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Evaluating Structural Barriers to Quality Care in the SHOW Free Clinic

Description

Homelessness is a pervasive in American society. The causes of homelessness are complex, but health and homelessness are inextricably linked. Student-run free clinics care for underserved populations, including people experiencing homelessness, but they have multiple agendas—to provide care but also

Homelessness is a pervasive in American society. The causes of homelessness are complex, but health and homelessness are inextricably linked. Student-run free clinics care for underserved populations, including people experiencing homelessness, but they have multiple agendas—to provide care but also to give students hands-on experience. It is plausible that these two agendas may compete and give patients sub-par quality of care.
This study examines patient care in the SHOW free clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, which serves adults experiencing homelessness. This study asks two questions: First, do clinicians in Phoenix’s SHOW free clinic discuss with patients how to pay for and where to access follow-up services and medications? Second, how do the backgrounds of patients, measured by scales based on the Gelberg-Anderson behavioral model for vulnerable populations, correlate with patient outcomes, including number of unmet needs in clinic, patient satisfaction with care, and patient perceived health status? To answer these questions, structured surveys were administered to SHOW clinic patients at the end of their visits. Results were analyzed using Pearson’s correlations and odds ratios. 21 patients completed the survey over four weeks in February-March 2017. We did not identify any statistically significant correlations between predisposing factors such as severity/duration of homelessness, mental health history, ethnicity, or LGBTQ status and quality of care outcomes. Twenty nine percent of surveyed patients reported having one or more unmet needs following their SHOW clinic visit suggesting an important area for future research. The results from this study indicate that measuring unmet needs is a feasible alternative to patient satisfaction surveys for assessing quality of care in student-run free clinics for homeless populations.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Contextual computing: tracking healthcare providers in the Emergency Department via Bluetooth beacons

Description

Hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) are frequently crowded. The Center for

Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) collects performance measurements from EDs

such as that of the door to clinician time. The door to clinician time is the time at which a

Hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) are frequently crowded. The Center for

Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) collects performance measurements from EDs

such as that of the door to clinician time. The door to clinician time is the time at which a

patient is first seen by a clinician. Current methods for documenting the door to clinician

time are in written form and may contain inaccuracies. The goal of this thesis is to

provide a method for automatic and accurate retrieval and documentation of the door to

clinician time. To automatically collect door to clinician times, single board computers

were installed in patient rooms that logged the time whenever they saw a specific

Bluetooth emission from a device that the clinician carried. The Bluetooth signal is used

to calculate the distance of the clinician from the single board computer. The logged time

and distance calculation is then sent to the server where it is determined if the clinician

was in the room seeing the patient at the time logged. The times automatically collected

were compared with the handwritten times recorded by clinicians and have shown that

they are justifiably accurate to the minute.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Complexity leadership theory and innovation: a new framework for innovation leadership

Description

The healthcare system is plagued with increasing cost and poor quality outcomes. A major contributing factor for these issues is that outdated leadership practices, such as leader-centricity, linear thinking, and poor readiness for innovation, are being used in healthcare organizations.

The healthcare system is plagued with increasing cost and poor quality outcomes. A major contributing factor for these issues is that outdated leadership practices, such as leader-centricity, linear thinking, and poor readiness for innovation, are being used in healthcare organizations. Through a qualitative case study analysis of innovation implementation, a new framework of leadership was uncovered. This framework presented new characteristics of leaders that led to the successful implementation of an innovation. Characteristics uncovered included boundary spanning, risk taking, visioning, leveraging opportunity, adaptation, coordination of information flow, and facilitation. These characteristics describe how leaders throughout the system were able to influence information flow, relationships, connections, and organizational context to implement innovation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Research, design and validation of a cognitive aid to support the reprocessing of flexible endoscopes

Description

The objective of this project was to evaluate human factors based cognitive aids on endoscope reprocessing. The project stems from recent failures in reprocessing (cleaning) endoscopes, contributing to the spread of harmful bacterial and viral agents between patients.

