Evaluating the benefit and burden of the federal meaningful use program on practicing physicians

The goal is to understand the benefit and burden of each criteria of meaningful use to understand the effect of the program as a whole on practicing physicians. Phase one of the study looks at the physician's face-to-face time and is funded by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Expected completion is Fall 2015.

Design of a new extension limiting cervical collar

The goal is to develop a cervical collar that can be created from the patient's anthropometry and produced on-site at clinics and hospital's within hours. (Poster: Custom cervical orthotic based on patient's anthropometry, 2015 KY EPSCoR)

Decision support for asthma patients

Information on this study is pending.



Evaluation and redesign of a hospital admissions process

The goal is to standardize procedures and reduce the number of paths of admission for increased efficiency and reduced wait time ultimately resulting in better patient outcomes. Expected completion is Summer 2013.

Simulation of physician-nurse teams in a primary care clinic at a task level

The goal is to develop a "real world" primary care clinic model based on multiple physician-nurse teams treating patients simultaneously. Key characteristics of the model are decision based, non-linear, and generalizable. Hence, variation of task and sequence of tasks are considered, as well as how different physician-nurse teams distribute workloads. The resulting simulation proven to be unique in both approach and utility. Current, phase one of the project is completed, which includes a working DES model of a single physician-nurse team based on one patient room.

Longevity study of a nurses' health

This study is a continuation of findings from the patient handling study where nurses were found to have a lower health baseline than population norms. The goal is to develop track nurses for a several year period to see how their health changes based on conditions. Currently, this study is in the stakeholder recruitment and grant submission phase.

Human Optimization Constraint: Biomechanical Reach Coefficient

The goal is to develop a coefficient of reach for a destination point based on an individual's anthropometry for use in optimization models. The benefit would allow for the process to be optimized for the product produced and the limitations of the worker simultaneously, which could result in a higher overall efficiency with reduced cumulative trauma injury (cost). Currently, a working equation has been developed and applied to workstation layout, cockpit design, and vehicle evacuation models. The sample provided shows a single individuals 2D mapping of reach coefficients with color coding identifying optimal reach points (Coefficient Mapping).(Publication: Effects of Dynamic Movement on Seated Reach, Ergonomics 2007)


Evaluation and redesign of a hospital admissions process

The goal is to standardize procedures and reduce the number of paths of admission for increased efficiency and reduced wait time ultimately resulting in better patient outcomes. Expected completion is Summer 2013.

Workflow analysis and time study of a copper bar mill for the purpose of developing a time standard

This study was performed in support of local industry, which is part of Center for Ergonomics mission. Currently, this study is in the final stages with a follow study proposed.

Assessing Risk in Ambulatory Medication use after Hospital Transitions

The goal was to examine transition of patient care related to medication management. Hence, an evaluation of the system was performed to understand how patients transition back to their primary care physician after hospital admission. The emphasis was to evaluate the ability to reconcile the patient's medications on the first clinic visit (hospital follow-up). Analysis allowed for each clinics process to be analyzed to understand where variations were present and which ones might lead to adverse drug events (ADEs).(Poster: Methods used to Assess Risk in Ambulatory Medication use after Hospital Transitions, 2008 WREN Primary Care Research & Quality Improvement Forum)(Poster & Paper: Use of Tandem observations in ambulatory primary care to evaluate physician-nurse teamwork, HEPS, 2011) (Publication: Development of a primary care physician task list to evaluate workflow, BMJ Quality and Safety, 2012)

Patient Handling: Conditions & Restrictions

This was a three part study examining the conditions and restrictions that confound and/or control a patient lift.   (Grant: American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation, 2004)

Part I: A descriptive study of the conditions and restriction effecting patient handling. Study utilized focus groups, interviews, and literature to determine influencing factors based on conditions. (Publication: Decisions Factors in Patient Handling, National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Young/New Investigators Symposium 2006)

Part II: A survey of registered nurses in the state of Alabama to explore general health, perceptions, training, culture and opinions related to patient handling. (Publication: A health comparison of Alabama nurses versus US, UK, and Canadian normative populations, Journal of Orthopeadic Nursing, 2009) (Publication: Nurses' perceptions of how job environment and culture influence patient handling, Journal of Orthopeadic Nursing, 2009)

Part III: A biomechanics laboratory study of the impact of situations, conditions, and/or restrictions as dictated by the survey results of part I and II. Specifically, this part of the study will look at the effects of space restriction on a patient lift. (Publication: The effects of restricted space on patient handling, Professional Safety, 2010)

Expanding Human Constraint Varibales in Evacuation Models

This research aims to expand evacuation models to include more realistic human characteristics based on conditions. Models currently used are limited in their integration of human physiology and behaviors. Our approach utilizes tools such as motion capture to quantify variables for use in simulation models.

Ergonomic Evaluation of Fishery Operations

(Publication: Using Surveys to Identify Stressors in Generalized Jobs, IJIE 2006 )

Using Linear Programming to Optimize Control Panel Design From an Ergonomic Perspective.

(Publication: Human Factors Proceedings 2003; ASSE Proceedings 2004)

ScriptPro Nationwide Pharmacy Error Study

(Publication: Medical Dispensing Errors in Community Pharmacies: A Nationwide Study, Human Factors Proceedings 2002; Reported: REUTERS September 2002)