MedStar Research on EHR Safety Cited in Fortune Magazine

Raj Ratwani, PhD, Center Director & Scientific Director of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare has made tremendous development in researching EHR safety and usability. The illustrious Fortune Magazine highlighted these efforts in an article titled “Death by a Thousand Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong”. Congratulations to Dr. Ratwani and his team for being recognized! Read more.

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MedStar Investigator Presents at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session

Frederico M. Asch, MD presented analysis from his late breaking clinical trial, COAPT. The echocardiography characteristics of the COAPT population, strengthens the need to identify a consistent baseline for enrolling patients in an effort to replicate similar results when used in clinical practice. “…clearly the fact that the results were so different, the outcomes were so different, makes it extremely important that we understand who exactly was enrolled in COAPT,” Asch said. Learn more

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ObEN Creates Healthcare Avatar for MedStar Health Heart Disease Study

 

Personal AI of nurse to aid in at-home monitoring of patients suffering from heart failure

Pasadena, CA/Hyattsville, MD (March 4, 2019) — ObEN Inc., the artificial intelligence (AI) company creating Personal AI (PAI) technology to revolutionize digital interactions, is pleased to announce it is working with MedStar Health Research Institute for a study on the use of Personal AI (PAI) healthcare assistants for patients suffering from heart failure. For the study, ObEN has created a medical health assistant app, called PAI Care, to help monitor patients of heart failure.

Under the direction of the principal investigator Nawar Shara, PhD, Director of the Department of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics at MedStar Health Research Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, the study will investigate the use of voice-activated and avatar-enabled technologies for monitoring heart failure patients at home and whether this monitoring improves health and recovery outcomes. The study will include patients interacting with Tara, an intelligent 3D Healthcare Assistant Avatar created using ObEN’s PAI technology, via an app on a tablet.

“Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that impacts millions of people worldwide and is increasing in incidence,”said Dr. Shara. “Hospitalization is a major driver of treatment costs and adversely affects the quality of life and outcomes for heart failure patients. Prevention of heart failure hospital readmission is an area of unmet need. This study leverages voice and avatar-enabled artificial intelligence technologies to empower patients to better manage their condition.”

For this four-month study, ObEN’s technology will fuel the voice, appearance, and animation of the healthcare assistant avatar in PAI Care as well as the chatbot feature through which the patients can interact with the PAI. Under a daily schedule, participants in the study will answer a series of health and wellness questions that will help the study collect data and also monitor the health of the patients.

ObEN is also providing additional technology for a related-study by MedStar Health Research Institute, using voice-enabled healthcare support. This study is made possible with grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) through the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS).

“ObEN’s technology can potentially create a way to provide triage, management, and routine health reminders while alleviating pain points within the healthcare industry including patient monitoring, EHS systems management, and geriatric care and companionship,” said Nikhil Jain, CEO of ObEN. “With the healthcare industry facing rising costs, insufficient resources and a lack of manpower around the world, we believe PAI can serve as the basis for solutions to the most pressing issues in healthcare and provide better access to service for all people.”

Using ObEN’s proprietary full-stack AI technology, ObEN can create personalized, intelligent 3D avatars that look and sound like the user, can learn to behave like the user, and even learn skills the user does not possess, like speaking in multiple languages. ObEN has also adopted the Project PAI blockchain protocol, an open source decentralized public utility blockchain, to secure and authenticate the PAIs and the associated user data, allowing people to gain more ownership of their own digital identity. For healthcare applications, ObEN enables the creation of Nurse and Doctor PAIs that can be individualized to the real professionals providing care to their patients.

To learn more about Personal AI technology visit oben.com


About ObEN
ObEN is an artificial intelligence (AI) company developing Personal AI technology that revolutionizes personal digital interaction, enabling never before possible social and virtual interactions. The company’s technology allows users to create intelligent 3D avatars that look, sound, and behave like them. Deployed on the Project PAI blockchain, ObEN’s Personal AI (PAI) technology enables users to create, use, and manage their own PAI on a secure, decentralized platform. Founded in 2014, ObEN is a K11, Tencent, Softbank Ventures Korea and HTC Vive X portfolio company and is located at Idealab in Pasadena, California. To learn more about ObEN, please visit oben.com.

About MedStar Health Research Institute
MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative, and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit MedStarResearch.org.

