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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Health Services & Outcomes Research

Health Services & Outcomes Research Activities

Health services and outcomes research done through Northwestern University's Institute of Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) takes several forms. Our experimental research advances the boundaries of pragmatic trials by utilizing real-world clinical or administrative data collected under usual clinical conditions. Our observational studies include rigorous quasi-experiments, natural experiments, pure observational research and predictive or decision models. Explore our directory below to see examples of this type of research involving IPHAM members across Northwestern University.

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Pragmatic & Real World Evidence to Advance Policy & Practice

Ronald Ackermann, MD, MPH, is working to develop and evaluate pragmatic interventions to improve health and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes. His work also applies rigorous natural experimental research designs to large data systems to advance health system policies and practice.

Research themes: Healthcare Financing, Payment & Cost-Effectiveness; Chronic Disease Care & Outcomes

Randomized TrialNatural Experiment
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Pediatric Emergency Care

Elizabeth Alpern, MD, studies the quality of emergent care delivered to children through application of evidence-based work and the risk of sepsis in pediatric emergency department patients.

Research themes: Improving Acute Delivery Care Systems; Pediatric Health Services & Outcomes

Pure Observational StudyPredictive Modeling Study
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Children with Special Healthcare Needs

Lucy Bilaver, PhD, aims to understand the impact of variation in health service use on outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder, food allergies and disabilities that impact participation in school and work.

Research themes: Pediatric Health Services & Outcomes; Chronic Disease Care & Outcomes

Quasi-ExperimentNatural ExperimentPure Observational Study
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Outcomes, Quality and Health Policy

Karl Bilimoria, MD, MS, examines the quality of care delivered in the U.S. across all surgical specialties, with a focus on general surgery and surgical oncology and the development of strategies for improvement.

Specialized programs: SOQIC
Research theme: Healthcare Quality & Safety

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Scientists in the lab

Infections & Antimicrobial Disease

Charlesnika Evans, PhD, MPH, studies the epidemiology of infectious diseases, aiming to improve prevention and management strategies for healthcare-associated infections, particularly those causes by multidrug-resistant organisms.

Research themes: Healthcare Quality & Safety; Chronic Disease Care & Outcomes

Quasi-ExperimentNatural ExperimentPure Observational Study
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Visual representation of data

Big Data & Health Economics

Dustin D. French, PhD, examines access, ultization, costs, quality, delivery, organization, financing and outcomes of healthcare services to produce new knowledge about the structure, processes and effects of services for target populations.

Research themes: Addressing Healthcare Dispartities; Healthcare Financing, Payment & Cost-Effectiveness; Chronic Disease Care & Outcomes

Quasi-ExperimentPredictive Modeling Study
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A close-up of surgeons' hands

Surgical Care & Wearable Technology

Hassan Ghomrawi, PhD, MPH, studies the appropriateness of surgical care, cost-effectiveness analysis and patient expectations, as well as using wearable technology to improve surgical outcomes.

Research themes: Addressing Healthcare Disparities; Chronic Disease Care & Outcomes; Healthcare Financing, Payment & Cost-Effectiveness; Pediatric Health Services & Outcomes

Quasi-ExperimentNatural ExperimentPure Observational StudyPredictive Modeling Study
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Ethics & Informed Consent

In her work, Elisa Gordon, PhD, MPH, aims to optimize the informed consent process by developing interventions that foster comprehension of treatment options and culturally competent care particularly for living donors and transplant candidates.

Specialized programs: SOQIC; NUTORC
Research themes: Addressing Healthcare Disparities

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Rehabilitation therapy on a treadmill

Rehabilitation, Disability & Chronic Illness

Allen Heinemann, PhD, studies the effectiveness and efficiency of rehabilitation services. He focuses on measurement of rehabilitation outcomes, including issues important to people with disabilities, such as their participation in work and community activities.

Research themes: Chronic Disease Care & Outcomes; Healthcare Financing; Payment & Cost-Effectiveness

Randomized TrialPure Observational StudyPredictive Modeling Study
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Doctor speaking with patient

Critical Illness & Patient Agency

Jacqueline Kruser, MD, MS, promotes the agency of patients and their families as they navigate the experience of critical illness by investigating the intensive care unit as a complex system.

Research themes: Improving Acute Care Delivery Systems

Quasi-ExperimentPure Observational StudyPredictive Modeling StudyQualitative Research
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Baby on exam table

Pediatric Urology

Emilie Johnson, MD, MPH, focuses on improving clinical care for pediatric urology patients with both common and rare conditions.

