Caring Wisely FY 2023 Project Contest






UCSF Health and the UCSF Center for Healthcare Value (CHV) sponsors awards of up to $50,000 for one year to faculty and staff for collaborative projects that can be implemented to reduce waste and lower health care costs while maintaining or improving health at UCSF Health, which consists of UCSF Medical Center, Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and the UCSF faculty practice group and ambulatory clinics.



We invite the submission of any proposal that improves healthcare value at UCSF Health. UCSF Health is also particularly interested in proposals that address value improvement opportunities in one of the below areas:

  • Improve Hospital Throughput and Reduce Excess Inpatient Bed Days
  • Improve Outpatient, Inpatient, or Perioperative Clinical Access
  • Improve Health Equity
  • Reduce Hospital Acquired Conditions and Infections
  • Reduce Unnecessary Testing
  • Jan 23 - Mar 3 - Project Contest 1st Round

    Proposal Submission Deadline

    Proposal submissions due by 5pm | Fri., March 3, 2023

    • Projects with a projected direct cost savings of greater than $250,000 are more likely to be selected (click on the "Read important information about this forum" link on the home page to see more criteria for winning).
    • The Center for Healthcare Value will offer “Office Hours” to answer questions and provide guidance on cost analysis. Please email Jahan Fahimi ( and Catherine Lau ( to schedule a session.

    During this time, project teams should:

    • Build your core team and extended stakeholders interested in this problem.
    • Browse proposals and comment to improve others' proposal.
    • Review comments and provide additional information if necessary.
  • Mar 6 - Mar 13: 1st Round Review and announcement of 2nd Round Finalists
    • Proposal submissions are reviewed.
    • Selected finalists will be invited to proceed to the Optimization Phase.
    • 2nd Round Finalists announced by March 13th
  • Mar 13 - Mar 31: 2nd Round Finalists Optimization Phase

    Final updates to proposals must be complete before 5pm | Fri., March 31, 2023

    During this time, project teams should:

    • Optimize your proposal
      • Stay on top of OpenProposal comments, answer questions, and ask new ones!
    • Continue to build your core team and extended stakeholders interested in this problem
    • Obtain sign-off from the Executive Sponsor(s)
    • 2nd Round Finalists announced by March 13th
      • Any updates to Full Proposals must be completed prior to 5:00PM, Friday, March 31, 2023


  • Apr 3 - May 5: 2nd Round Review
    • Finalist proposals are reviewed.
  • May 8: FY24 Caring WiselyTM $50K Project Awards Announced

    Winners will be announced on Mon., May 8, 2023

Implementation Phase

Proposals (31 total)

Displaying 1 - 10


Reducing Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Chest X-rays in Lung Transplant patients

Proposal Status: 


Reducing Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Chest X-rays in Lung Transplant patients.


David Gordon, DNP, ALD APP

Jasleen Kukreja, MD, Program and Surgical Director, Lung Transplantation

EXECUTIVE SPONSOR: Carolyn Light, MPA, Executive Director, Transplant Services


Revitalizing Transfers: Creating an EHR-based admission and lateral transfer decision support tool to identify patients for transfer to non-Parnassus sites

Proposal Status: 

It is currently challenging to determine which medicine patients may be eligible for admission or transfer to non-Parnassus sites of care (e.g. Mount Zion, Saint Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC)). Admitting physicians must manually check clinical and social inclusion criteria and bed availability for each site, an inefficient process that may lead to suboptimal use of available non-Parnassus beds. The process of identifying medicine patients appropriate for lateral transfers is similarly tedious and because it is dependent on physician referral, it fails to capture a large proportion of potentially eligible patients. We propose creating 1) an EHR-based, admission clinical decision support tool to guide admitting physicians in determining the optimal site of admission for medicine patients, and 2) a workbench report to identify admitted patients appropriate for lateral transfer to a non-Parnassus site of care. The combination of these tools will reduce the time needed to identify and transfer appropriate patients, increasing use of unfilled, staffed beds at non-Parnassus sites. This will increase tertiary/quaternary bed availability at Parnassus, creating an estimated $1.79M/year in contribution margin by better matching patient acuity to the appropriate site of care.  This will also improve patient and provider experience of the admission and transfer process.