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion, and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

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Eva Hochberger
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Lisa Wang
Senior Marketing Manager, ObEN
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MedStar Research Supports Collaborative Call for EHR Improvements

In a joint effort, experts from MedStar Health and the American Medical Association (AMA) have launched EHRSeeWhatWeMean.org, highlighting patient safety and health information technology concerns with electronic health records (EHRs). 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the federal act which encouraged the adoption of EHRs. This collaboration builds on prior MedStar Health research that identified concerns with EHRs usability and errors. Read more.

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MedStar Health Research Institute Awarded Research Grants from the Charles and Mary Latham Fund

 

Hyattsville, MD (January 31, 2019) — Three research projects at MedStar Health Research Institute were awarded grant funding through the Charles and Mary Latham Fund. The Fund was established by Ella O. Latham, to support medical research in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Three MedStar Health physician-investigators were awarded funding for their research projects:

  • Jessica Galarraga, MD, MPH: An Evaluation of Hospital Readmissions in the District of Columbia
  • Suhasini Kaushal, MD: Identifying Early Neuroimaging Biomarkers using Diffusivity Measures and Functional Connectivity to Predict Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Neonates with Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury
  • Angela D. Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA: Measuring, Assessing, and Understanding Race Differences in Adverse Patient Safety Events in an Urban, Teaching Hospital in Washington, DC using the IHI Global Trigger Tool

“These research projects exemplify MedStar’s commitment to advancing health through research throughout the Washington, D.C. metro community,” said Neil J. Weissman, MD, president of MedStar Health Research Institute and chief scientific officer for MedStar Health. “As an academic health system, we are extremely appreciative for the support we have received from the Charles and Mary Latham Fund to improve health outcomes for everyone in our community.”

The Charles and Mary Latham Fund was established by Ella O. Latham in memory of her parents. Founded in 1972, the Fund has supported a myriad of worthwhile projects relating to medical research for the cure of diseases in the human body with a preference for clinical applications and medical, nursing, and hospital care for persons suffering from such diseases who are financially unable to provide their own care. SunTrust Bank is the Fund’s trustee. The relationship is managed by the SunTrust Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice.

 

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About MedStar Health Research Institute
The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. Visit us at www.MedStarResearch.org

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 31,000 associates, 6,500 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care, and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit www.MedStarHealth.org.

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MedStar Health to Initiate an IDE Feasibility Trial on Full-Thickness Burn Wounds Treated with Kerecis Omega3 Intact Fish Skin


Washington, D.C. (November 20, 2018)
—Researchers from MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Health Research Institute will begin an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) trial on full- thickness burn wounds using Kerecis Omega3 Burn.

The Kerecis fish-skin product is currently FDA cleared to treat second-degree burn wounds, which extend into some of the underlying skin layer. The purpose of the feasibility trial is to obtain FDA approval for a full clinical trial, which can lead to indications as a treatment for third-degree burn wounds, as well as for the fish-skin product to be used as a temporary cover for such wounds. Third- degree burns extend to all layers of the skin.

Kerecis Omega3 Burn is intact fish skin, rich in naturally occurring Omega3 fatty acids. When grafted onto damaged human tissue, it recruits the body’s own cells and is rapidly converted into living tissue, which results in fast, high-quality wound healing.

About the Feasibility Trial

The MedStar Health/Kerecis feasibility trial will enroll a small number of patients. If results are favorable, a second larger trial will be undertaken to collect data for a regulatory submission for third- degree burns approval under the FDA’s Pre-Market Approval (PMA) regulatory mechanism.

The study is part of a Kerecis program being sponsored by the U.S. Military Burn Research Program and the Office of Naval Research. The program consists of both preclinical and clinical phases. The preclinical phase, which was conducted in Iceland and at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (ISR), San Antonio, has demonstrated better healing outcomes compared to other burn products on the market.

The MedStar Health/Kerecis trial is scheduled to start in November 2018 and run through 2019.


About MedStar Health Research Institute

The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative, and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit MedStarResearch.org.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion, and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

About Kerecis

Kerecis is the creator, manufacturer and patent holder of fish-skin-based therapeutic products that speed up the healing of human wounds and repair tissue damage. The Kerecis wound-healing product is patented in the United States and multiple other countries. The products are available in the United States, Iceland, Germany, and several other European and Asian countries. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, Kerecis is adapting the product for use in battlefield conditions, where skin substitutes have traditionally not been used.

