From the NBA 'Bubble' to Cancer Testing: 2022 UNIVANTS Winners

Recognizing top integrated clinical care teams around the world achieving healthcare excellence.

Strategy and Strength|Jun.27, 2023

March 11, 2020: The day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic – and the day the National Basketball Association's (NBA) first player tested positive for the virus.

The NBA took a pause, and to restart its 2019-2020 season, introduced the "Bubble" – a closed campus based in Orlando, Fla., where players would live, practice, play and undergo viral testing for the rest of the season.

Despite the virus' soaring transmission rates at the time, NBA players and team staff impressively managed to dodge new cases. But how did they do it?

Intense planning. The NBA to partnered with IQVIA, BioReference, and researchers from Columbia, Harvard, Yale, and other universities to manage the inflow of daily PCR test results and to conduct rapid analytics to better understand the real-world performance of COVID-19 diagnostics.

The NBA Bubble was able to yield unparalleled protection from the ongoing pandemic, while restarting a global sports league, stimulating the economy by creating over 6,500 jobs and advancing public health and crisis management policies in the U.S. and around the world.

The UNIVANTS of Healthcare Excellence award program honors clinical care teams who embody the principles of unity and avant-garde thinking to achieve extraordinary outcomes for patients, payers, clinicians and health systems. This year, the NBA is recognized as one of three 2022 UNIVANTS of Healthcare Excellence Global Winners, alongside the ROSE Foundation and Ipswich Hospital.

Program ROSE's primary HPV cervical screening has increased access to testing in Malaysia by allowing individuals to self-sample, prioritizing the country's culture of privacy and dignity. Additionally, patients have the ability to follow up and access their data through a secure digital e-health platform available on mobile devices.

In the U.K., Ipswich Hospital enhanced the use of HBA1c – a blood test that shows average glucose levels over time – in patients undergoing surgery with a direct impact on patient wellness, reducing post-surgical complications like wound healing.

Unifying for Something Greater

The UNIVANTS of Healthcare Excellence award program is a global award program we created in partnership with leading healthcare organizations around the world with a common vision to inspire and celebrate healthcare excellence.  

Program partners range from professional societies, institutions and associations, and include the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), AACC (formally the American Association for Clinical Chemistry), The European Health Management Association (EHMA), Modern Healthcare, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) and the Institute for Health Economics (IHE).

Honoring clinical care teams who groundbreakingly embody the UNIVANTS principles of unity and avant-garde thinking, the program recognizes 2022’s best practices for demonstrating ideation, teamwork and execution, transforming healthcare delivery, and ultimately patient lives.

Global Winners

  • ROSE Foundation - Program ROSE (Removing Obstacles to cervical      ScrEening): Empowering Women to Eliminate Cervical Cancer
  • National Basketball Association - The “Bubble”: Safe and Informed Population Health Management Based on Strategic, Novel Laboratory Testing to Restart a Global Sports League, Stimulate the Economy and Foster Normalcy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Ipswich Hospital, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust - Improving the Peri-Operative Pathway of People with Diabetes Undergoing Elective Surgery: the IP3D Project

Recognition of Distinction

  • National Reference Center for Herpesvirus, University Hospital Center - Early Diagnosis of Maternal Cytomegalovirus for Improved Management and Reduced Risk of Fetal Transmission and Complications
  • Mid America Transplant, St. Louis, Missouri - Enhanced Resource Utilization, Reduced Waste, and Expedited Transplantation Through Real-Time Donor Screening for Infectious Disease
  • University Hospitals Cleveland - Getting to Zero Harm in Controlled Substance Prescribing: Increasing the Accuracy of Prescription Compliance Monitoring Through Enhanced Drug Testing Support

Recognition of Achievement

  • Ain-Shams University, Emergency Hospital - Enhancing Resource Utilization and Improving Patient Experience Through Strategic Laboratory Stewardship
  • Associação Fundo de Incentivo a Pesquisa (AFIP) - Enhanced Staff Satisfaction and Resource Utilization During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Clinical Hospital Center Rijeka - Improving Emergency Department Flow and Decreasing Risk Through Development and Implementation of Molecular Diagnostics Guided Triage
  • Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves - Improved and Accelerated Diagnostic Pathway for Patients that Present to the Emergency Department with Suspected Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
  • The Second Norman Bethune Hospital of Jilin University - A Noninvasive Serologic Model Using an Intelligent Informatic Solution to Enhance Clinical Decision-Making and Improve Patient Safety