Thursday, April 26, 2018

Advancing Health as Part of a National Community

Many of our researchers (and physicians) at MedStar Health are members of national professional societies. From cardiology to diabetes, there are organizations that exist to support all types of clinicians and fields of medicine.

Not only are our investigators members of these organizations, many of them serve in leadership positions, on their board or chair key committees. In that spirit of advancing health on a broader scale, it is great news that Lauren T. Moffatt, PhD, (Director, Firefighters' Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory at MedStar Washington Hospital Center) will become chair of the Research Committee for the American Burn Association. She will be the first PhD to hold this position in a predominantly surgical society.

Congratulations Lauren! We are proud of your national work and furthering the reputation of MedStar Health research through your continued commitment to advance health.

Monday, April 23, 2018

World Medical Innovation Forum 2018

Medical knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate, so as of 2018, it is doubling every 73 days! I find that hard to believe but certainly agree that it is humanly impossible to stay current on all aspects of healthcare just by reading more or attending more conference. We must use team science and interdisciplinary models of care. We also must embrace technology solutions. Therein lays the power of artificial intelligence in healthcare. This will undoubtedly transform how we practice medicine tomorrow.
I write this blog post from the World Medical Innovation Forum in Boston, dedicated to the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) applications in healthcare. Over 1600 professionals from very diverse backgrounds (engineers and industry to startups and clinicians) came together to discuss how to use AI to make healthcare better, safer, and more efficient. Some estimate that AI combined with big data will reduce total healthcare spending by $450 billion annually!
There are endless opportunities for research and innovation as AI gets developed and applied in healthcare. I’m excited about this next phase of healthcare and how MedStar can be on the leading edge.
Below are some pictures, including the opening remarks by Charlie Baker, the Governor of Massachusetts and ‘fireside chats’ with CEO’s and lead academicians from around the country.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Training Research Coordinators

Guest Blogger: Emily Paku, PMP
Program Coordinator, Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science

Just last month, MedStar Health Research Institute hosted the Ethics, Regulations and Study Implementation for Research Involving Human Subjects training, as part of the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical & Translational Science program training series.

We welcomed attendees from around the region who are research coordinators and research nurses to help them better understand the importance of regulations and ethics when it comes to conducting research and protecting out patients.

Jason Umans, MD, PhD, opened the training with an overview of the GHUCCTS consortium and injected some humor and current events into an early morning start. Attendees received background information on the importance of "Informed Consent & Participant Capacity" from Sarah Vittone, DBe, MSN, MA, RN,  "Good Clinical Practice" from Maureen McNulty, RN, MS,  "Investigational Test Articles" from Tamaro Hudson, PhD, and "Clinical Trial Budgeting" from Tina Stanger, MA, CRA. Kate Cohen, JD, CHRC, CIP presented updates on the recent changes to the Common Rule.

Shaunagh Browning, MSN, RN, FNP-BC provided an overview of  "Study Initiation, Implementation and Termination" which left one attending stating, “Great training! I wish I had this when I first started managing clinical trials…”
Mary Anne Hinkson, MBA, helped attendees classify typical household items into one of the 3 medical device classes during the "Investigational Drug, Device & Biological Development" session. Feedback from attendees said that the session were "very informative and fun...”! (Fun fact: Did you know a manual toothbrush is a class 1 medical device?)

It was great to be a part of the planning and see the session first hand. To view slides from the training, click here. Interested in attending future training courses? Let us know here.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

MHRI Has Joined Twitter!

I am excited to share some great news: We have recently started our own MedStar Health Research Institute Twitter account, @MedStarResearch!

We will still be working with our corporate partners to include research on the main MedStar Health account (@MedStarHealth), but having our own allows us to highlight even more great research and investigators at MedStar.

We are just starting this stage of our growth and it couldn't come at a better time! With the Symposium just around the corner, this is the time to follow us and see the great conversations we can have about research.

Take a few minutes to follow us today and tag us in anything MedStar-related research!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Research in Space

The researchers at the Firefighters’ Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory at MedStar Washington Hospital Center have been awarded space and resources to complete a study of wound healing on the International Space Station (ISS)!

The proposal for this research was used to brief the Space Experiment Review Board at the Department of Defense (DoD) in August 2017. The goal of the research is to explore the impact of microgravity on wound healing and characterize affected biological events, with results will provide new insights about events that can be avoided or employed to improve wound healing outcomes in both gravity (earth) and microgravity (space) conditions.

This is being done in collaboration with the US Army Center for Environmental Health Research. The actually study will take place on the ISS with mice at part of Rodent Research Mission 8 (RR8) in 2019.

Congratulations to Dr. Shupp and the team! 

Friday, April 13, 2018

A New Potential Payment Model for Cardiovascular Disease

I have written hundreds of papers in the cardiology literature but we must all grow and expand our horizons ..... so I recently collaborated with Daniel M. Blumenthal, Samuel Nussbaum, and Mark Linthicum to write a paper that was recently publish in Health Affairs on a novel way to price cardiac medical devices. “Using Outcomes-Based Pricing For Medical Devices To Improve Cardiovascular Disease Treatment Value” outlines the potential for outcomes-based pricing agreements and how they would work for medical devices used to treat cardiovascular disease. 

