Research Themes

Incorporating the Quadruple Aim of Sikka et al (2015), WIHSE research focuses on four themes including:

  • Monitoring and anticipating safe care transitions for vulnerable populations (e.g., children and elderly patients)
    • Care Transitions and Teamwork in Pediatric Trauma: This project aims at developing a deep and broad understanding of the cognitive work of clinician teams and family members involved in pediatric trauma care transitions in order to design usable and useful health information technologies. [funded by AHRQ; collaboration of College of Engineering with UW Health and Johns Hopkins University]
    • Engineering Safe Care Journeys for Vulnerable Older Adults: In this transdisciplinary research project, the team will develop, design, implement and evaluate a patient safety passport that will support the safe journey of older adults diagnosed with a fall or suspected urinary tract infection in the emergency department. [funded by AHRQ; collaboration of College of Engineering with UW Health and Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Nursing and Pharmacy]
  • Smart automation and technologies for coordinating and communicating diagnosis and treatment (e.g., applied to cancer and diabetes)
    • Health IT Supported Process for Preventing and Managing VTE: The goal of this project is to evaluate the cognitive and team work involved in VTE prevention and diagnosis and to develop design requirements for a CDS that supports cognitive and team work for preventing and diagnosing VTE. [funded by AHRQ; collaboration of College of Engineering with Geisinger Health System and UW Health]
    • Improving Over-the-Counter Medication Safety for Older Adults: Older adults are at high risk of significant harm associated with over-the-counter medication misuse. This study will implement and evaluate a system redesign intervention that will heighten older adults’ awareness of high-risk OTC medications and facilitate communication with a pharmacist who can help older adults make an informed decision. [funded by AHRQ; collaboration of College of Engineering and School of Pharmacy]
    • Comparative Modeling: Informing Breast Cancer Control Practice Policy: The purpose of this project is to study novel screening tests (tomosynthesis) and strategies for management of DCIS [funded by NIH; collaboration of SMPH with the College of Engineering]
  • Smart and connected patient-centered care:  Implications for clinical decision support, telehealth and sensing technologies
    • Healthy Aging in Rural Towns (HeART) Initiative: This project will inform the development and implementation of specific strategies to support and engage family caregivers and older adults. [funded by Margaret A. Cargill Foundation; collaboration of School of Nursing with the Office of Rural Health]
    • Variation in Case Management Programs and their Effectiveness in Managing High-Risk Patients for Medicare ACOs: This project will help health systems understand how to design case management programs to support older patients who interact frequently with health systems and to build the capacity of our PCORI networks to address questions of interest to local participating health systems. [funded by PCORI; collaboration of SMPH with the Health Innovation Program, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Iowa]
    • CISE CRII: Designing Innovative Consumer Health Information Technologies for Loosely Coupled Informal Caregiving Teams: The purpose of this research is to design a caregiver support technology focused on connecting caregiver networks. [funded by NSF; collaboration of College of Engineering with SMPH, School of Nursing, CAARN and Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Research Center]
    • Video-based Collaborative Learning to Improve Ventral Hernia Repair: The goal of this project is to improve surgical outcomes using video-based, peer-coaching with practicing surgeons. [funded by AHRQ; collaboration of College of Engineering with Department of Surgery]
  • Patient safety: Modeling, forecasting and responding to healthcare-associated complications (e.g., infections and medication safety)
    • Improving Access to Primary Care through E-Visits: Theory and Applications: This project develops modeling, analysis, and improvement methods to study electronic visits in primary care clinics and apply them in Dean Health Systems [funded by NSF; collaboration of College of Engineering with Dean Health System]
    • Data Analytics for AKI and CHF Risk Prediction and Intervention: In this project, we will develop machine learning based risk prediction models for acute kidney injury and congestive heart failure patients. [funded by Baxter; collaboration of College of Engineering with University of Florida]
    • The Epilepsy Connectome: The goal/aim of the Epilepsy Connectome Project will use state-of-the-art imaging methods to measure altered connections between brain regions in patients with epilepsy. It is anticipated that these measurements will provide new methods for predicting outcomes and selecting optimal treatments for individuals with epilepsy. [funded by NIH; collaboration of College of Engineering with SMPH]
    • Statistical Methods for Healthcare in Complex Patients with Diabetes: The goal of this project is to develop new statistical methods to help clinicians to identify and quantify risks of tight A1c control in complex diabetes patients and potentially lead to improved patient experiences and reduced medical expenditures from excess adverse events. [funded by NIH/NIDDK; collaboration of SMPH with the Health Innovation Program]
    • Testing Novel Methods for Analyzing and Correcting Root Causes of Patient Harm: The goal of this project is to implement and test utility of a human factors, root cause analysis (RCA) methodology. [funded by UW-Madison ICTR; collaboration of College of Engineering with UW Health]