The objective of this project was to evaluate human factors based cognitive aids on endoscope reprocessing. The project stems from recent failures in reprocessing (cleaning) endoscopes, contributing to the spread of harmful bacterial and viral agents between patients. Three themes were found to represent a majority of problems: 1) lack of visibility (parts and tools were difficult to identify), 2) high memory demands, and 3) insufficient user feedback. In an effort to improve completion rate and eliminate error, cognitive aids were designed utilizing human factors principles that would replace existing manufacturer visual aids. Then, a usability test was conducted, which compared the endoscope reprocessing performance of novices using the standard manufacturer-provided visual aids and the new cognitive aids. Participants successfully completed 87.1% of the reprocessing procedure in the experimental condition with the use of the cognitive aids, compared to 46.3% in the control condition using only existing support materials. Twenty-five of sixty subtasks showed significant improvement in completion rates. When given a cognitive aid designed with human factors principles, participants were able to more successfully complete the reprocessing task. This resulted in an endoscope that was more likely to be safe for patient use.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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A novel, low-cost viral load diagnostic for HIV-1 and assessing barriers to adoption of technology in Tanzania

Description

HIV/AIDS is the sixth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age living in low-income countries. Clinicians in industrialized nations monitor the efficacy of antiretroviral drugs and HIV disease progression with the

HIV/AIDS is the sixth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age living in low-income countries. Clinicians in industrialized nations monitor the efficacy of antiretroviral drugs and HIV disease progression with the HIV-1 viral load assay, which measures the copy number of HIV-1 RNA in blood. However, viral load assays are not widely available in sub-Saharan Africa and cost between 50-$139 USD per test on average where available. To address this problem, a mixed-methods approach was undertaken to design a novel and inexpensive viral load diagnostic for HIV-1 and to evaluate barriers to its adoption in a developing country. The assay was produced based on loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). Blood samples from twenty-one individuals were spiked with varying concentrations of HIV-1 RNA to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of LAMP. Under isothermal conditions, LAMP was performed with an initial reverse-transcription step (RT-LAMP) and primers designed for HIV-1 subtype C. Each reaction generated up to a few billion copies of target DNA within an hour. Presence of target was detected through naked-eye observation of a fluorescent indicator and verified by DNA gel electrophoresis and real-time fluorescence. The assay successfully detected the presence of HIV in samples with a broad range of HIV RNA concentration, from over 120,000 copies/reaction to 120 copies/reaction. In order to better understand barriers to adoption of LAMP in developing countries, a feasibility study was undertaken in Tanzania, a low-income country facing significant problems in healthcare. Medical professionals in Northern Tanzania were surveyed for feedback regarding perspectives of current HIV assays, patient treatment strategies, availability of treatment, treatment priorities, HIV transmission, and barriers to adoption of the HIV-1 LAMP assay. The majority of medical providers surveyed indicated that the proposed LAMP assay is too expensive for their patient populations. Significant gender differences were observed in response to some survey questions. Female medical providers were more likely to cite stigma as a source problem of the HIV epidemic than male medical providers while males were more likely to cite lack of education as a source problem than female medical providers.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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An exploratory study: examining emergency department design-layout and nursing physical fatigue

Description

ABSTRACT Nursing physical fatigue is a critical issue that may lead to degradation of care delivery and ultimately result in medical errors. This issue is equally relevant due to the looming shortage of nurses, which has been linked to the

