Current Research

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The Center research teams are committed to ensuring that their research discoveries are actionable and effective in actual practice settings. The Center scientists work with multidisciplinary teams of clinician-scientists to develop research projects that are funded both internally and externally. The Center for Outcomes Research has created an assortment of one-pagers to provide a snapshot of various projects the Center's scientists have completed or are currently engaged in.

evaluating the implementation of telemedicine at houston methodist

Telemedicine is a rapidly evolving tool for patient care. Despite its demonstrated benefits, telemedicine for post-op visits still faces major barriers that hinder broader implementation. The objective of this study is to design and study barriers to implementation of telemedicine visits after surgery. Despite innumerable successful pilot programs at healthcare systems across the country, uptake of telemedicine for surgical specialties has been relatively slow, even for low risk post-operative care. The standard of care for a surgical patient is to conduct an in-person post-operative visit with the surgeon 1-2 weeks after surgery. During this visit, the surgeon assesses the patient’s recovery and examines the patient’s incision.  This visit requires that the patient take time off from work, drive to the medical facility, and pay for gas and parking. Telemedicine can be leveraged to advance the quality of patient care by making telemedicine a more broadly utilized option for follow-up care post-surgery. 

Patient portal usage during natural disasters

The MyChart platform provides both patients and physicians with resourceful communication that has recently become an advantage over the past few years during natural disasters and in similar circumstances. A three part study will be conducted to help in the initial step of planning an emergency preparedness patient portal that can be utilized during times of a natural disaster. This study will inform the design of a purposeful emergency preparedness patient portal. It is a unique study in that the availability of the data is limited and it brings insight into how the patient portal system will be used in the case of an emergency in the future. We are in a distinctive position to better understand what patients’ needs were during Hurricane Harvey through the study and assist in an overall enhancement in patient portal systems. The findings of this study will not only help improve patient care within Houston Methodist, but will be applicable to other health systems in the United States.

Understanding quality care and life quality from the patient perspective

This study serves as the first step in a larger effort to intervene on patients post kidney transplant. Patient engagement and adherence will be explored. Quality of life and quality of medical care will also be defined from the patient perspective. This study will document the time and cost of patients' preparation for and recovery from kidney transplant. Additionally, two focus groups will be held with pre and post kidney transplant patients to learn from their experiences. These will focus on engagement and compliance. Employees will also take part in separate focus groups to gain their perspective. The results will help guide the development of future research efforts that are currently in planning stages. This study will gain a greater understanding of how to increase medication compliance and engagement of kidney transplant patients, which can affect overall healthcare utilization and costs. These patients’ experiences will help shape research and findings for future transplant patients.

Increasing the Value of Care: Reduce Unnecessary Postsurgical Lab Tests After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery has been evolving over 60 years and becomes the most effective therapy for patients with morbid obesity. The landscape of bariatric procedures has dramatically changed since 1950. Innovations in technology and changes made to the surgical practice has evolved bariatric surgery as it is known today. Over the years, changes have been made to the procedures in order to minimize and/or prevent postoperative nutritional depletion, but the guidelines for monitoring the nutritional status at follow-up visits have not been updated. Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, and Vitamin D are the most common nutrients at risk for depletion after undergoing these procedures. This study investigates postsurgical nutritional status for patients after different types of bariatric procedures. At the completion of this study, evidence-based recommendations will be proposed on the frequency and type of lab tests to obtain in order to best optimize the total cost of care.

Effect of Bariatric Surgery for High-Risk Heart Failure Patients with Morbid Obesity: A Case Series Report

The number of obese patients has significantly increased over the past decade and the prevalence of obesity is particularly high among patients with heart failure. In recent years, there has been an increased incidence of heart failure in morbidly obese patients. This study examines bariatric surgery in high-risk heart failure patients. The purpose of this study is to present a series of cases of morbidly obese, high-risk heart failure patients who underwent bariatric surgery and present its effects on cardiac function observed during the postoperative period prior to heart transplantation or up to 3 years postoperatively in patients that did not undergo heart transplantation.

The Impact of Socioeconomic Determinants on Hospital Readmissions

Avoidable 30-day hospital readmissions disproportionately affects disadvantaged patient populations, resulting in an observed readmissions disparity gap. Neighborhood-level socioeconomic disadvantages significantly increase readmissions among patients who live in the most deprived areas. Many patients that live in deprived areas often have limited access to healthcare services that can support their recovery after discharging and reduce their likelihood of readmission. This study examines the validity and utility of patient socioeconomic determinants in widely used hospital readmission prediction models and aims to examine how hospital-community partnerships can mitigate the known and well-studied adverse impacts of social determinants of health on hospital readmissions.