The future of healthcare and insurance is changing in tandem and evaluating other options for payments can change the intention of care. In the case of outcomes-based pricing, by setting treatment reimbursements to reflect their value to patients and the healthcare system can promote higher quality care, with a focus on the patient’s own healthcare goals and outcomes.

You can read the full article

Friday, April 6, 2018

Health Forum 18 by CVS Health

I just recently attended a very stimulating conference, arranged by CVS Health, looking at the future of healthcare. At this forum they shared their vision and role they plan to play.  For those that are not aware, 75% of the US population lives within 3 miles of a CVS and over 85% live within 10 miles.  They also shared data that was fascinating - what a patient will tell the pharmacist that they won't tell their physician. CVS moved to become a health delivery organization (and changed their name to CVS Health) and understand their role of working within the community with someone that is trusted in a personal and engaging experience (it's not a surprise that the CEO is a pharmacist!).  In short, they want to become a front door to healthcare.  To do this effectively, they need to partner with trusted healthcare systems and MedStar Health is one of their key partners.

So as healthcare gets more complex, more expensive, more difficult to navigate, what can we do as a healthcare community to address all of these issues? How do get more connected with our patients (and people) before they become 'patients' by helping them stay healthy?  

What I learned at this forum is how CVS has partnered (or acquired) companies that provide technology to help monitor diseases so they can provide early detection for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, asthma and depression.  Then using big data analytics and predictive analytics (along with the huge number of patients they interact with), they can potentially improve very early (pre-clinical) detection and prevention.

This type of work will only be accomplished with high quality research.  I am very proud that MedStar Health Research Institute is a research partner with CVS Health Research Institute. We are looking at several joint protocols and invite MedStar investigators to propose new ideas for collaboration.

Change!  Healthcare will certainly continue to evolve and it is exciting to be part of it.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Expanding Orthopedics Research at MedStar

I am pleased to welcome the newest member of the MedStar research community at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital!

Bryan W. Cunningham, PhD, has joined us as the director of the newly formed MedStar Musculoskeletal Education and Research Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. This is a system-wide research initiative to expand and enhance existing research efforts in the areas of degenerative, deformity, traumatic, and congenital pathologies of the musculoskeletal system.
Bryan W. Cunningham, PhD

An established investigator, Dr. Cunningham brings his experience to MedStar with more than 130 published articles in peer-reviewed research journals and 13 book chapters on current topics in spinal reconstructive surgery, biomechanical fixation, and surgical techniques. He will be setting up a state-of-the-art biomechanical lab and actively participate in clinical research.

Welcome to MedStar, Dr. Cunningham! We look forward to new collaborations and research that further advances the health of our orthopedic and musculoskeletal patients.

You can read the press release from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital here. The announcement was also covered in Becker’s Spine Review.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

MedStar Investigator Publishes in JAMA

Did you know that every month, MedStar investigators are publishing approximately 100 peer-reviewed publications?  And did you know that time after time, we publish in highly rated and highly visible journals. Well this past week, members of MedStar's National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)! 

Their research, "Electronic Health Record Usability Issues and Potential Contribution to Patient Harm", found that specific types of electronic health record (EHR) usability issues can be associated with a range of potentially serious patient safety events. This remarkable study is the first of its kind to look at the EHR in such a way.

Raj Ratwani, PhD, is the senior author for this research. The study’s lead author is Jessica Howe, MA, with coauthors Katharine Adams and A. Zachary Hettinger, MD, MS. 

Congratulations to the entire research team and thank you for your commitment to advancing health and patient care through research! I look forward to seeing more from your work.

You can read the MedStar press release on this landmark study here

Monday, April 2, 2018

Quality of Time Over Quantity of Time

Below is my monthly message for the April 2018 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Happy holiday weekend everyone! I hope you are all NOT reading this right now but rather used the holiday weekend to spend quality time with your family and friends. Life is so busy and filled with so many things we need to do, that it is during holidays that we are reminded to make sure the quality of how we spend our time prevails, even when we cannot have the desired quantity.

As you settle back into work this first week of April, I want to give you an opportunity for  ‘quality’ time later this month. Those of us in the MedStar-Georgetown research community know how exciting, fulfilling and rewarding science can be. However, we also recognize that the majority of associates at MedStar are not personally involved in research. We want to share that excitement with you – for a few hours on April 30th, we have our annual system-wide MedStar Health Research Symposium. While you may not have the ‘quantity’ of time participating in research every day, you can certainly have the ‘quality’ time during the Symposium by attending and learning how we are advancing health for our community through research.

Since the Symposium also serves as the system-wide Resident Research Day and we will have full representation from MI2, you will also see firsthand how we are advancing health through education and innovation too! With over 300 scientific poster presentations (from 4 pm to 6 pm), top resident research presentations (from 3 pm to 4 pm) and pre-symposium workshops (on topics such as Georgetown faculty appointments, biostats bootcamp, and philanthropic support for research, all from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm), there is something for everyone. And of course, there will be a post-symposium reception to network over a glass of wine!

Now doesn’t that sound just perfect? Quality time maximized! Now go ahead, block out that time on your schedule and register today (and see the agenda) at

Read Focus at