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Research Projects

Fall 2012

1) Assessing the Adoption Challenges of Direct Secure Messaging System in ILHIE 

Research team:  C Ranganathan, Nagesh Gulkotwar, Nitin Agrawal, Sabarie Mohhan, Shuchi Rana, Vishnu Vardhan Samavedula

ILHIE Direct enables secure exchange of patient health information. Direct has been widely adopted across the nation and is considered to be a cost-effective solution for providers.  The Illinois Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) is actively promoting the widespread adoption of ILHIE Direct to the providers in the State. Despite its numerous advantages, the adoption rate of ILHIE Direct among the providers in the state of Illinois is low, when compared to a few other states. The team interviewed over fifty health care providers to understand the adoption challenges. The team presented its findings along with suggestions to overcome the challenges.

2) Assessing the Effectiveness of the Text4Baby program

Research team:  C Ranganathan, Chetan Raut, Jonathan Lestor, Navin Bangera, Sandeep Nannuri

Text4Baby is an educational program created by the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) that provides a free text messaging service to new and expecting mothers. Text4Baby text messages are created by Doctors and health professionals aimed at influencing the prenatal and postpartum behavior of pregnant women. The research team gauged the effectiveness of the Text4Baby program by employing various statistical techniques that compared the enrolled user group against the non-enrolled user group.

3) EHR Implementation Analysis for Indian American Medical Association Charitable Foundation (IAMACF)

Research team: C Ranganathan, Ankit Thakker, Binita Shah, Katherine Long, Melroy Rodrigues, Tapas Patil

Indian American Medical Association Charitable Foundation (IAMACF) clinic is a free primary healthcare walk-in clinic that provides preventive medical care and public health education to its patients. IAMACF clinic is unique because it functions only for twelve hours every week, relies on grants as its sole income source and has a complete paper based operation. The research team performed an in-depth analysis of (i) the existing workflows (ii) low cost EHR system and vendor selection, and (iii) IT infrastructure and EHR implementation costs. The team prepared redesigned work flows, made recommendations of the EHR systems to be adopted and provided suggestions for cost-effective IT infrastructure for EHR implementation.

4) EHR Implementation in a Mobile Healthcare Environment: Analysis of Night Ministry

Research team:  C Ranganathan, Adithya Viswanath Sridhar, Praveen Venkataraman, Sivasankari Santhanakrishnan, Thanyalat Chaleunsouk

The Night Ministry is a nonprofit organization that operates a Health Outreach Bus at night to provide basic health services to homeless and “undocumented” individuals. In order to receive grants from various donors and the government, Night Ministry had to record and report their activities. The gradual increase in the number of patient and unique method of care delivery made report generation a difficult task. To overcome this challenge, Night Ministry decided to adopt an EHR system for their practice. The organization implemented an unique mobile EHR solution in partnership with the Alliance of Chicago. The research team analyzed the key challenges associated with the unique EMR implementation and proposed suggestions for some of the existing problems faced by the Night ministry.

5) EMR at Elmhurst Memorial HealthCare: A Case Study

Research team:  C RanganathanNancy Message, Priya Ramakrishnan, Spoorthy Papudesi, Vivek Voonna, Vijay Sangle

In 2011, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare opened a new replacement facility for the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital know as Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Main Campus. This transition lead to changes in the existing workflows and adoption of a new EMR system at the new campus. The research team examined the EMR implementation and roll out strategy, analyzed changes to the existing workflows and documented it.

6) Physician Scheduling Analysis at UI-Neurosciences Clinic

Research team:  C Ranganathan, Aniketh Bothra, Rajeev Ravikumar, Tejaswini Mahadev

Previous studies at the neurosciences department of University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences revealed a high patient throughput time of ninety minutes across the clinic. The CHIMS research team conducted a comprehensive study to analyze and evaluate the methods aimed at minimizing the overall patient throughput time using deductions from statistical models and clinic-wise workflow inspection. 

Spring 2012

1) EMR User Satisfaction Analysis for the Alliance of Chicago

Research team:  C Ranganathan, Tarun Pasupuleti

Alliance of Chicago has over 25 health centers spread across eight states in the US. Alliance conducts an annual survey to examine the satisfaction of users. This would help them assess the EMR system and implement any changes if required when the EMR is rolled in newer clinics. The research team performed an in-depth analysis of the data from the survey and made recommendations to Alliance on the areas of improvement and the health centers to concentrate on more.

