2019 Optimas Award Winners for Innovation

By Francesca Mathewes

Oct. 28, 2019

The Innovation award recognizes organizations that have developed an innovative workforce management strategy that addresses a fundamental business issue. Here are the winners for 2019:

Gold: Teachers College, Columbia University

Teachers College at Columbia University is a graduate school of education, health and psychology in New York City and has served as the faculty and Department of Education of Columbia University since its affiliation in 1898. It functions on the founding idea that education alone cannot correct society’s problems.

Teachers College seeks to maximize the opportunities of all people while focusing specifically on supporting under-resourced communities with physical and nutritional health, education, special education, conflict resolution and spirituality through its curriculum.

The No Code to Low Code app development initiative brought app design to noncoding professionals and entry-level talent about to enter the workforce in various industries. The initiative explores how noncoders can design apps for web or mobile health apps. With the growing need of businesses, and various industries including health, to meet their clients and patients where they are at — on their mobile phones — there is a dearth of coders.

Offering subject-matter experts the opportunity to develop their app ideas with no code and low code will not only empower these experts but also help combat the lack of coders, reduce cost and offer faster app deployment, according to the Teachers College Optimas Award application.

The overarching goal was to provide future health workers with a better understanding of how to apply learning theories in a practical manner accompanied by design strategies used for mHealth via mobile phones.

“All of this was in pursuit of maximizing mobile health learning and for promoting technological skill development in their work and life in the mobile era, utilizing technology for the benefit of staff and people as patients,” said Dominic Mentor, director at Teachers College.

For its work in technological advancement and innovation through the use of the From No Code to Low Code initiative in the mobile health field, Teachers College of Columbia University is the 2019 Optimas Award Gold winner for Innovation.

Silver: Riverside Healthcare

Riverside Healthcare is a health care system serving the needs of individuals and communities in central Illinois. As part of the Riverside Healthcare system, Riverside Medical Center — a 312-bed hospital — provides a full scope of inpatient and outpatient care and is a nationally recognized Level II trauma hospital focusing on heart care, cancer care, neurosurgery and orthopedics.

Studies have shown that long-term, high-touch care in the health care profession can ultimately result in provider burnout if not sufficiently identified, addressed and managed. In an effort to effectively affect provider burnout through a more preventative approach, the Riverside Healthcare Well In Mind Employee Support Program has implemented the Focused Provider Rounding initiative to complement the current infrastructure of well-being programs. This workforce management initiative provides the health care organization’s doctors and advanced-care providers with the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to address the signs of provider burnout, improving the working experience of the entire staff.

For the Focused Provider Rounding initiative, Riverside Healthcare is the 2019 Optimas Award Silver winner for Innovation.

Bronze: DailyPay

For its work through The DailyPay Benefit initiative, DailyPay is the 2019 Optimas Award Bronze winner for Innovation.

Go here to read about the rest of the Optimas winners for 2019.

Francesca Mathewes is an editorial associate for Workforce.

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