Engaging our trainees in research and systems improvement and educational innovation at CHA

The Center for Professional and Academic Development seeks to nurture a learning community at CHA and works to link opportunities for personal and professional growth with institutional aims. 


Evaluating  Pain/Addiction Curriculum for Family Medicine Residents

Project leader: Randi Sokol, Family Medicine

Project: Over the past 3 years, our Family Medicine residency program has implemented a robust pain and addictions curriculum for our residents. We'd like to formally evaluate it to publish resident feedback/evaluations to make suggestions and share best practices for other programs across the country looking to implement a pain/addictions curriculum.

Opportunities for collaboration with learners: I am looking for learners to help with data collection (survey design and administration and possibly interviews with residents) to understand the value of the curriculum and areas of growth. Learners could also participate in helping write a paper for publication, if they are interested.

How likely is it that the project will offer trainees opportunities for publication and/or presentation external to CHA? Highly likely


Tobacco Cessation

Project leader: Adrianne Frankel, Quality Management

Project: This is an on going improvement effort, but it is being re-booted due to recent low performance.

Opportunities for collaboration with learners: This opportunity requires Healthcare Quality Leadership skills, peer education, and collaboration with Quality and Informatics departments at CHA. Our goal is to achieve Massachusetts and National benchmarks for Inpatient Tobacco Cessation Measures. Best practices for achieving these goals include cessation education for all providers, optimization of documentation, and on going analysis and performance evaluation. Participation time would be (estimated) 1-2 hours/week for 1-2 months, and then 2-3 hours/month over a 6 month period.

How likely is it that the project will offer trainees opportunities for publication and/or presentation external to CHA? Uncertain


Commit to Sit

Project leader: Adrianne Frankel, Quality Management

Project: This is a new project but will expand on previous performance improvement efforts around improving the patient's experience of care by sitting down while talking with patients in a care area.

"From a patient perspective, 2 minutes of a clinician seated at the bedside feels like 15 minutes of personal attention. Conversely, 15 minutes of a clinician standing and talking over the patient's head can feel like no personal attention at all..." The scope of this project will start in the Inpatient Units and will hopefully expand to the Emergency Department, and Ambulatory Clinics.

Opportunities for collaboration with learners:

  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team including, Quality Management, Providers, Nurses, Pharmacists, Interpreter services, and others

  • Research and compile evidence based best practice models and articles on the topic with regards to Improving PEOC Outcomes, (HCAHPS scores)

  • Using PI tools, develop operational processes and workflows which enable providers to sit with patients in the care area

  • Develop and roll out internal learning tools related to proposed workflows

  • Document and analyze current and future state

  • Monitor and supervise implementation and spread of proposed workflows

How likely is it that the project will offer trainees opportunities for publication and/or presentation external to CHA?  Highly likely


Effect of Immigration Policies at Primary Health Care Utilization in Two Massachusetts Safety Net Hospitals

Project leader: Lara Jirmanus, Family Medicine

Project: This project is already in progress and I am working with researchers at BMC to look at existing data to evaluate for changes in Healthcare utilization over time before and after immigration policy changes. We will be evaluating the missed appointment rates for patients whose language of care is Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole as compared with English speakers before and after January 25, 2017 when immigration related policies were first changed via a Presidential Executive Order. The project has important policy implications as well as implications for patient health. Should we find a difference it may open the door to possible interventions which can be performed at Cambridge Health Alliance to increase access to care for vulnerable populations at CHA.

Opportunities for collaboration with learners:  The collaborator would help with literature review as well as with writing of an academic manuscript for publication. We are currently seeking funding to subsidize data analysis which would be performed by data analysts at the Institute for Community Health. If a trainee were comfortable performing a difference in differences analysis for a large database of 300,000 patients with approximately 2 million observations, they could also help with the data analysis.

How likely is it that the project will offer trainees opportunities for publication and/or presentation external to CHA?   Highly likely


Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates

Project leader: Lorky Libaridian, Primary Care

Project: One of the main measures that primary care has decided to focus on for the coming year is improving colorectal cancer screening rates. There are some plans and projects underway to help improve our rates, but we there is opportunity to join us in working on any of the following areas: further development, implementation, PDSA'ing, work on sustaining and spreading change.

Opportunities for collaboration with learners: Depending on how the project is scoped, it can be done over a shorter or longer period of time. Work will range from understanding clinic workflows and obstacles to screening, to chart reviews, basic data analysis, and talking to and learning from clinical teams in the clinics.

How likely is it that the project will offer trainees opportunities for publication and/or presentation external to CHA? Uncertain

Do you have a learning opportunity for a trainee you'd like to share?

Submit your project here.

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Include scope of work such as number of hours and duration of effort, time frame in which work needs to be accomplished, specific skills and competencies you are hoping a learner might bring to the project