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Projects awarded funding to advance UMHS clinical practices, operations

Ten projects from the U-M Medical School, College of Pharmacy, School of Nursing and seven U-M Health System (UMHS) departments are the first to receive funding as part of the annual Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs (EVPMA) Competition for the Collaborative Health Services Research Initiative to Improve Clinical Practices.

The health research initiative, created by former EVPMA Dr. Gilbert Omenn, and now led by interim EVPMA Dr. Lazar Greenfield, is designed to stimulate productive changes in clinical practices and UMHS operations with a focus on M-CARE members and UMHS patients.

The purpose of the initiative is to encourage UMHS faculty and staff to utilize existing University data resources to conduct multidisciplinary analyses and reinforce or improve practices. UMHS hopes to share the findings from these projects on a national level as well, in an effort to further improve hospital operations.

A peer review committee, led by Dr. A. Mark Fendrick, associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, evaluated 51 proposals before selecting 10. The projects awarded will address analyses of quality, safety, productivity, utilization and reduction of variation of clinical practices.

"The peer review committee was extremely impressed with the scientific rigor and intellectual creativity of the submitted proposals," says Fendrick, who also directs the newly established UMHS Health Services Research Core Laboratory. "The awardees truly meet the spirit of this innovative multidisciplinary program."

The principal investigators and the projects awarded are:

· Dr. Ruth C. Carlos, Radiology: The Clinical and Economic Impact of the "Incidental Finding" After MR Angiography for Hypertension;

· Vicky Pebsworth Debold, Nursing: Utilization Patterns, Co-morbidities, and Potential Risk Factors among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders;

· Michael E. Geisser, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: Physical Therapy Treatment for Chronic Back Pain: Optimal Number of Treatment Sessions and Validation of a Tool to Predict Treatment Response;

· Dr. Alex R. Kemper, Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases: Predicting Safe Hospital Discharge for Children with Acute Bronchiolitis;

· Dr. Catherine Kim, Internal Medicine: Gestational Diabetes and Screening for Type 2 Diabetes After Delivery;

· Dr. J. Michael Kramer, Internal Medicine and Medical Center Information Technology: The Quality of Information Transfer That Occurs Between Inpatient Teams at Shift Change ("Patient Sign-Out") Using the Navigator and Traditional Communication Methods;

· Dr. Samuel McLean, Emergency Medicine: Predictors and Prevalence of Chronic Pain and Disability Due to Whiplash After Motor Vehicle Collision;

· David Nau, College of Pharmacy: The Causes and Consequences of Oral Medication Non-Adherence Among M-CARE Members with Diabetes;

· Donald Nease Jr., Family Medicine: Computer-Prompted Active Depression Management in Primary Care;

· Dr. Andrew L. Rosenberg, Anesthesiology: Accepting Critically Ill Transfer Patients with Acute Lung Injury/ARDS: Adverse Impact on a Referral Center's Outcome and Benchmark Measures.

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