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Fostering collaboration, innovation and safe solutions at Parkview Huntington

Last Modified: April 24, 2024

People of Parkview, Safety & Prevention


The Parkview Huntington Hospital Innovation Challenge was developed to foster innovation among Parkview Huntington (PHH) co-workers while enhancing patient and staff safety. To carry out the initiative, team members from the Parkview Mirro Center for Research & Innovation and PHH staff collaborated to identify and address potential safety problems and insights submitted by PHH employees.

We asked Doug Selig, vice president of patient care services, community hospitals, and Ethel Massing, innovation program leader, Parkview Mirro Innovation team, to share more about the challenge and how it impacts those who provide or seek care at the Huntington facility.

The Parkview Huntington Hospital Innovation Challenge overview

Innovation team

  • Ethel Massing, innovation program leader
  • Leslie Adair, innovation project specialist
  • Spencer Perkins, innovation project specialist
  • Alyssa Ehinger, innovation project specialist

PHH team

  • Doug Selig, vice president of patient care services, community hospitals, Parkview Health
  • Sonya Foraker, finance leader  
  • Vicki Mickley, quality/accreditation specialist   
  • Rick Uecker, safety coordinator
  • Sheryl Rickett, executive assistant

Objective: The primary goal of the challenge was to make PHH the safest hospital for patients and co-workers by proactively approaching improvements to healthcare delivery by engaging frontline staff. A secondary benefit is fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

Employee involvement: PHH employees were encouraged to participate by submitting observations about safety protocols and processes related to their daily work. Their involvement ensured the challenge addressed relevant issues directly impacting the hospital's operations.

Challenge structure: The challenge progressed in two phases. Phase I focused on problem identification and insight gathering, while phase II involved teams developing innovative solutions to the identified challenges.

Innovation focus: The challenge involved creative problem-solving, leveraging technology, process improvements and other novel approaches to enhance safety within the hospital environment.


What were you looking to achieve through the PHH Innovation Challenge?

Doug: We are always looking for ways to enhance PHH as a whole, particularly in the realm of safety. The core aim was to increase the overall safety within the hospital for our staff, providers, patients and visitors. We felt that, by engaging the entire hospital staff to identify and address opportunities, we’d elevate not only safety but quality of care as well.

Why did the Mirro Innovation team choose to work with PHH for this challenge?

Ethel: Before the COVID pandemic, we held an internal innovation competition for the health system. We wanted to relaunch our internal competition with a more structured focus. We thought that trialing it in a smaller environment, a department, service line or community hospital would be best. PHH leadership indicated an interest in the opportunity for assessment and innovation in relation to safety practices. Once we met their team, we knew it was the perfect place for our relaunch.

What was the challenge that was issued to the PHH co-workers?

Doug: We reinforced that we aim to be a high-reliability organization, delivering zero-harm care to our patients while keeping co-workers safe and striving to be the best in patient care and quality outcomes. We want to ensure excellent care for every person every day. We told the team that we needed their help in identifying areas for improvement and were seeking to learn more about their concerns surrounding workplace safety.

Ethel: We reviewed the measures key organizations use to assess candidates for star ratings and top hospital awards and focused on those areas of opportunity. We made that more specific for co-workers by asking them to focus on safety specifically.  


How did PHH employees participate?

Doug: After we presented the opportunity areas to the staff, they were encouraged to submit observations and safety concerns. The Innovation team created a portal where staff could easily share their ideas. They could also review other co-workers' solutions and submit comments and likes. For those who wanted to remain anonymous or weren’t comfortable using a computer, they put out paper submission forms and drop boxes.

Was there a goal for participation?

Ethel: Absolutely. We set our sights on gathering at least 100 ideas. We exceeded that mark with 112 submissions. Submitted ideas also received 553 votes. We also hoped that a wide variety of employees would participate. There were submissions from almost every department in the hospital.

Doug: It was a very grassroots effort. The innovation team and our leadership team rounded in every area of the hospital, passing out information and encouraging co-workers to participate. The teams also set up a booth in the cafeteria that they manned each week to answer questions and help with submissions. PHH leaders discussed the challenge in their meetings and huddles. Participation prizes were also given out every week. We gave frequent updates to the staff and addressed “quick fix” issues right away so the staff knew we were listening. By the close of phase 1, 10% of submissions had already been addressed.

How did you approach the top concerns from the challenge?

Ethel: We planned four dedicated solution sprints. We recruited champions and developed teams tasked with brainstorming and investigating solutions for the identified concerns.

What were some of the “quick wins”?

Doug: We added additional mirrors in hallways, sharps containers to additional areas requested by staff, fixed overhead paging issues and sent facilities to investigate flooring issues.

What were the standout concerns from phase 1?

Ethel: Fall prevention, OB unit enhancements, valet and parking lot issues and Environmental Services were the four areas most submissions fell into.


What were the outcomes from phase 2?

Doug: Of the 112 ideas, 71 have been successfully implemented, 28 are currently in progress, and 9 remain unresolved.

Ethel: The PHH safety challenge boasts an impressive 92% action rate on ideas submitted, far surpassing the industry standard of 10-20%.


What were some standout achievements?

Doug: We excelled in various aspects, including staff engagement, quality of ideas submitted, the submission process, crafting effective solutions, fostering collaboration and demonstrating unwavering grit! Despite facing challenges, we persevered, making the participation process effortless for our co-workers. By valuing employee voices and meticulously reviewing each submission, we ensured that ideas were heard and taken seriously. The project brought the whole staff together to work towards one goal. It was a lot of work, but the Innovation team was a great partner in the effort.

To learn more about how the Innovation team uses research to invoke change, visit


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