Sunday, May 1, 2016

TeleHealth and MedStar Care: MedStar eVisit

As part of MedStar Health's commitment to innovation and their patients, I was pleased to see the launch of MedStar eVisit for MHRI associates. The pilot for this program was launched earlier in the year with great results. Providing convenient access to services for those in our area is a key element to the growth of MedStar Health and MHRI.

MedStar eVisit technology provides 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365 days-a-year, access to services via a computer, tablet or smartphone. Services are currently available for treating common illnesses. MedStar eVisit services are in-network for associates and their dependents enrolled in MedStar Select or MedStar’s CareFirst medical plans. Primary care copays apply to each MedStar eVisit—MedStar Select members: $0 or CareFirst (coverage through MedStar) members: $15. Associates who do not have medical coverage through MedStar can still use MedStar eVisit for $49 per visit.

You can register online at or download the download the iOS or Android mobile app, “MedStar eVisit".

I registered using my iPad and the process was easy and efficient. It's great to see MedStar taking technology in stride to help their patients, especially when those patients are also MedStar associates. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Healthy Eating is More Than Counting Calories

Guest Blogger: Karen Wade, Vice President, Research Administrative Services

I was very excited about the launch of Healthy Eating Week at MHRI. I felt more than prepared to engage others in this initiative as I was confident my diet was already healthy.

Well, I shared my excitement with my husband who brought me back to reality. He gave me “food for thought” by pointing out if I truly wanted a good gauge on how healthy I was eating I should take the time to read the nutritional information on some of my “healthy” snacks.

What an eye opening experience! I would often focus on calories and labeling but not what was contained in the snack. To my surprise, there was far more sugar and ingredients that I could not pronounce then I ever imagined. Do you know how hard it was for me to tell him he was right? No worries, I did thank him for giving me a new perspective on my healthy eating as having this information has really transformed my eating habits.

How healthy are your eating habits?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Springing into Wellness

Throughout MedStar Health, wellness committees are focused on wellness of all aspects of our associates' life. 

I was excited to start my morning a few days ago with the newest issue of MHRI’s Wellness News. Showcasing everything from health recipes to ways in which you can add activity to your day to a wellness app, it has small steps that everyone could take for better health.

With all the beautiful weather this season and the flowers blooming, I hope everyone gets outside and embrace their own wellness.  

You can view the Spring edition of the Wellness News on Starport. They are also looking for your feedback about your (and your teams') own wellness activities. Share your successes (and photos) at

Thursday, April 14, 2016

CTMS Kick Off and Immersion Training

In February, I wrote about our announcement that we selected a Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS). We are very excited to be working with Forte and implementing their OnCore system, which will provide greater efficiency around clinical trial protocol management, billing, compliance and patient recruitment and, at the same time, unify processes across Georgetown and MedStar research.

Well, over the past two weeks, approximately 30-40 research team members took part in the 'Kick Off' activities at MHRI offices.  We went through the different functions of the CTMS, our 'current state' maps displayed on the walls and discussed how we would form into working groups to create the unified 'future state' of operations.  All very exciting!

But the excitement did not end there.... this week a smaller group of us (about 10-15 people) traveled to Madison, Wisconsin (yes, it was COLD!) and spent the week at Forte to do 'Immersion Training' - this was a deep dive by many of the working group leaders about OnCore functionality and what we need to do to bring it to our research teams.  

Besides getting a lot done, it was wonderful to spend some time with each other off-site - below is a picture of the group out to dinner to sample the local beer (hint - try 'Spotted Cow' some time) and their reknown delicacies (such as fried cheese curd - really, I am not kidding - and it was good!).

Much more about the CTMS implementation as the working groups start their work. It is our goal to have the first protocols in by the end of this calendar year.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Getting 'Re-Connected'

Oh, how much I missed blogging and other electronic activities over the last two weeks!  Being 'connected' and enjoying all the electronic conveniences has become a way of life that we often take for granted but the last 2 weeks have given us a new appreciation for our IT colleagues! 

All of MedStar Health is deeply thankful for the hard work and determination of its IT team and partners and is greatly encouraged by the progress made to date on restoring the system. I know that they have been working around the clock to get our systems back up and running and have been impressed with the progress made.

I also want to thank all our MHRI associates and leaders. We know that all of you have been working diligently over the last two weeks to focus on our vision of being trusted leaders and advancing health. I have heard many stories of innovation to get the job done and dedication to our communities and patients. 

Through all of your hard work, we have been able to continue to keep many research studies moving forward and ensure the security of patient and research data.  I am also very proud of our MHRI management who showed enormous dedication and leadership. In the early days of the malicious software, we had teleconferences at 6 am, noon and 6 pm!  That is a great demonstration of dedication.

In the coming weeks, as we continue to ensure a full recovery, I have a renewed confidence in our research teams at MedStar and their commitment and resilience

Thank you all!

Friday, March 25, 2016

'Diabetes to Go' gets new NIH Grant

Great news for one of our researchers! Michelle Magee, MD, Director of the MedStar Diabetes Institute, was awarded an NIH grant to expand her work on “Diabetes to Go” from the ambulatory setting to inpatients. Over the last several years, Dr. Magee and her team have received grants from the DC Dept of Health, American Diabetes Association and others to develop methods of identifying and educating patients with diabetes (or pre-diabetes) on how they can improve their health and stay out of the hospital.  Through this work in the emergency department and outpatient clinic setting, she has refined the approach, and used tele-health virtual follow up, to greatly improve participants health.

Now her approach to bedside education with patients will be expanded to work with the front-line nurses in MedStar Health hospitals showcasing what is truly bring novel academic findings to real-world, real-time medical care. This is a great example of research on the delivery of care, or health services research.

With diabetes affecting nearly 10% of the population in the US, this grant and research fills a growing need in the community. MedStar’s efforts to reconnect care to our communities is supported by research like this.

More information about this study is available here.

Congratulations Dr. Magee and the MedStar Diabetes Institute research team! 

Monday, March 21, 2016


Today is one week after a great system-wide MedStar Health Research Symposium however I am still enjoying it by going back and looking at the Twitter feeds. 

For the first time this year, we had attendees live-tweeting at the Symposium! A fun additional way to enjoy and share the experience with others.  We were able to utilize the @MedStarHealth twitter account and showcase the great things that were happening in real-time.

I'm excited to see Twitter used more at MHRI and how we can share information about the great work of our researchers. 

Check out some of the great quotes from our speakers from last week.  You can view the tweets with the hashtag #MHRISymposium16.