Nancy Noyer, UI Human Resources, 319-335-0560
ef•fi•cient adj 1: being or involving the immediate agent in producing an effect 2: productive of desired effects 3: Steven Linge
OK, definition 3 isn’t found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, but the adjective applies to work done by Linge, a medical laboratory scientist in the University of Iowa Department of Pathology’s Clinical Core Laboratories.
In 2006, Linge recognized that a properly designed device to hold a blood specimen in place would allow a scientist to operate multiple analyses simultaneously. He designed and built a prototype device at home that was tested and then manufactured by the Medical Instruments machine shop. The device reduces analysis time for each specimen by 30 seconds, providing faster results to the intensive care team.
When you consider that the lab performs 3.5 million tests per year, those 30-second increments add up fast.
Linge was honored for his efforts with an Improving Our Workplace Award (IOWA, in shorthand), given to UI individual staff and teams who have seen a challenge and worked to improve it using creative and ingenious solutions.
The program, which has been in place for more than a dozen years, gives the awards both in the spring and fall of each year. Fall 2012 nominations are now being accepted—do you know someone who deserves an IOWA?
Nomination forms and links to assist you in writing a successful nomination are available at www.uiowa.edu/hr/iowa.
Want more examples of work honored with an IOWA?
David Etler, Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum. Etler researched, designed, and installed nine galleries of student art and one major installation. The latter was composed of art created by 120 medical students who participated in lunchtime enrichment classes organized by Etler. Thanks to Etler’s designs, the artwork enhances the working and studying environment of the UI Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility. (Etler was honored in Spring 2009.)
Keeping the Art and Music Libraries in Service, UI Libraries (Ronald Carey, Kim Carpenter, Susan Malecki, Amy McBeth, Ruthann McTyre, Rijn Templeton). Although the university’s art and music library collections were safe on upper floors during the flood, accessing them was daunting. This team devised a system to request resources online, provide access to flood-damaged buildings, find the requests using headlamps, drag boxes down stairs, and transport them over to Main Library. With this process, 19,500 resources were handled so that art majors had what they needed during flood recovery. (Honored in Spring 2009.)
VAP Busters Team (Trisha Schultz, Neana Clark, Lindsay Miller, Kelly Ernst, Jamison Prickett, Ann Bockelman, Denise Grafft, Sara Caven). Ventilator-related pneumonia (VAP) is a serious hospital-acquired infection that poses a significant health risk to patients who require mechanical ventilation. A multi-disciplinary team was charged with implementing best practices for the prevention of VAP in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Team members developed a creative educational program called VAP Busters that contains printed materials, VAP Busters T-shirts, a VAP Busters Month, and a YouTube video developed and produced by the team. Other institutions have emulated the UIHC video. In conjunction with other elements, the rate of VAP decreased. (Honored in Fall 2010.)
Fall Prevention Project (Janis Johnson, Shara Power, Rhonda Evans, Grace Mathews, Melanie House). Given data that the fall rate in the adult inpatient units at UIHC exceeded the average number found in a national quality database, this multi-disciplinary team studied the literature and formed an action plan. They incorporated a best practice to be used differently—to take orthostatic blood pressures every morning. This innovative use as a daily practice decreased falls to one in five months (compared with an average of two falls/month). In addition, patients with mildly orthostatic blood pressure (30 percent) were given additional fluids, thus decreasing their risk of falls and improving their general comfort. In experiencing the daily orthostatic blood pressure, patients now have an increased awareness of the potential for falling and call for assistance when needed. (Honored in Spring 2012.)
ifolio (Annette Beck, Sue Almen-Whittaker, Andrew Rinner, Chris Pruess, Nick Roy, Gary Rogers, Greg Nims, Rebekah Ahrens; also Aaron Thompson, Lorie Seawel, Jason Vetter, Jeffrey Ries, and Donna Vinton from the University of Northern Iowa). Iowa’s public universities have been urged to find ways to collaborate for work and cost efficiency. This effort to develop and deploy an electronic portfolio system at the University of Northern Iowa used the expertise and experience of the UI staff. It is the first IT collaboration proposed and completed by UI and UNI. ifolio offers students a tool to showcase their work to current faculty for feedback or when applying to grad schools or for employment, and is being required by increasing accrediting bodies. At UNI, the post-secondary education department (the pilot department) requires that all first-year students complete a portfolio; second-year students have the option. Five other UNI areas are in discussion regarding implementation of ifolio in their programs. The future annual cost savings for UNI from this collaboration is $20,650. The benefits of collaboration are significant for both schools. (Honored in Spring 2012.)