Texas A&M provides rapid response to solve real-world healthcare industry challenges

July 14, 2014
CHOT address healthcare needs

The Center for Health Organization Transformation takes on research projects requested by industry leaders that are plaguing the healthcare.

With expertise from health management researchers to systems engineering and information systems management, the Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) takes on immediate challenges plaguing health care providers in the industry through a collaborative research process. What would usually require a contract between individual researchers and years of research before producing results, is instead carried out using a cooperative model that presents results from across multiple areas of study and delivers constant access to project and research updates. The center, which is part of Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, conducts research side-by-side with industry experts across the nation. In fact, healthcare industry leaders submit the research project ideas.

Texas A&M is the lead university of CHOT with partner sites at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and Penn State University. But the true success of CHOT is its membership – 16 industry members, including solution providers such as Verizon and Siemens and healthcare leaders like Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The industry members each pitch one or two industry challenges that they want to investigate with CHOT’s help. CHOT ranks and selects the preferred projects and conducts the research with its university partners. The group is at the forefront of changing healthcare procedures and care processes as it takes on the latest innovations in data management, clinical practices, emergency processes, innovations in response to the Affordable Care Act, and projects such as the consequences of sleep disruption among infants in neo-natal intensive care units.

One of CHOT’s most successful research relationships is with the Studer Group, an organization that implements clinical protocol tools and best practices in efficiency and quality care at numerous hospitals throughout the U.S. CHOT helped evaluate one of Studer’s processes for bedside shift change. For instance, nurses use a standardized checklist during their shift change so the staff coming on duty and the patient is up to date on the patient’s medical needs. Nurses complete the bedside shift change process in front of the patient to engage them in the process, allowing the hospital to improve care coordination and improve the patients’ ability to handle their medical care after discharge. CHOT evaluated this bedside shift reporting process by studying the nurses’ understanding of the process and evaluating data from hospital patient satisfaction results. A majority of studies cited positive, beneficial results such as increased patient safety, reduction in medical errors, increased nurse job satisfaction and cost-containment

One of the Center’s newest projects involves working with the American Society for Anesthesiologists to define best practices before, during, and after surgery.

“We are trying to determine what needs to be done before, during, and after various types of surgeries to minimize surgical errors and patient complications, and to reduce cost of surgery at the same time,” said Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A., FACHE, newly appointed CHOT Director and Principal Investigator for the project. “By understanding the complete perioperative process and the role of the anesthesiologist in the process, we are at the forefront to determine the future of modern evidence-based surgical procedures and processes. This new knowledge will impact how we train anesthesiologists in the future.”

Projects such as the one focused on anesthesiologists will fulfill the center’s vision of becoming nationally transforming the healthcare industry. “The faculty and students from these great universities look forward to developing even stronger working relationships with visionary health systems who share a commitment to transformation in health care,” said former director and Regents Professor Dr. Larry Gamm, Ph.D. “All of us seek to ensure that the center adds value for all participants in taking health services research and education to the next level.”

— Blair Williamson

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