A New Office Empowers Employee-inventors

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Children's View

Sarah with IV Michele Davey, RN, checks a prototype See-IV on the arm of Sarah, 10. Each time Michele Davey, RN, a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia nurse for more than 20 years, needs to check on a child’s intravenous (IV) line to make sure it is secure and not leaking, she winces as she removes the protective cover. If the child is sleeping, the ripping sound of the Velcro fastener inevitably wakes the child.

Many times she has thought, there has to be a better way.

With the creation of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OEI), CHOP has empowered employees to find that “better way” and to make it a reality. In the case of Davey, she wanted to improve the IV protector, which is necessary to thwart curious young fingers.

OEI is helping CHOP entrepreneurs-in-the-making from every corner of the organization. Some have dreamed up new medical devices that improve how fluids are given in the Emergency Department. Others have created software that makes delivery of medication safer or that decreases distracted driving. Still others have invented breakthrough therapies for treating concussion, diabetes and malabsorption of nutrients.

These advances, and others in the pipeline, will help children at CHOP and beyond. “In our first year, we’ve been able to accelerate the Hospital’s reputation as a leader for entrepreneurship in pediatric medicine,” says OEI’s leader, Patrick FitzGerald, Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

OEI helped Davey and her collaborators, Cheryl Gebeline-Myers, MS, and Jacqueline Anzalone, BSN, BSE, keep patient safety and comfort in mind as they developed the See-IV, a protective cover with a clear window that allows a quick, unobtrusive check of an IV site. OEI assisted during the prototyping, focus groups and negotiations with potential manufacturers.

“This has brought a whole new spark to my career,” says Davey. “It’s exciting to identify a problem and see the institution make a commitment to support you to create something to fix it.”