The OSF Simulation Stage

The OSF Simulation Stage, built in partnership with OSF HealthCare, is a flexible environment designed to allow early-stage healthcare technology innovators to test their products in real-world clinical scenarios, allowing for early feedback, iteration, and troubleshooting. The room is outfitted with medical equipment provided by our partner Hill-Rom and an EHR instance of Allscripts Sunrise™ equipped with Developer Toolkits, curated specifically for MATTER.

The Observation Unit Challenge

The OSF Simulation Stage will be the focal point of a six-month challenge, sponsored by Hill-Rom, to improve the efficiency, quality, and financial stability of hospital observation units.

Each team will have 6 months to develop prototypes and a business plan detailing how they will solve one of three challenges. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with clinicians, hospital administrators, and other subject matter experts to learn more about the issues hospitals face, vet ideas, and gain feedback on product design. MATTER Challenges Entrepreneurs to...

  • Develop tools that allow clinical staff and hospital administrators to mine data assets to predict future patient outcomes, thus allowing observation units to proactively adjust patient triage decisions to improve patient satisfaction and hospital profitability.
  • Develop innovative ways to educate patients about setting of care and out-of-pocket implications, thus increasing patient satisfaction.
  • Develop solutions that allow clinicians to increase throughput (i.e., lower length of stay), which will lead to improved hospital profitability and potentially lowered patient out-of-pocket liability.

What are Observation Units?

Clinical Observation Units are designed to house patients who do not meet the inpatient hospital criteria for admission, but whom physicians do not feel comfortable sending home. Such patients remain under observation and undergo diagnostic tests until they are properly diagnosed.

What Is the Business Opportunity?

For many hospitals, observation units began as a way to alleviate emergency room congestion, but their scope and function has expanded due to recent changes in the Medicare program. New challenges include deciding which patients belong in the observation unit and how to most efficiently care for them, and wrong decisions can be costly: hospitals are eligible for a finite number of hours of payment for observation patients, and when care exceeds these time thresholds, the hospital’s costs can exceed payment.

Get Involved

For students and entrepreneurs across the country, MATTER’s challenge is an opportunity to develop solutions for a timely problem and gain feedback from clinicians on the front lines of delivering care. The winning team will be presented with a cash prize. 15 teams will be selected to participate. Applications must be submitted by October 15.

The challenge will also provide established healthcare professionals with a fresh perspective on issues they're already working on. If you’re a healthcare professional interested in observation medicine and would like to be a resource to teams, let us know.

Thank you to the Chicago Area Hospitals
Who Participated in Our Research

  • OSF HealthCare – OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
  • University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital
  • Sinai Health System – Holy Cross Hospital
  • NorthShore University HealthSystem – Glenbrook Hospital
  • The University of Chicago Medicine
  • Advocate Health Care – Christ Medical Center
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
  • John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County