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CONSENT BUILDER: IRB CONSENT FORM GENERATOR
Consent form creation for multicenter trials can be complex, requiring site-specific injury, consent, and HIPAA language. The key study information in each consent document must be consistent between sites, with only local language differences, to enable the reviewing IRB to review a single consent document for each study.
University of Utah researchers have developed an electronic consent building tool that enables the creation of multiple consent and parental permission and assent documents for a single study. Consent Builder guides research staff through the required consent form sections with instructions and examples. Consent language is collected via online data collection forms through REDCap and then, once study information is collected, research staff can output consent forms by selecting a study and site, and clicking on the “generate forms” button. The tool aggregates the study and consent information in REDCap, and then merges it with a LaTeX template. The LaTeX template organizes and compiles the data and produces a high-quality informed consent document.
GERMWATCH: MOBILE APPLICATION TO HELP PHYSICIANS TRACK AND TREAT INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hospitals rely on internal systems to monitor the incidence of infectious diseases and antibiotic susceptibilities. These monitoring systems fail to track and compile information across multiple organizations, which leaves significant gaps in disease reporting.
GermWatch collects and disseminates disease trends for a given geographic area to better inform clinicians, healthcare facilities, and patients of current risks. The system builds a disease profile that provides incidence levels, disease forecasting, and treatment information. This information can be accessed in real-time using the GermWatch website and mobile application, or can be disseminated via email. GermWatch helps providers recognize common diseases, while increasing diagnostic accuracy and treatment efficacy.
There are over 185,000 lower limb amputations in the United States annually. A major obstacle for many new amputees is early ambulation, as surgical wounds delay prosthetic use for a minimum of ten days.
VirtualLimb enables amputees and their families to experience a virtual limb through augmented and virtual reality. The system serves three functions: speeds rehabilitation following surgery, facilitates physical therapy, and creates empathy among non-amputees. VirtualLimb is collaborative, allowing clinicians to drop objects into the amputee’s virtual reality for tailored interactions. The amputees’ movements are tracked via motion bands on their lost limbs, mimicking the use of a prosthetic and beginning essential early post-surgical rehab.
GENETIC DATABASE WEBSITE
The most common method of identifying de novo mutations involves searching research databases, such as PubMed, for specific genes. With almost 15,000 articles related to de novo mutations, identifying particular genes and their associated diseases is time consuming.
The Genetic Database Website provides access to curated information regarding all de novo mutations observed and reported in scientific literature. Using the database, researchers can check whether a de novo mutation in a gene or a more specific locus has been reported previously. Those investigating rare diseases will be able to eliminate some findings quickly as non-causally related if that mutation is observed across other, more common diseases in the database.
DATA EXCHANGE FOR POISON CONTROL CENTERS
Communication between poison control centers (PCCs) and healthcare providers is telephone or fax-based; PCCs do not have access to the Health Information Exchange (HIE). Healthcare providers often make treatment decisions without reviewing all of the supporting documentation due to the delay in transferring information and data errors.
New software streamlines the data transfer process between PCCs and healthcare facilities by facilitating PCC participation in the HIE. The software allows PCC employees to create HL7 consolidated-CDA consultation notes that meet HIE standards using current PCC information systems. The data is then sent through the HIE to healthcare facilities. Healthcare providers can then send information, such as discharge summaries, back to the PCC. This also enables monitoring of hospital cases by poison control specialists because the specialists can parse and display contents of both sent and received documents.
VALUE DRIVEN OUTCOMES (VDO)
Hospitals have started to shift away from traditional revenue cycles to more comprehensive, quality-driven cost accounting. Existing accounting tools for healthcare organizations, however, do not support cost accounting at the patient-level.
Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) provides comprehensive software for understanding and visualizing health care costs. VDO takes a new approach to estimate the cost of care by allocating operational costs, such as labor and supplies, to individual patient encounters. The software includes technical infrastructure for implementing a cost model and uses a visualization layer to facilitate the identification of opportunities for potential value improvement. VDO helps hospitals function more efficiently by increasing access to accurate, segmented cost information and generating web-based reports and dashboards that increase visibility for hospital costs.
HRQOL-IDD-16: HEALTH-RELATED QUALITY OF LIFE SCALE FOR PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
Tracking health-related quality of life (HRQOL) helps identify health disparities, evaluate progress on achieving health goals, and informs public policy. Existing surveys are inaccessible for certain members of the target population and too lengthy for practical health surveillance.
HRQOL-IDD-16 is a theory-based, self-administered scale designed to be accessible to individuals with mild to moderate intellectual or developmental disabilities. HRQOL-IDD-16 features 16 items across 4 quality of life domains. This scale is a self-assessment—not proxy completed. This feature increases data accuracy to better inform program decision-making. While currently in a paper and pencil format, the scale could be transferred to an app or web platform.
