The TJUH Department of Emergency Medicine (TJUH DEM) conducts research aimed at improving clinical care. Faculty, fellows, residents, and students participate in multidisciplinary research teams working collaboratively to improve emergency care through scientific research. Clinical research is focused on the following:
The TJUH DEM tests the use of devices and pharmaceuticals for the treatment of acute emergencies through clinical trials. The department also works collaboratively with other medical and surgical specialties in the emergent aspects of disease and injury to improve care. Recent trials have included the evaluation of a point-of-care device housed in the ED and an intranasally administered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of acute pain.
The Division of Point-of-Care Ultrasound is involved in a number of projects investigating the utility of ultrasound in the acute setting. Additionally, projects have explored patient and health care provider attitudes towards the use of ultrasound in a variety of conditions.
Population Health - Access to Care
The ED provides services to all patients regardless of severity of illness and ability to pay. In some cases, the ED serves as the only point of access for patients to the vast US health care system; in other cases, the ED is simply the most convenient way for a patient to address their medical concerns. As such, the specialty of Emergency Medicine is at the forefront of health care reform and access to care debates. The TJUH DEM is studying ED utilization trends by examining patient attitudes and medical decision-making towards seeking care. Additional research is focused on "super-users" of the ED in order to inform and shape specific health services for this population. In partnership with the Department of Family and Community Medicine, the TJUH DEM conducts research on understanding high utilization by super-users. A community partnership has also been developed in an effort to reduce ED visits amongst these subpopulations of superusers. The TJUH DEM is poised to use its unique perspective to assess the impact of local and national health policy changes on patient access to quality and sustainable care in hopes of further informing health care providers and policy makers.
The TJUH DEM has ongoing relationships with two international NGOs: Wellbody Alliance and International Medical Corps. Wellbody Alliance is a non-profit that operates a clinic in Koidu (an underserved area of Sierra Leone). Jefferson faculty, staff, and students have volunteered at the clinic and are conducting ongoing research looking at ultrasound use in austere settings as well as access to care. The TJU faculty have also volunteered with International Medical Corps and have conducted studies of disease incidence in refugee camps and in a rural hospital in South Sudan.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have made recommendations that patients should receive screening for HIV and Hepatitis C in the health care setting. The TJUH DEM runs a CDC-P, grant-funded rapid HIV testing program that currently screens over 2000 patients per year. The department also has ongoing research into the development of a rapid Hepatitis C screening program in the ED.
Patient-centered, efficient and effective treatment of patients is a top priority and a main focus in the current healthcare environment. The clinical leadership faculty are involved in developing, implementing, and studying innovative methods to provide the most efficient and effective emergency care to patients. Additionally, research into benchmarks used to measure success are ongoing.
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