ABSTRACT Nursing physical fatigue is a critical issue that may lead to degradation of care delivery and ultimately result in medical errors. This issue is equally relevant due to the looming shortage of nurses, which has been linked to the physical demands and potential occupational hazards intrinsic to the profession; as well as to the graying of the nursing workforce who experiences gradual loss of strength and agility that accompanies aging as time in the career advances. In a hospital Emergency Department, the level of nursing physical fatigue can potentially reach its threshold in light of challenging workloads, scope of job assignments and demanding schedules. While in other safety-sensitive industries such as aviation and nuclear plants, similar concerns have been the object of systematic research and addressed with consequent regulations, just recently, the healthcare sector has been engaged in further investigations. This study proposed to explore the linkage between Emergency Department design-layout and nursing physical fatigue. It was expected that further understanding on this relationship would support evidence-based design propositions linking nursing wellness, job satisfaction, and performance to a higher quality of care and improved patient safety levels. To this end, data collection was performed during four weeks in a community-based hospital. A convenience sample of twenty-four eligible nurses was invited to participate in this two-part study. The first section consisted of the completion of a self-administered questionnaire, which assessed nurses' perception of the impact of working conditions on nursing physical fatigue. The second section included the monitoring, through the use of accelerometers, of nurses' actual activity intensity levels during three consecutive shifts. Among other findings, data demonstrated that nurses perceive several attributes or components of the built environment as potential contributors to physical fatigue. In addition, various operational practices and organizational protocols were linked to physical fatigue. Contrary to nurses' perception of physical fatigue, their actual physical activity levels fell mostly between sedentary or light intensity ranges. This paradox offers the opportunity for design interventions that, in alignment with operational practices and organizational protocols will enhance nurses' performance and improve nurses' retention.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Secure sharing of electronic medical records in cloud computing

Description

In modern healthcare environments, there is a strong need to create an infrastructure that reduces time-consuming efforts and costly operations to obtain a patient's complete medical record and uniformly integrates this heterogeneous collection of medical data to deliver it to

In modern healthcare environments, there is a strong need to create an infrastructure that reduces time-consuming efforts and costly operations to obtain a patient's complete medical record and uniformly integrates this heterogeneous collection of medical data to deliver it to the healthcare professionals. As a result, healthcare providers are more willing to shift their electronic medical record (EMR) systems to clouds that can remove the geographical distance barriers among providers and patient. Even though cloud-based EMRs have received considerable attention since it would help achieve lower operational cost and better interoperability with other healthcare providers, the adoption of security-aware cloud systems has become an extremely important prerequisite for bringing interoperability and efficient management to the healthcare industry. Since a shared electronic health record (EHR) essentially represents a virtualized aggregation of distributed clinical records from multiple healthcare providers, sharing of such integrated EHRs may comply with various authorization policies from these data providers. In this work, we focus on the authorized and selective sharing of EHRs among several parties with different duties and objectives that satisfies access control and compliance issues in healthcare cloud computing environments. We present a secure medical data sharing framework to support selective sharing of composite EHRs aggregated from various healthcare providers and compliance of HIPAA regulations. Our approach also ensures that privacy concerns need to be accommodated for processing access requests to patients' healthcare information. To realize our proposed approach, we design and implement a cloud-based EHRs sharing system. In addition, we describe case studies and evaluation results to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our approach.

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Created

Date Created
2012

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A model of process-based automation: cost and quality implications in the medication management process

Description

The objective of this research is to understand how a set of systems, as defined by the business process, creates value. The three studies contained in this work develop the model of process-based automation. The model states that complementarities among

The objective of this research is to understand how a set of systems, as defined by the business process, creates value. The three studies contained in this work develop the model of process-based automation. The model states that complementarities among systems are specified by handoffs in the business process. The model also provides theory to explain why entry systems, boundary spanning systems, and back-end control systems provide different impacts on process quality and cost. The first study includes 135 U. S. acute care hospitals. The study finds that hospitals which followed an organizational pattern of process automation have better financial outcomes. The second study looks in more depth at where synergies might be found. It includes 341 California acute care hospitals over 11 years. It finds that increased costs and increase adverse drug events are associated with increased automation discontinuity. Further, the study shows that automation in the front end of the process has a more desirable outcome on cost than automation in the back end of the process. The third study examines the assumption that the systems are actually used. It is a cross-sectional analysis of over 2000 U. S. hospitals. This study finds that system usage is a critical factor in realizing benefits from automating the business process. The model of process-based automation has implications for information technology decision makers, long-term automation planning, and for information systems research. The analyses have additional implications for the healthcare industry.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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The relationship between team briefings and non-routine events: developing a model of team briefings in the operating room