Asthma is the most common chronic pediatric illness, with over 7 million children in the United States suffering from the disease and annual economic costs of over $20 billion. Asthma control tests address four weeks of asthma symptoms at one time and are not administered regularly. Failure to effectively monitor and manage asthma symptoms leads to increased asthma attacks, which typically results in emergency room visits, and poor quality of life.
Asthma Tracker improves asthma management by enabling self-monitoring of symptoms over smaller time periods. The online patient portal uses a questionnaire to assess asthma symptoms each week. Once the survey has been completed, a report is generated and sent to the primary care provider. Poor results trigger contact from a healthcare provider to discuss symptoms and schedule appointments as necessary.
HISTO!: A PATHOLOGY TRAINING APP FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS
Histology, the study of microscopic anatomy, is a cornerstone of basic medical curricula and a common first-year course. Medical and dental histology students often use outdated studying resources with grainy images and minimal detail.
Histo!, an interactive human histology app, offers instruction in biochemistry, physiology, and pathology. It contains 440 photomicrographs that illustrate 1,964 identifications, each with a detailed description. Approximately two-thirds of the identifications involve naming structures, while the rest focus on functions, diseases, and molecular components. The app includes two modes for self-testing mastery.
SLEEP APNEA PATIENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is almost 100 percent effective in treating sleep apnea, which affects over 18 million Americans. Almost half of sleep apnea patients, however, abandon CPAP before treatment is complete. Lack of CPAP compliance has led insurance companies to require compliance data for reimbursement.
The proposed software plugin for CPAP devices can provide compliance data, as well as overall information on the sleep apnea population. The software can facilitate targeted population management for sleep centers by providing reminders regarding clinic visits, CPAP usage statistics, and the ability to categorize patients based on insurance provider. Data can be available to clinicians immediately for virtual consultations, which would help sleep center staff manage patients in a more timely and cost effective manner.
PRO-OR: OR SCHEDULING TOOL TO IMPROVE OPERATIONS AND REDUCE COST
Hospital operating room (OR) planning is a complex task where numerous resources must be synchronized in order to achieve optimal resource utilization and cost efficiency. Many outpatient ORs use block scheduling to assign time to surgeons requiring hospitals to staff an entire surgical team of nurses, anesthesiologists, and technicians for an entire day when only a couple procedures are scheduled. This creates staffing conflicts and reduces efficiency, ultimately increasing hospital costs.
Pro-OR is a smart web-based software with easy user interface, designed to improve utilization of OR time integrating various details and factors such as time needed for a procedure and hospital goals. Embedded algorithms strip patient data from schedules to allow hospitals and surgical centers to share best practices for optimizing OR time. The software is being developed for prospective OR scheduling and staffing to offer insight into cost-containment schemes.
Almost 6,000 youth aged 15 – 24 commit suicide each year in the United States. Resources exist to help these youth, but all too often the lack of anonymity or the need to place a call prevent youth from reaching out.
SafeUT allows students to connect with counselors anonymously through text or web chat. All interactions are handled by licensed clinicians based on professional standard of care. The SafeUT app can also be used to send tips to school officials regarding bullying, gang activity, drugs, alcohol, and more. All communications supported by SafeUT are completely anonymous, which increases the likelihood of reporting and allows schools time to respond to issues.
PEDIATRIC PATIENT SUMMARY
Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems provide clinicians with medical records for patients from other clinics and hospitals. Patients with extensive medical histories can have hundreds of records, often leaving clinicians insufficient tools to decipher patient information quickly.
Pediatric Patient Summary (PPS) works with preexisting regional HIE systems to allow parents and clinicians to create detailed, succinct, and relevant summaries of a children’s medical records. PPS is particularly useful for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). The application allows parents of CYSHCN to annotate their children’s medical records with personalized information and possible corrections so that medical providers can deliver the best possible care.
SYMPTOM ASSESSMENT APPLICATIONS FOR CANCER PATIENTS
Patients with cancer often have difficulty verbalizing symptoms, which can lead to unaddressed pain. Use of adult tools for younger patients has resulted in a communication gap between patients and providers.
The proposed apps capture the complexity of patient symptoms in a way not currently possible. The first app allows patients to choose from over 30 symptoms, identifying their most significant symptoms and mapping other symptoms in relation to them. This symptom-recording style also provides clinicians new ways to illustrate patient symptoms, thus facilitating effective communication between elementary-aged cancer patients and their providers. In the second app, children use drawing and coloring to express their symptoms. The app integrates various daily activities for health and wellness promotion in addition to symptom reporting. This app could be developed for use by young patients with other chronic illnesses and both apps could be used for a wide range of patient ages.
MEDICAL HOME PORTAL
Children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), or those at increased risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions, have increased need for medical and education services. Coordination of care for CYSHCN often involves a large number of people, such as clinicians, care coordinators, family members, home care professionals, and school staff. Inadequate care coordination can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment, diminished patient and physician satisfaction, increased cost of care, and reduced quality of life. Since CYSHCN receive care from health and non–health professionals working in different settings, care-related data can be fragmented across multiple information systems. As a result, finding the information needed to provide the best care can be daunting.
