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Ariadne Labs Announces Spark Grants to Support Work in Nursing Home and Childbirth Care

Spark Grants provide seed-funding for new and early-stage ideas 

Ariadne Labs today announced three recipients of the Ariadne Labs Spark Grant innovation awards for the 2023-2024 year. The Spark Grant program provides support for new and early-stage ideas to make health care safer, more equitable, and more integrated for patients everywhere. Now in its 11th year, the program has funded more than 20 projects. 

The 2023-2024 grantees are concentrating on improving the quality of life in nursing homes, preparing pregnant people for what to expect in early labor, and enhancing physical design of childbirth spaces to improve outcomes and experiences. Grantees were chosen following a competitive selection process from a diverse pool of candidates. 

“Innovation and prototyping through design thinking are at the heart of all we do at Ariadne Labs, and our Spark Grant program helps us to continue to develop effective tools in new areas to elevate the quality of health care globally,” said Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Ariadne Labs. “I look forward to seeing how this year’s grantees help design and take our innovations to the next step to improve care and reduce suffering across the health care system.”

Grantees are provided with up to one year of seed-funding for their work. Each grantee receives support from Ariadne Labs’ Innovation Platform to guide the project through the Ariadne Labs Arc, our proven innovation pathway for effectively designing, testing, and spreading solutions. Through this process, projects benefit from Ariadne Labs’ expertise in human-centered design, rigorous testing methodology, and implementation science. 

“Our recipients this year are focused on key gaps across the spectrum of health care,” said Meghan Long, MHA, Assistant Director of the Innovation Platform. “From childbirth care to nursing home care, these projects will play a critical role in furthering Ariadne Labs’ mission to improve care for every patient, everywhere.” 

The 2023-2024 recipients of the Ariadne Spark Grant innovation awards are:

Transforming Nursing Home Care Using the Wellbeing Toolkit

Rachel Broudy, MD, Medical Director, Pioneer Valley Hospice and Palliative Care; Eldercare Core Faculty, Ariadne Labs

Quality of life is among the most important factors for people in nursing homes. However, nursing homes are often not structured to put quality of life and well-being at the forefront of care. This project will test the usability of Ariadne Labs’ Wellbeing Toolkit – a conversation guide for nursing home staff to understand what matters the most to residents – to advance social connection, meaning, autonomy, and security for all residents.

Prenatal Preparation for Care Seeking Decisions in Early Labor

Joyce K. Edmonds, PhD, MPH, RN, Senior Research Scientist, Delivery Decisions Initiative, Ariadne Labs
Amber Weiseth, DNP, RN, Director, Delivery Decisions Initiative, Ariadne Labs

Delaying hospital admission until active labor has been shown to minimize unnecessary intrapartum interventions, and its safety has been established. Yet, many pregnant individuals are unprepared to cope with labor at home and are uncertain about when to arrive at the hospital and when to return to the hospital if sent home. This project will support the creation of a prenatal early labor decision-making tool to help patients better cope with early labor at home and support their transition to the hospital. The tool will align with clinical best practices while honoring individuals’ preferences, values, and unique care requirements.

Design Guidelines for Better Birth

Deb Rosenberg, RN, MArch, AIA, Founder + Principal, Better Birth Design

The physical design of spaces in childbirth facilities can have a significant impact on outcomes and experiences in childbirth. Many hospitals, particularly those in low-resources settings,  do not have the finances or expertise to solve design flaws, such as insufficient light, lack of space, or complicated layouts, clinicians find work-arounds that result in more complicated systems. The goal of this project is to create a tool to help facilities evaluate their existing conditions and provide guidance on low-cost, high yield improvements that will improve clinicians’ ability to provide high quality care.