First-year fellows Lori Wong, M.D., MPH, and Daniel Liu, M.D., presented their research today at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) Fellows Day about user efficiency before and after an electronic health records update and machine learning’s potential use in digital health.
Both are fellows in the UAMS/ACH Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program, whose home is the Department of Biomedical Informatics. The program has two training sites: Dr. Wong is at UAMS and Dr. Liu is at UAMS. The UAMS Department of Pediatrics hosts Fellows Day annually. Most of the audience tuned in online this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Wong’s research is on “The impact of organization-wide Electronic Health Record (EHR) upgrades on user’s EHR activity time.” She examined user time and efficiency using EHR log data in the Epic system at UAMS before and after an August 2020 update. Recent studies have shown that providers spend half of their time in EHR, which is being researched as a potential contributor to physician burnout.
EHR updates are a continuous part of EHR system maintenance, and Dr. Wong wanted to target them as a potential way to improve the experience for users. Her analysis did not find a statistically significant change in time in EHR before and after this particular update. However, Dr. Wong said the topic warrants further research.
Dr. Liu’s research is exploring whether a machine learning predictive model could identify whether a telemedicine visit would be suitable for a patient encounter and would likely be welcomed by the patient. The model would provide a recommendation to clinic schedulers, possibly leading to a better match between patients and telemedicine visits, with a goal of improved patient and provider satisfaction and the sustainable expansion of telemedicine.
Dr. Liu is using EHR data from 2018-2021 to help “teach” his machine learning model to make the telemedicine suggestions. He is attempting to account for potential issues such as biases in the data that may create or widen care disparities. This is an ongoing project that will likely become part of Dr. Liu’s senior year final research project.
Drs. Joseph Sanford (CI Fellowship UAMS site director) and Kevin Sexton (CI Fellowship rotation supervisor) are assisting Dr. Wong with her research. Dr. Tamara Perry is working with Dr. Liu on his.