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Moving Ideas to Innovation

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Based on her experience as a nurse practitioner in the epilepsy center at University Hospital in Newark, N.J., Martha Mulvey ’17 DNP, ANP, BC recognized the clinical problem that epilepsy patients are not routinely screened for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Treating OSA can reduce the frequency of  seizures; prevent sudden unexpected death; and improve chronic disease, mental health and quality of life. She developed, implemented and evaluated the effectiveness of an electronic health record alert with the Assessment Obstructive Sleep Apnea (AOSA) for adult patients with epilepsy. Her work significantly increased the identification of patients at risk for OSA with referral for a sleep study. The alert increased the previous patient screening rate of 7.23 percent to 97.8 percent.

In recognition of her potentially lifesaving scholarly project and implementation, Dr. Mulvey was honored with a prestigious, competitive 2018-2019 AACN Excellence in Advancing Nursing Practice Award at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2019 Doctoral Education Conference, held in January in San Diego. Her project, “An Electronic Health Record Cue Identifies Adult Epilepsy Patients at Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea,” was identified as the outstanding one nationally in a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. One reviewer described it as a “high quality project with potential to impact other settings.” She published her findings in the December 2018 issue of Neurology Clinical Practice.

Read more about the Villanova DNP program that helped lead Dr. Mulvey to her innovation successes on behalf of her patients.