INDIANAPOLIS - A proposed computer application that will translate what happens during a visit to the doctor's office into a customized, printable summary of actionable items that a patient can take home or have e-mailed to designated recipients has won the Regenstrief Institute's People's Choice for Healthcare Delivery contest.
The successful idea was submitted by Indiana University Bloomington sociology doctoral candidate Kristina Fasteson Simacek. She holds a master's degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wellesley College. In addition to a monetary award for her winning entry, Simacek will have the opportunity to work with the Regenstrief Institute team that will design, develop and test it.
Novel suggestions about how to improve the delivery of health care were submitted by individuals from all walks of life nationwide. Ideas were evaluated for potential impact on health care consumers; feasibility of implementation in the U.S. health care system within five years; and compatibility with the Regenstrief Institute's mission to improve health through research that enhances the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care.
"This project has allowed us to involve Americans from diverse communities in the process of science, starting with an idea about how to improve an important health-related problem," said Regenstrief Investigator Michael Weiner, M.D., MPH. Dr. Weiner is director of the Regenstrief Institute Center for Health Services Research; director of the Indiana University Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research; associate professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine; and principal investigator of the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Indianapolis.
Health care delivery involves organizing and providing comprehensive services -- including medical evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up -- for individuals and populations. Accurate recall of medical information is known to be a challenge for patients of all ages.
In her People's Choice for Healthcare Delivery submission, Simacek said the app she envisions could "improve the quality and reduce costs of health care by giving patients a better understanding of their diagnosis and treatment recommendations. When patients forget the information their provider gives them, they are less likely to adhere to prescribed treatment and more likely to return to the provider with problems. Fewer visits for the same problem lead to better patient outcomes and less wasted cost to the system."
"I am deeply honored that my idea was chosen to be researched by the Regenstrief Institute. As both a health care consumer and a doctoral candidate studying complex health care issues, I am passionate about improving the quality, cost-effectiveness and access to health care. I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with the Regenstrief Institute's team," Simacek said. Her academic concentration is medical sociology.
The People's Choice for Healthcare Delivery Contest is funded by a Regenstrief Institute Innovation Award.