Improving Guideline-Concordant Antibiotic Administration At UCSF Health: An Order Panel and Decision-Making Tool to Guide Antibiotic Prescribing

Proposal Status: 

PROPOSAL TITLE:Improving Guideline-Concordant Antibiotic Administration At UCSF Health: An Order Panel and Decision-Making Tool to Guide Antibiotic Prescribing

PROJECT LEADS: Allison Bond, MD, Waseem Sous, DO

Optimizing Purchased Services for Reducing Avoidable Days and Closing Social Needs Gaps

Proposal Status: 
  • PROJECT LEAD(S): Sarah Imershein, Molly Shane
  • ABSTRACT – The Department of Care Management and Patient Transitions oversees a large volume of purchased services coordinated by Social Workers and Case Managers.

Optimizing the Vascular Access Specialty Team Throughput with Lean Methodology: One Needlestick Every time using the ONE VAST Bundle

Proposal Status: 

TITLE: Optimizing the Vascular Access Specialty Team Throughput with Lean Methodology: One Needlestick Every time using the ONE VAST Bundle

PROJECT LEADS: Vascular Access Support Team Members: Michele Nomura, MSN, RN, VA-BC, CNRN; Riza Magat, MS, BSN, RN, VA-BC; Felix Piamonte, MS, BSN, RN, VA-BC

EXECUTIVE SPONSORS: Lynne Tom, MSN, BSN, RN (Unit Director, VAST), Elizabeth Sin, MS, BSN, RN (Patient Care Director) 


Deployment of a Machine Learning risk model to optimize post discharge support to decrease unplanned readmissions. 

Proposal Status: 

ABSTRACT - UCSF’s 30-day unplanned readmission rates of 9-11% over the past several years is above the target of being in the top decile of peer Academic Medical Centers. There are several readmission reduction programs at UCSF, but enrollment is driven by patient insurance or primary care provider rather than risk of readmission. Our proposal is to use a Machine Learning (ML) model to predict risk of unplanned readmission for patients after discharge from UCSF, and to use this model to enroll high-risk patients into targeted discharge support programs. Our goal is to reduce 30-day unplanned readmissions by 15%. Currently, all Accountable Care Organization patients discharged from UCSF are enrolled in a discharge support program through the Office of Population Health (OPH) that provides an average of one phone call per week in the first month after discharge. If this proposal is selected, we would identify a subset of ACO patients at high-risk for readmission and leverage existing OPH infrastructure to design and provide higher-touch post-discharge support to these patients. Adjusting our ML model to match the resource constraints for this high-touch program, we plan to set our model at a sensitivity of 70%, and a positive predictive value of 17%. Over the course of one year, we estimate we can prevent 63 unplanned readmissions in this small pilot ACO population. This equates to savings of 403 bed days, resulting in nearly $1.2 Million/year of additional contribution margin from backfill. If successful, we aim to expand use of this model beyond ACO patients to the 28,000 annual discharges at UCSF, which would multiply the above benefits five-fold. 

Improving health care value at UCSF Health by Reducing unnecessary testing

Proposal Status: 

Hospitals have long been a critical component of our healthcare system, providing lifesaving treatments, and medical care to millions of people each year. However, as the demand for healthcare services continues to rise, so too do the costs of providing such services. One area where costs can be significantly reduced without compromising patient care is by reducing the number of unnecessary tests and blood draws that are performed in hospitals.

Transforming Ambulatory Care Nursing Through Interprofessional Collaborative Practice

Proposal Status: 

FY24 Caring Wisely Project Proposal Phase I