Research themes: Addressing Healthcare Disparities; Healthcare Quality & Safety; Maternal & Child Healthcare

Natural ExperimentPure Observational StudySurvey Research, Qualitative Research
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Quality Improvement, Patient Safety & Clinical Microsystems

Julie Johnson, MSPH, PhD, strives to align her experience and expertise related to implementation science, improvement science, and qualitative research to improve quality and safety of patient care within clinical microsystems.

Specialized program: SOQIC
Research theme: Healthcare Quality & Safety

Natural ExperimentPure Observational Study
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Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Yvonne Lee, MD, MMSc, aims to understand the pain experience and identify the underlying mechanisms of pain in individuals with systemic rheumatic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Research theme: Chronic Disease Care & Outcomes

Randomized TrialPure Observational Study
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Geriatrics & Aging-in-Place

Lee Lindquist, MD, MPH, MBA, studies many aspects of elder care, from exposing the risks of hiring a caregiver to comparing the costs of care to life on a cruise ship. Keeping seniors safe and as healthy and independent as possible is a key theme running through her work.

Research theme: Chronic Disease Care & Outcomes

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Patient Education About Safe Use of Opioids

Danielle McCarthy, MD, aims to improve knowledge about opioids and increase the safe use of opioids for patients after an emergency department visit.

Research themes: Improving Acute Care Delivery Systems; Healthcare Quality & Safety

Randomized TrialNatural ExperimentPure Observational Study
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Manufacturing employee

Business & Health

Megan McHugh, PhD, aims to generate evidence to improve the health of manufacturing employees and communities and reduce healthcare costs for companies.

Research themes: Addressing Healthcare Disparities; Chronic Disease Care & Outcomes

Pure Observational StudyQualitative, Cost Analyses
health of manufacturing employees
Stroke research

Outcomes, Machine Learning & Informatics

Andrew Naidech, MD, MSPH, is focused on improving patient outcomes, particularly quality of life. He uses stroke as a model disease to leverage machine learning, natural language processing/text analysis and imagine analysis.

Research themes: Addressing Healthcare Disparities; Healthcare Quality & Safety; Improving Acute Care Delivery Systems

Randomized TrialQuasi-ExperimentPure Observational StudyPredictive Modeling Study
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Cancer Care Delivery and Quality

David Odell, MD, MMSc, is fellowship-trained general thoracic surgeon whose research is focused in thoracic oncology. He aims to harness the potential for regional collaboration to drive healthcare quality improvement.

Specialized program: SOQIC
Research themes: Healthcare Quality & Safety

Randomized TrialQuasi-ExperimentPure Observational StudyPredictive Modeling StudyImplementation Science
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Hands grasping in teamwork

Teamwork & Quality Improvement

Kevin O'Leary, MD, MS, leads research to redesign systems in order to improve teamwork and outcomes for hospitalized patients.

Research themes: Healthcare Quality & Safety; Improving Acute Delivery Care Systems

Quasi-ExperimentSurvey Research, Qualitative Research
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Child after surgery

Children's Surgical Health

Mehul Raval, MD, MS, aims to help children receive timely, appropriate and high-quality surgical care in a cost-conscious fashion that ultimately results in the highest-value surgical care possible.

Research themes: Addressing Healthcare Dispartities; Healthcare Financing, Payment & Cost-Effectiveness; Healthcare Quality & Safety; Improving Acute Care Delivery Systems; Maternal & Child Healthcare; Pediatric Health Services & Outcomes

Randomized TrialPure Observational Study
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Reducing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Peripartum Care

In her work, Paloma Toledo, MD, MPH, focuses on understanding and reducing racial/ethnic disparities in the care delivered to pregnant women, with a goal of improving maternal outcomes.

Specialized program: SOQIC
Research themes: Addressing Healthcare Disparities

Randomized TrialPure Observational Study
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Healthcare worker taking a patient's blood pressure

Healthcare Quality & Patient Safety

Donna Woods, PhD, conducts research and education to improve the quality and safety of healthcare systems and processes.

Research themes: Healthcare Quality & Safety; Maternal & Child Healthcare; Pediatric Health Services & Outcomes

Quasi-ExperimentNatural ExperimentPure Observational Study
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Mother and child

Obstetric Health Equity & Health Services

Lynn Yee, MD, MPH, conducts obstetrics-focused, patient-centered outcomes and health services research. Her goal is to develop and test interventions that improve maternal and perinatal outcomes and reduce inequity in obstetrics.

Research themes: Addressing Healthcare Disparities; Maternal & Child Healthcare

Randomized TrialQuasi-ExperimentPure Observational StudyImplementation Science
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