Tasty food for every patient, research on leukaemia cells to discover which treatment works best, more efficient use of medication and a new curriculum for nurses: with these topics, several UMCG employees have won the Innovation Award this year.
With the annual Innovation Awards, the UMCG encourages employees’ innovative ideas. The jury chose four winners from no fewer than fifty submissions: in the area of Healthcare, Research, Education & Training and Sustainability. They will each receive 50,000 euros to realise their innovation. The winning projects will also be supported in this process by the Innovation Center of the UMCG.
Many patients have issues with their sense of taste. This can be caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy, but also by infections, aging or certain medication. By using flavour control, Madieke Douma (dietician medical oncology and haematology) and her team want to improve the flavour experience and quality of life of patients with a taste disorder. ‘First, we perform a flavour test and discover which flavours the patient likes and dislikes. We then create a taste passport, which helps our nutritionists and dieticians to advise targeted and tasteful food.’
Research on leukaemia cells
Every leukaemia cell is different, and thus reacts in different ways to treatments. In the innovation project ‘Battle of clones: immune control over clonal dynamics in leukemia’, professor of experimental haematology Jan Jacob Schuringa and his team study the cellular composition of a leukaemia patient. When characterising these leukaemia cells, the newest techniques are used, aiming to adjust medication and improve treatments.
More efficient medicine use
Patients who are admitted to the UMCG receive their medication from the hospital apothecary. The quantity is tailored as much as possible to the average time a patient is hospitalised, but this is not always possible. This sometimes causes waste of medication, as processing is more expensive than throwing away. Esther Flikkema and Anneka Bouma of the Pulmonary Diseases department received the Sustainability Innovation Award for combatin medicine waste in the department by continuing to use the medication patients use at home when they are admitted to the hospital.
New curriculum for nurses
In order to research how given healthcare can be improved, nurse Jeanine von Hebel is going to develop an Evidence Based Practice (EBP) curriculum for nurses. This instruments makes it possible to carefully evaluate a real-life situation in a number of steps. ‘This way of working is highly in demand’, Von Hebel knows. ‘An EBP curriculum gives nurses tools to ask the right questions and translate them into practical situations.’