The Kerecis technology was invented by the company’s founder and CEO, Fertram Sigurjonsson. The fish skin comes from wild cod, sustainably caught in pristine Icelandic waters. Production takes place in the Kerecis manufacturing facility in Iceland, which uses electric power generated from geothermal and hydroelectric energy. For more information, visit www.kerecis.com. Distributor inquiries are welcome.

Kerecis is a trademark of Kerecis. All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

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Electronic Health Records Present Unique Usability and Safety Challenges For Pediatric Population

Raj M. Ratwani, PhD, in collaboration with other researchers, has identified five recommendations to the federal government in developing a certification program for electronic health records that will aid in addressing challenges clinicians face when providing pediatric patient care. The study team hopes that their efforts will improve safer and high-quality care for the pediatric population when relying on electronic health records. Learn more. 

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MedStar Health Awarded HHS ONC Funding to Advance Health IT and Clinical Knowledge at the Point of Care

Two Winners Receive Nearly $2 Million Total Over Two Years

Hyattsville, MD —MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare is one of two winners nationally to be awarded nearly $2 million of combined funding over two years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (IT) to accelerate health IT interoperability. Part of the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health IT grant, the Human Factors Center’s work will transform stand-alone Million Hearts® risk calculators for heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease into active surveillance tools that clinicians can use in electronic health records (EHRs) to integrate and improve patient care.

While there are many clinical decision support (CDS) tools that enable providers to calculate and display a patient’s risk for these conditions, the Million Hearts suite of calculators requires clinician activation. Led by the Human Factors Center’s Scientific Director Kristen Miller, DrPH, CPPS, this work will leverage application programming interfaces (APIs), health IT architecture that allows one software application to seamlessly access the services of another, to adapt the Million Hearts stand-alone risk calculators into an active surveillance application that coordinates care across platforms and providers.

“Risk calculators already exist for multiple conditions and contribute to the enormous amount of data available to providers,” says Dr. Miller. “We aim to seamlessly and securely link the many sources of information together in an application to improve provider decision-making and patient outcomes across the spectrum of care.”

Successfully prompting clinicians at the point of care to ensure patients are treated as effectively as possible is a complex problem including technological, policy, and sociotechnical challenges. Current technical barriers include stand-alone applications, interruptive alerts, the inability to coordinate data across care settings, and inefficiencies in maintaining accurate knowledge-based systems. Meanwhile, policies tied to U.S. Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI), Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT), and information blocking present challenges. Additionally, sociotechnical issues involve successful adoption of CDS, care coordination, and shared decision-making.

Deliverables during the two-year award will include application development and refinement, workflow analysis, usability testing with clinicians, and user-centered design with patients. The team’s prototype will be piloted in clinical practice at MedStar Health and evaluated on its ability to improve care structures, processes, and outcomes. Additionally, they will produce pilot, workflow analysis, and usability testing reports; patient-facing educational materials; and a legal and policy landscape assessment.

Ultimately, the Human Factors Center project team seeks to leverage SMART (Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies) on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) to realize the potential for data-driven infrastructures to better support clinical knowledge. The project is formally titled: Mobilizing a Million Hearts: Leveraging Health IT Architecture to Advance Clinical Knowledge and Care Coordination.

Learn more about this award in the HHS press release: HHS Announces LEAP in Health IT Winner. The Human Factors Center’s work is listed under its affiliation with the MedStar Health Research Institute.


About MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
The MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare occupies a unique position in the United States as the largest human factors program embedded within a healthcare system. It brings together human factors scientists, systems safety engineers, health services researchers, clinicians, and other experts to create a safer and more efficient healthcare environment through four core services in research, usability, safety advisement, and education. The center is part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation and is also affiliated with the MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. MedStar Health, the parent organization, is the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region, with 10 hospitals and an extensive ambulatory services network, and is the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University.  

About MedStar Health Research Institute
The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative, and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit MedStarResearch.org

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion, and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

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Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager
Phone: 301-560-2917
Email: [email protected]

Medicaid Expansion Under The Affordable Care Act Did Not Increase Access to Complex Surgeries For Low Income Patients

Researchers from MedStar-Georgetown Surgical Outcomes Research Center, under senior investigator, Waddah B. Al-Refaie, MD, FACS, found that the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion did not increase use of complex surgical procedures at high volume hospitals for low-income/minority patients. Al- Refaie and his collaborators have proposed a number of concerns that may have an effect on vulnerable populations being able to benefit from complex surgical care at high volume hospitals. Read more

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