Medical Home Portal provides high-quality, family-focused, and peer-authored information for families and physicians. The portal offers clinical content for nearly 50 rare chronic conditions and provides access to community resources to improve quality of care and outcomes for CYSHCN. It incorporates clinical guidelines, alerts, recommendations for screening and links to local services.
ConText, a widely used, open-source clinical natural language processing algorithm, tries to confirm that information extracted from a clinical note applies to the appropriate patient and visit and is not negated. The process, however, is time consuming as it must follow over 600 rules.
FastConText is a more efficient, scalable implantation of ConText suitable for large- scale clinical natural language processing. The algorithm determines contextual features of information from clinical notes by identifying negation, temporality, and experience using generalized rule processing. The new algorithm adds additional rules that improve both the speed and accuracy of natural language processing.
CLINICAL NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSOR
Clinical Natural Language Processing (NLP) systems require a semantic schema comprised of domain-specific concepts and associated modifiers to accurately extract information. NLP systems leverage this schema to extract meaning from texts. In the clinical domain, creating a schema requires input from clinicians and NLP experts.
The proposed technology bridges the gap between clinicians and the development of NLP systems by seamlessly analyzing data extracted from handwritten clinical notes to provide healthcare professionals with information that supports better decision making. A web-based software tool supports users in developing domain content. Content is integrated into a system that processes the handwritten clinical notes and subsequently provides actionable data to doctors and clinicians. The notes can be reviewed and corrected for accuracy. Additionally, users can search for specific annotations based on semantic content.
Clinicians frequently have patient care questions that go unanswered. Several online resources provide information to assist clinical decision making but current workflow limits their use.
OpenInfoButton is a novel, standards-based health information search tool that integrates with multiple EHR systems and allows clinicians to quickly answer clinical questions in real-time. The software uses contextual information stored within the patient’s electronic health record (EHR) and utilized keywords to anticipate questions and provide links to relevant information. This tool allows clinicians to conduct online medical knowledge resource searches easily from multiple sources. To date, the software includes almost 40 knowledge resources. OpenInfoButton has received Health Level Seven (HL7) Infobutton Standard certification, which is required for EHR certification in the United States.
GATE: A SUPERIOR PSYCHIATRIC CONSULT SOLUTION
Psychiatric specialists consulting on a case rarely have sufficient time to
gather input from the primary care physician, patient, and patient’s family prior to engaging. GATE facilitates efficient, structured, and patient- focused communication between primary care providers and specialists, by providing a convenient web-based means for gathering input from the patient and their family. Each patient/family uses a unique log-in to GATE to access the brief assessment that will be provided to the psychiatrist. The consultation system includes a web-based evaluation tool that collects information from families about a patient and then presents that de- identified information to the specialist. The psychiatrist can then review provided information and use GATE to provide the primary care physician with a recommendation.
SymptomCare uses patient reported outcomes to monitor patient symptoms resulting from chemotherapy at home. Users can report the presence and severity of symptoms using push button telephones. The system presents patients with a series of questions designed to determine patient condition and family wellbeing. Based on patient reported symptoms, the system generates suggestions in real time to help alleviate patient pain and discomfort. It automatically sends a warning alert to the care team when symptom severity reaches a predetermined threshold, which prompts the team to make direct contact with the patient. This enables care providers to improve the patient experience and outcomes by tracking patient symptoms outside of the clinic or hospital and responding with care suggestions. By providing updates on patient symptoms in real time, the system also functions as a case management portal for clinicians.
CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH SYSTEM
No common repository for cancer-specific clinical research data to support translational research exists. Programs have developed individual mechanisms for extracting, recording, and using clinical research data, which unnecessarily complicates cancer research.
The Clinical Cancer Research System aggregates all clinical and research investigations into one searchable database. This database is easy to maintain and simplifies information retrieval, which allows researchers to share basic patient information across cancer groups and complete cross-study analyses. The database also provides robust security that allows for separation and protection of patient and research information.
MeVal: PERSONAL HEALTH ASSESSMENT DATA COLLECTION TOOL
Online module combining vetted patient-reported outcomes assessment tools with data analytics to deliver consistent and reliable data for use in clinical, financial, and research applications. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are the leading indicator of health care service quality. Collecting patient data, however, often requires manually aggregating and calculating outcomes. Complexity and time constraints limit the use of PROs in many healthcare systems.
MeVal allows patients to report information electronically, which is then stored within their electronic medical record (EMR). MeVal combines the best PRO data assessment tools with business intelligence reporting infrastructure. This system facilitates an integrated and seamless capture and visualization of PROs, and reveals data trends for clinical, financial, and research purposes. The module also allows clinicians to access patient assessments in real- time for immediate incorporation into treatment plans.