenge by the numbersInnovation-Challenge-Verb-Logo-600-x-600

  • 129 associates participated in 6 innovation workshops
  • 88 teams submitted ideas to the Challenge
  • 20 Semifinalists worked with expert mentors from around the Austin Innovation Zone
  • 11 Finalists were awarded cash prizes
  • $15,500 was awarded to Finalists in the following increments:
    • Grand Prize, $5,000
    • 2nd Prize $3,000
    • Third Prize, $1,500
    • Fourth and Fifth Prize, $750
    • 6 Additional Prizes, $500
  • One idea guaranteed to be implemented at Dell Children’s in 2017