ED Research Coordinator Program

The Emergency Department Research Coordinator (EDRC) Program exists within the Department and our mission is to support the conduct of high impact clinical and translational research by providing investigators efficient and effective research services. We place highly trained staff members in the Emergency Department environment where they screen, consent, and enroll patients into research studies.

The EDRC Program is a cutting-edge clinical research study coordination program available to researchers across the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We have worked on research projects funded by federal, foundation, and industry sponsors and with researchers from a wide variety of Schools, Colleges, and Departments across campus.

The EDRC Program can help you facilitate research by:

  • Offering best practices on recruiting patients and caregivers from the emergency department
  • Effectively identifying and enrolling participants into research studies
  • Rigorously adhering to study protocols and accurately completing study procedures
  • Regularly communicating with study teams regarding recruitment progress

Call or Email for a Consultation

Rebecca Schwei, MPH
EDRC Program Supervisor
rschwei@medicine.wisc.edu | (608) 263-6690




COVID-19 Studies:

A Clinical Examination of N95 Reuse and Extended Use

This study aims to assess the duration that N95 face coverings maintain their fit during extended use. During critical PPE shortages, such as those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC recommends N95 extended use and limited reuse. Definitive data regarding respirator performance during reuse and extended use are lacking. To address these critical gaps in knowledge, this study aims to determine the incidence of N95 fit failure when subjected to extended use/reuse in a clinical setting. Coordinators will approach ED providers to participate, complete the baseline survey, conduct fit tests at the end of each shift until fit failure is reached or up to five shifts, and provide participants with $100 gift cards for their participation.

Please contact Dr. Manish Shah at mnshah@medicine.wisc.edu for additional information regarding this study. 

TREAT NOW Assessment of Early COVID Treatment on Outpatients

The purpose of this multicenter, blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial is to evaluate the efficacy of Lopinavir/Ritonavir for early treatment of adults with COVID-19 in the outpatient setting prior to hospitalization. EDRCs will call patients who recently tested positive for COVID-19 and offer them study participation over the phone. Patients agreeing to participate will be mailed the drug or a placebo and followed for 30 days. This study is in collaboration with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and no study activities will take place within the emergency department.

Contact Dr. Michael Pulia for more information.

Additional Studies:


All of Us

The purpose of this study is to build a national database that will be available to researchers to further precision medicine. Coordinators will approach patients to participate, help them go through the portal to complete the baseline surveys, and schedule follow-up appointments with patients for bio-specimen collection. We are hoping to enroll family members and guests in this study as well. For questions, please contact Dr. Manish Shah.

Building a Substance Use Data Commons for Public Health Informatics

This study aims to validate a natural language processing algorithm that screens hospitalized patients for substance misuse. The EDRCs will be approaching eligible patients and informing them of the study – no study activities will occur in the emergency department. The EDRC team is working with Majid Afshar, MD, MSCR from the UW Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Randy Brown, MD, PhD from the UW Program for Research, Outreach, Therapeutics, and Education in the Addictions (PROTEA) to see how their teams’ substance misuse classifier performs against a gold standard screening survey.

Please contact Dr. Manish Shah or Dr. Brian Patterson with questions.

Clinical Evaluation of the Omron Wheeze Detector Prototype and Algorithm

The purpose of this study is to test a wheeze detector prototype created by Omron Healthcare in pediatric patients with a history of asthma or suspected of having asthmatic symptoms. This is a new protocol but is a continuation of the previous Omron study that is more tailored to the target patient population. Enrollers will take a 30-second recording of eligible patients breathing to capture lung sounds of interest. For questions, please contact Dr. Manish Shah or Dr. Michael Kim.

Engineering Safe Care Journeys for Vulnerable Older Adults

As a part of the AHRQ grant titled “Engineering Safe Care Journeys for Vulnerable Older Adults”, EDRCs will start administering surveys to older adult fall patients about their perceptions of health care. EDRCs will administer two short surveys, one in the middle of the patient's stay and one just before the patient leaves the ED. These data will serve as baseline data to evaluate a tool that will be designed to improve transitions from the ED to the hospital, the patient's home, and skilled nursing facilities. If you have any questions or concerns about the project, please contact the study PI, Dr. Pascale Carayon (pcarayon@wisc.edu) or Drs. Shah or Patterson.

Evaluating the Utility of Thermal Imaging in Diagnosing Cellulitis for Lower Extremity Complaints in the Emergency Department

The main purpose of the study is to determine the temperature gradient between affected and unaffected legs in patients with cellulitis and compare the difference in temperature between cases of cellulitis and pseudocellulitis. A secondary purpose is to assess the impact of thermal imaging data on diagnostic assessments of potential cellulitis cases when added to standard techniques. For questions, please contact Dr. Michael Pulia.

Evaluation of ANP Assay in Acute Heart Failure

The purpose of this study is to evaluate a new assay for diagnosing and assessing the severity of Acute Heart Failure in patients presenting to the emergency department. This test is created by Beckman Coulter, Inc. and uses a blood draw to look for certain biomarkers present during episodes of heart failure. In addition to patient questions and chart review, EDRCs will work with ED staff to collect blood and then perform simple processing on it prior to sending it to the sponsor for testing. This study is expecting to enroll 2-3 patients per week. For questions, please contact Dr. Michael Ward.

Lumos FebriDx®

The purpose of this study is to test a device to identify the infectious etiology (virus vs. bacteria) of patients presenting with acute respiratory symptoms. This device, called FebriDx®, was created by Lumos Diagnostics and uses a finger stick blood sample to measure the levels of various pathogens. The hope is for this device to be widely available for patients to help guide their decisions to seek care for respiratory illnesses. In addition to the finger stick, the EDRCs will be collecting nose and throat swabs as well as blood samples to send for confirmatory testing. This study is expecting to enroll 1-2 patients per week during daytime hours. For questions, please contact Dr. Michael Ward.

The Role of Aspiration in Community Acquired Pneumonia

Pneumonia is the most common infectious cause of mortality in older adults. Standard practice for older adults with pneumonia involves hospitalization and antibiotics. However, recent studies suggest that a significant portion of suspected community-acquired bacterial pneumonia cases may actually be due to distinct, dysphagia-related aspiration syndromes (e.g. aspiration pneumonia, pneumonitis). This study will utilize diagnostic imaging to generate a prevalence estimate for aspiration in older adults diagnosed with pneumonia or with suspected pneumonia for dysphagia, as well as determine rates of recurrent pneumonia in this population.

This study is being conducted in collaboration with Nicole Rogus-Pulia, PhD, CCC-SLP, Director of the Swallowing and Salivary Bioscience Laboratory within the UW Department of Medicine Division of Geriatrics. This study is funded by the UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.

Romantic Couples, Medications, and Health at Time of ED Visit

The purpose of this study is to develop relationship-based predictors of prescription opioid use among older adults. EDRCs will approach patients presenting to the ED with injuries who also have a romantic partner present for participation. Interested couples will complete one survey in the ED, and the patient will complete a short follow-up survey at 30 days. This study is being done in collaboration with Dr. Lauren Papp in the School of Human Ecology. For questions, please contact Dr. Michael Repplinger.

All Current and Completed Studies:

A comprehensive list of all completed and ongoing studies conducted by the EDRC Program is available here.