Better information = better health outcomes.
One of the first steps to achieving better health outcomes and better health systems is getting better—more accurate, more comprehensive—information. Much of the ongoing work by Dartmouth Institute researchers and students is aimed at increasing the quality of information available to healthcare professionals, policy makers, and health systems administrators. Below are some highlights from our recent work!
Working with colleagues Chuankai An and Daniel Rockmore from Dartmouth’s Department of Computer Science, Dartmouth Institute Professor James O’Malley, PhD, recently analyzed the millions of referral paths of patients’ interactions with the healthcare system for each year in the 2006-2011 time period and related them to U.S. cardiovascular treatment records. The particular focus of the study, recently published in Applied Network Science, is on the sequence of physician encounters each patient has during a treatment episode. Understanding referral patterns, they conclude, has the potential to ultimately help hospitals, physicians, and patients towards the ultimate goal of building an optimal referral path for each patient with a better treatment outcome and providing the most effective allocation of medical resources.
More Accurate Analysis of Carotid Stenting vs Surgery
Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and carotid stenting (CAS) are competing treatment options for patients diagnosed with carotid artery disease. In a recent study, Dartmouth Institute alumnus Jesse Columbo, MD, MS'18, and his research team, including fellow alumna Ravinder Kang, MD, MPH'18, came up with a better way (correcting statistically for certain biases) to measure long-term survival rate for CEA vs CAS. The study’s findings, reported in JAMA Network Open, suggest that the survival advantage associated with choosing carotid endarterectomy over carotid artery stenting may be smaller than previously thought.
Using technology to improve patient outcomes, physician decision-making
The role technology plays in health and healthcare is not only increasing but constantly evolving. Researchers at The Dartmouth Insitute are investigating new ways to measure the effectiveness of health tech and to incorporate into clinical care.
‘Serious’ Video Games May Improve Physician Decision Making in Trauma Triage Situations
In order to improve a type of emergency physician decision making, known as heuristics, Dartmouth Institute Professor Amber Barnato, MD, the Susan J. and Richard M. Levy 1960 Distinguished Professor in Health Care Delivery, recently worked with researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to develop and test two “serious” video game training interventions designed to improve judgment. By complementing physicians’ natural ways of thinking, the researchers say that “serious” video games may help to reduce incidence of under-triage, thereby reducing its cost to patients and society.
First-of-kind study on public and physician attitudes on recording clinical visits
A study led by Dartmouth Institute Assistant Professor Paul Barr, PhD, is the first to measure the prevalence of recording of clinical visits in the United States. The study also assesses the attitudes of doctors and the public toward recording. Among their findings on clinician attitudes was that only clinical specialty (as opposed to factors such as gender or length of time in practice) was associated with recording a visit in the past. They also found that individuals who reported having recorded a visit with permission of a doctor were more likely to be male, to be younger, and to speak a language other than English at home.
- Dartmouth Institute Associate Professor Louise Davies' work as part of a multidisciplanary team evaluating scientific evidence to formulate recommendations about long-term strategies for thyroid monitoring after a nuclear power plant accident
- Developing a new Palliative Care Learning Health System Incubator (LHS-Incubator) with the goal to measurably improve the quality of life for people with serious illness