2) Mobile Personal Health Records: A Market Study 

Research Team:  C Ranganathan, Tarun Pasupuleti

The advent on smart phones, tables and advanced mobile devices have led to development and emergence of several mobile personal health record (mPHR) products. CHIMS conducted an in-depth investigation of seven leading mobile personal records available in the market place. A comparative analysis of key features, functionalities, business models and technologies behind seven leading mPHR’s was performed.

Fall 2011

1) Assessing the Business Value of Medical Device Integration with Electronic Medical Record: A Pilot Study at the Alliance of Chicago

Research team: C Ranganathan, Amer Aljarallah, Dheepak Shunmugavel, Dinesh Jayapathy, Rupesh Kumar Karunanidhi, Sarah Tucker

Alliance of Chicago has over 25 health centers spread across eight states in the US. Despite successful implementation of EMRs in their centers, data entry and medical errors often occur as the electronic health devices that provide health metrics are often not connected to EMRs, leading to several problems.  CHIMS research team examined the challenges in integrating (i) Vital Sign Devices, and (ii) EKG devices, with the EMR system in a small health center setting. The team identified work flow constraints, cultural and financial challenges in integrating the medical devices. A ROI framework was developed to demonstrate the business value of medical device integration.

2) IT Infrastructure Assessment in a Small Clinic Setting:  Analysis of Centro de Salud Esperanza

Research Team: C Ranganathan, Gokul Venkatesan, Jahnavi Nakka, Mark Vandenplas, Vickram Subramanian, Vishwanathan Ram

Centro de Salud Esperanza is a community health center founded in 2004 and located in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. Esperanza is a federally qualified health center look-alike providing care to underserved populations in the neighboring areas. To comply with the HITECH act, Esperanza decided to adopt an EMR system by partnering with Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA) and use their EHR solution. CHIMS research team performed a detailed assessment of the IT infrastructure (hardware, networking and telecommunication requirements) needs for implementing the NextGen EHR system.

3) Workflow Analysis Pre and Post EMR Implementation: Project at Centro de Salud Esperanza

Research Team: C Ranganathan, Gokul Venkatesan, Jahnavi Nakka, Mark Vandenplas, Vickram Subramanian, Vishwanathan Ram

The current workflow at Esperanza did not have any documentation and was not well defined. This would hinder the robust implementation of an EMR system and also an uncertainty of workflows post the EMR implementation. The research team on interacting with the Esperanza staff documented the current workflows and developed new workflows that take into consideration the inherent flow within the EHR application. The team used standard tools provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to setup the workflow.

4) A Critical Assessment of EMR Implementation at Access Community Health Network

Research Team: C Ranganathan, Ankita Matai, Aswin Prakash Thiyagarajan, Emaad Shehzad, Surabhi Lakshmi

Earlier knows as Sinai Family Health Center and was under the Sinai Health System, but later spun off from it and formed Access Community Health Network and acquired many small health centers. It has near 60 community health centers in Chicago. Access Community Health Network (ACHN) had to implement an out-patient EMR system for their network clinics and with some selection criteria’s, they chose a vendor. The research team reviewed the entire course of EMR implementation done at ACHN until October 2011 and gave them recommendations on the further stages of implementation.

5) Implementing Electronic Medical Record in Ambulatory Settings: An Evaluation of Advocate Physician Partners

Research Team: C Ranganathan, Anirudh Kondapur, Ashish Jinugu, Bhanudeepti Chinta, Tarun Kapoor, Vishal Wairagar

Advocate Physician Partners (APP), formed in 1995, is the care management and managed care contracting joint venture between the Advocate Health Care system and select physicians of advocate hospitals. It has more than 3500 physicians on board till date. The objectives of APP to become an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) could be fulfilled by clinical integration, which was started in 2003. EMR implementation was the key to clinical integration. The CHIMS team interacted with the implementation team at APP to learn about the challenges during EMR implementation and the frameworks to be considered. Finally a set of recommendations were provided for the future implementation of EMR systems in their organizations.