Description

Preoperative team briefings have been suggested to be important for improving team performance in the operating room. Many high risk environments have accepted team briefings; however healthcare has been slower to follow. While applying briefings in the operating room has

Preoperative team briefings have been suggested to be important for improving team performance in the operating room. Many high risk environments have accepted team briefings; however healthcare has been slower to follow. While applying briefings in the operating room has shown positive benefits including improved communication and perceptions of teamwork, most research has only focused on feasibility of implementation and not on understanding how the quality of briefings can impact subsequent surgical procedures. Thus, there are no formal protocols or methodologies that have been developed.

The goal of this study was to relate specific characteristics of team briefings back to objective measures of team performance. The study employed cognitive interviews, prospective observations, and principle component regression to characterize and model the relationship between team briefing characteristics and non-routine events (NREs) in gynecological surgery. Interviews were conducted with 13 team members representing each role on the surgical team and data were collected for 24 pre-operative team briefings and 45 subsequent surgical cases. The findings revealed that variations within the team briefing are associated with differences in team-related outcomes, namely NREs, during the subsequent surgical procedures. Synthesis of the data highlighted three important trends which include the need to promote team communication during the briefing, the importance of attendance by all surgical team members, and the value of holding a briefing prior to each surgical procedure. These findings have implications for development of formal briefing protocols.

Pre-operative team briefings are beneficial for team performance in the operating room. Future research will be needed to continue understanding this relationship between how briefings are conducted and team performance to establish more consistent approaches and as well as for the continuing assessment of team briefings and other similar team-related events in the operating room.

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Date Created
2014

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Model based safety analysis and verification of cyber-physical systems

Description

Critical infrastructures in healthcare, power systems, and web services, incorporate cyber-physical systems (CPSes), where the software controlled computing systems interact with the physical environment through actuation and monitoring. Ensuring software safety in CPSes, to avoid hazards to property and human

Critical infrastructures in healthcare, power systems, and web services, incorporate cyber-physical systems (CPSes), where the software controlled computing systems interact with the physical environment through actuation and monitoring. Ensuring software safety in CPSes, to avoid hazards to property and human life as a result of un-controlled interactions, is essential and challenging. The principal hurdle in this regard is the characterization of the context driven interactions between software and the physical environment (cyber-physical interactions), which introduce multi-dimensional dynamics in space and time, complex non-linearities, and non-trivial aggregation of interaction in case of networked operations. Traditionally, CPS software is tested for safety either through experimental trials, which can be expensive, incomprehensive, and hazardous, or through static analysis of code, which ignore the cyber-physical interactions. This thesis considers model based engineering, a paradigm widely used in different disciplines of engineering, for safety verification of CPS software and contributes to three fundamental phases: a) modeling, building abstractions or models that characterize cyberphysical interactions in a mathematical framework, b) analysis, reasoning about safety based on properties of the model, and c) synthesis, implementing models on standard testbeds for performing preliminary experimental trials. In this regard, CPS modeling techniques are proposed that can accurately capture the context driven spatio-temporal aggregate cyber-physical interactions. Different levels of abstractions are considered, which result in high level architectural models, or more detailed formal behavioral models of CPSes. The outcomes include, a well defined architectural specification framework called CPS-DAS and a novel spatio-temporal formal model called Spatio-Temporal Hybrid Automata (STHA) for CPSes. Model analysis techniques are proposed for the CPS models, which can simulate the effects of dynamic context changes on non-linear spatio-temporal cyberphysical interactions, and characterize aggregate effects. The outcomes include tractable algorithms for simulation analysis and for theoretically proving safety properties of CPS software. Lastly a software synthesis technique is proposed that can automatically convert high level architectural models of CPSes in the healthcare domain into implementations in high level programming languages. The outcome is a tool called Health-Dev that can synthesize software implementations of CPS models in healthcare for experimental verification of safety properties.

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Created

Date Created
2012