Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award  
Submissions open June 1st, 2019! All submissions are due by August 15th, 2019.


The Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award is an annual competition that began in 2013, sponsored by Urgent Matters and West Health Institute, involving multi-disciplinary emergency department-based teams who have implemented a process or strategy to improve patient, clinical and operational outcomes.

Innovations should fit into at least one of the five categories listed below and must include some measurable assessment of its effectiveness in order to be eligible. 

Innovation Categories:

  • Safety and Quality: Practices implemented to improve desired health outcomes through quality and safety practices.  These innovations strive to increase safety and reduce errors for patients and are built on a culture of safety.  
  • Flow and Efficiency: Efforts to optimize patient flow through various operational techniques including flow improvement efforts such as Lean, Six Sigma, and Change Management. Strategies that strive to increase throughput efficiency and improve integration throughout the organization. 
  • Care Coordination: Practices that strive to integrate all levels of care - from pre-admission all the way through the patient's care plan.  These methods streamline and organize patient care activities to facilitate the appropriate delivery of health care services.   
  • Patient Experience: Techniques that improve patient experience through all the different levels of patient care.  These strategies deal with all touch points of people, processes, policies, communications, actions in the healthcare environment and patients' perceptions of how well these strategies are employed in the organization. 
  • Cost-Consciousness: Practices that aim to safely reduce the costs of acute care through improved efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award?

Urgent Matters created the Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award to recognize multidisciplinary emergency department-based teams who have implemented a process or strategy to improve patient safety and flow. The innovation must include some measurable assessment of its effectiveness in order to be eligible.

What do you win?

One winning team will be selected, and up to two teams may receive an honorable mention. One member of that winning team will receive the honor of presenting their innovation at the Urgent Matters Conference held at the American College of Emergency Physicians Scientific Assembly.

Also included:

  • Winner: $1000, airfare and one night stay in Denver, free registration, urgent matters promotion, 30 minute speaking engagement
  • First runner up: free registration, 15 minute speaking engagement, one night stay at hotel and airfare
  • Second runner up: free registration, 15 minute speaking, airfare
Who is eligible?

Anyone working in a hospital emergency department is invited to submit an innovation on behalf of their team. Teams must have two or more types of providers in order to be considered multidisciplinary; they may be composed of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and/or administrators.

I submitted an innovation last year, can I submit the same innovation again?

Absolutely, innovations that were submitted last year can be entered again.  Ensure that the innovation meets all the assessment criteria and make sure to highlight new information and data that wasn’t available last year.

My innovation is a commercial product that is for sale, am I still eligible?

Yes, we are interested in any and all innovations involving multidisciplinary emergency department-based teams that improve patient, clinical, and operational outcomes. To be considered for this award, the innovation must include a measurable assessment of the effectiveness of the intervention.  

How are submissions judged?

All submissions will be subject to review by the Urgent Matters Review Committee and West Health Institute. Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Clarity: The innovation/tool collection form is completely filled out, well written and logically progresses through the steps of development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Multi-Disciplinary: The innovation/tool utilizes teamwork and includes different kinds of providers from across the emergency department (i.e. physicians, nurses, physician assistants, etc.) and/or other departments that work closely with the emergency department.  
  • Novelty: How original is the tool/innovation?  Is this something completely new or an adaptation of an existing process? Is this an improvement over prior attempts?
  • Exportability: The ability for this tool/innovation to be implemented across different emergency department settings. How difficult would this tool/innovation be to implement? What kind of commitment/resources/education are required to sustain this tool from the department, administration, and/or front-line staff?
  • Effectiveness: How effective is the tool/innovation at solving a problem (i.e. decreasing wait times or increasing patient satisfaction)?  Data/metrics that show measurable outcomes should be included. 
When can I submit an innovation?

Submissions for the 2018 Innovation of the Year Award will open June 1st, 2018. All submissions are due by August 15th, 2018. 

Does it cost anything to enter?

No, there is no fee to submit an innovation. 

How do I enter?

Download the submission form and then email your completed submission to  Before you begin, be prepared to discuss: the problem, a detailed description of the innovation, the implementation process (including the timeline), measurable results, cost/benefit analysis and lessons learned. You are welcome to include any attachments related to the innovation including datasets and innovation materials that will assist the review committee in making an informed decision.

If I don't win, what happens to my submission?

All submissions judged to have sufficient merit will be added to the Urgent Matters Toolkit. The Urgent Matters Toolkit is a collection of strategies and tools designed to target specific issues facing hospital emergency departments. This toolkit has been developed by hospitals across the country in conjunction with the Urgent Matters national program office at The George Washington University. Our goal is to continue to grow and expand the toolkit and make these resources available to the public.  All information submitted will be posted on the Urgent Matters website. 

Still have questions?

Email us at and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Submission Form

west health logo