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Areas of Research

The Northwestern Emergency Medicine research program is diverse and multidisciplinary, covering a wide range of topics. A few topics of interest with ongoing research and funding include:


 Injury Prevention

Our interest in injury prevention spans a variety of topics related to safe medication use, substance use disorders, and violent death. Our disease surveillance studies seek to understanding emerging trends in violent death and drug overdose that affect the health and well-being of the community.  Dr. Maryann Mason serves as the director of two statewide surveillance systems: the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System (IVDRS) and the Statewide Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS).  Additionally, we are assessing the influence of ED-based physical therapy initiation on pain and use of analgesics, improving education for patients about opioids at the time of a first prescription, evaluating Narcan and fentanyl test strip distribution, and assessing the links between health policy and opioid use.

 Geriatric Emergency Medicine

The goal of our geriatric emergency medicine research program is to better understand and optimize the challenging process of providing quality care that matches patients’ goals and needs to a geriatric population.  We are additionally interested in elder abuse, delirium detection, and care for patients with dementia.

 Care Transitions

Our research in care transitions seeks to optimize care at multiple different times of patient transition: from ED to home, inter-hospital transfer, and during hand-offs.  Some current projects include: optimizing inter-hospital transfer for patients with neurologic emergencies, improving notification of incidental findings for patients upon emergency department discharge, and communicating to patients about diagnostic uncertainty.

Many other areas of research are ongoing including global health, emergency department operations, medical simulation, ultrasound, education, and informatics.

Additionally, the faculty members in the Department of Emergency Medicine work closely with other departments, centers, and institutes throughout the Northwestern University system. These valued collaborations include:

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