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Study to explore care coordination’s impact on patient outcomes

Sep. 25, 2019, 3:53 PM


by Paul Govern

You Chen, PhD

Can electronic health record (EHR) data from some 2.8 million Vanderbilt Health patients shed new light on the role of care coordination in patient outcomes?

You Chen, PhD, assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics, has been awarded a four-year, $1.5 million research grant from the National Library of Medicine, a program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to study care coordination patterns and their influence on hospital length of stay and unplanned patient readmission.

Chen’s research team will first use machine learning to infer care coordination patterns and their variability in relation to these two important patient outcomes. Next, they’ll conduct interviews and surveys to sound out health care experts about any new solutions that may present themselves in the data, and whether these solutions could be adopted by health systems.

“To measure the impact of care coordination, we’ll characterize it at a fine-grained level using an EHR-based framework, comprehensively tracing interactions among doctors, nurses, social workers, care managers and support staff,” Chen said. “With decades of VUMC data to work with, there’s every reason to imagine that a thorough scan of this sort can yield important insights and new solutions to improve patient outcomes.”

Chen will be joined in the study by VUMC colleagues Bradley Malin, PhD, Laurie Novak, PhD, Nancy Lorenzi, PhD, and Kevin Johnson, MD.

The study was supported in part by NIH grant no. LM012854.

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