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Current Projects

Feedback training for community-based preceptors

Sarah-Anne Schumann, MD

The ability to give feedback to medical students is a key element to teaching clinical skills. Physicians serving as community-based preceptors often have little training or experience on how best to provide student feedback. Innovative workshops, using standardized students as instructors for participating preceptors, were designed by Department of Family Medicine clerkship faculty. Workshop evaluations assess whether preceptors improved in their feedback and overall teaching skills.

Quality of evidence to guide primary care practice

Kathleen Rowland, MD

The practice of evidence-based medicine can lead to consistent, high-quality, cost-effective care. Little is known about how much evidence there is to guide the practice of Family Medicine. Using a database of clinical questions asked and answered by family physicians, this study seeks to describe the level of evidence available to guide everyday decisions in primary care, and to determine which areas of primary care have the best evidence available. This in turn will allow investigators to describe gaps in evidence, which will help direct future primary care research funding.

Religious hospitals and the doctor-patient relationship

Debra Stulberg, MD, MAPP

In collaboration with the University of Chicago's Program on Medicine & Religion, these studies survey and interview family physicians, general internists, and obstetrician-gynecologists to explore their experiences working at religiously-affiliated hospitals or practices. These are among the first empiric studies of physician ethical and professional conflicts around religious patient-care policies.
Funding: Greenwall Foundation.

Reproductive health outcomes and disparities

Debra Stulberg, MD, MAPP

Using hospital discharge and insurance data, this group of studies evaluates the association between race, socioeconomic status and health system factors on the incidence and outcomes of pregnancy complications. Special focus is on the effect of insurance status on processes and outcomes of care in ectopic pregnancy. Funding: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Chicago Center of Excellence for Health Promotions Economics.

Screening for diabetic retinopathy

Nina Vergari Rogers, MD

The University of Chicago Urban Health Initiative has partnered with the Chicago Family Health Center to create a diabetic retinopathy screening project that would provide digital retinal screening at a primary care center in an underserved urban community. Participating patients are surveyed to gain a better understanding of barriers to screening as well as the feasibility of implementing such a program in an inner city federally qualified health center.

Translating new research into practice

Kathleen Rowland, MD
Umang Sharma, MD

This body of research reviews the experience and outcomes of the Priority Updates from the Research Literature (PURLs) surveillance system to learn how new research interfaces with primary care practice. PURLs is a tertiary review system in which multiple journals and databases are surveyed, and practice-changing research is identified, analyzed, and summarized. Department of Family Medicine researchers are analyzing the origins of the articles published as PURLs, the funding of these articles, and where and by whom the studies are completed. Future analyses will explore physician willingness to change practice based on evidence-based reports, and barriers to new practice uptake.

Using Reflective Writing to Assess Unmet Learning Needs

Kohar Jones, MD

This project aims to systematically analyzemedical student reflectionsgenerated by the reflective writing component of the family medicine core curriculum, in orderto identify student learning needs. Using a thematic framework generated byan immersion/crystallization technique, investigators track main themes and sub-themes discussed, and identify recurring topics that lend themselves to curricular interventions. Faculty are implementing curricular innovations to address the identified learning needs.

Video distraction and children's immunization distress

Nina Vergari Rogers, MD

This study examined the effect of video distraction on a child's distress during immunization procedures. Healthy children ages 1-6 years in an outpatient setting were observed by the primary caregiver, medical assistant and independent observers; and their levels of distress were rated and compared to standard care.

Medical informatics toolkit to support adult immunization (VQIP)

Robert M. Wolfe, MD (Family Medicine)
Ari Robicsek, MD (Infectious Diseases, NorthShore University HealthSystem)

This project is a collaboration between NorthShore University HealthSystem and the sanofi pasteur company, which is providing funding. The aim is to develop a toolkit and workflow in the EPIC electronic medical record system at NorthShore University HealthSystem to support adult immunization and to enhance immunization rates. The project is planned in two Phases, each of which will occupy one year. Phase One focuses on Adult Immunization Workflow and Clinical Decision Support Redesign; it will result in the creation of an informatics-based "vaccination toolkit" to promote adult immunization in the ambulatory setting. Phase Two focuses on Patient Empowerment and Program Evaluation. The project began in January 2011.

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