Research

The BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency conducts innovative emergency care research with a focus on clinical and translational studies that advance the health and health equity of the people of Wisconsin and beyond.

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research ranked the Department of Emergency Medicine 12th in 2019 NIH research funding among medical school emergency medicine departments, an exceptional achievement from being unranked in 2014.

Our faculty and staff are developing original research ideas, obtaining competitive funding support, publishing high-impact papers, and serving in consequential leadership roles with many societies and organizations within our specialty. Core areas of research with significant grant funding, publications, and ongoing efforts include antimicrobial stewardship, emergency care for infectious diseases, geriatric emergency medicine, predictive analytics, and prehospital medicine.  For more detailed information, please see our Research Programs pages.

Our faculty and staff are also dedicated to collaborating with academic and industry partners. If you are interested in conducting research in the emergency department, please contact Dr. Manish N. Shah, Vice Chair of Research, at mnshah@medicine.wisc.edu.

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Recent News & Announcements

Dr. Gwen C. Jacobson selected for October Author Spotlight by the Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine

The Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine has chosen to spotlight the work of Gwen Gosta Jacobsohn, PhD for their October Author Spotlight for her important work and geriatric emergency medicine research, particularly her recently published article "Effectiveness of a care transitions intervention for older adults discharged home from the emergency department: A randomized controlled trial." A feature of Dr. Jacobsohn's work including a summary of this excellent article is currently featured on the AGEM website for our Author Spotlight.

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Dr. Michael Pulia awarded $2.4 million, five-year AHRQ research grant

Michael Pulia, MD, MS will lead a major $2.4 million, five-year research study to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on antibiotic prescribing and bacterial resistance patterns using data from over 350 U.S. hospitals. The study, called "Characterizing the ImPact of COVID-19 on Antibiotic PreScribing in AcutE Care and IDentifying Resilient Stewardship Strategies" (POISED), received funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Researchers aim to develop a resilient antibiotic stewardship implementation toolkit.

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Dr. Brian Patterson awarded $1.7 million, five-year AHRQ research grant

Congratulations to Brian Patterson, MD, MPH for being awarded a major $1.7 million five-year research grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) titled "Preventing Future Falls in Older Adult ED Patients: Evaluating the Implementation and Effectiveness of a Novel Automated Screening and Referral Intervention."

The federal grant builds on Dr. Patterson's working through a five-year AHRQ K08 grant ending this month. Since 2016, Dr. Patterson engaged a team of experts in engineering and computer science to build an algorithm capable of predicting which older adults are at high risk for returning with a fall after an emergency department visit. Dr. Patterson's team also piloted a workflow in which this algorithm deploys in real-time to identify high-risk patients at the time of an emergency department visit and assist emergency medicine physicians in making referrals to the Geriatric Mobility and Falls Clinic.

This new five-year grant, also from the AHRQ, will allow Dr. Patterson and a transdisciplinary team to expand this pilot program to two additional hospitals in the UW Health network, and evaluate its effectiveness in both identifying high-risk patients and reducing future falls.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to engage experts at UW to study this intervention, which uses technology to provide preventive care for our patients within the context of a busy emergency department without taking time away from our core mission of caring for emergencies," said Dr. Patterson.

With only about 5% of all submissions for R18 grants typically funded, this successful award represents a major milestone for Dr. Patterson in his career as a physician scientist, as well as for the UW Aging Research Group.

Dr. Allie Hurst awarded grant aimed at identifying victims of child sex trafficking

Irene (Allie) Hurst, MD, MS has received a grant from the Cars Curing Kids Foundation for her work titled "Operationalizing Sex Trafficking Screening in an Academic Emergency Department: A Quality Initiative." Through this grant, Dr. Hurst will work to institute confidential, electronic screening tools for sex trafficking of minors in the pediatric emergency department at UW Health, and track and improve the usage of these tools via systematic quality improvement cycles.

Of the more than 23,500 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2018, 1 in 7 were likely victims of child sex trafficking.

Dr. Hurst's work in this area was recently published in the medical journal Pediatrics: "Confidential Screening for Sex Trafficking Among Minors in a Pediatric Emergency Department."

Dr. Michael Kim to lead pediatric readiness program study for community EDs

Michael Kim, MD was awarded an Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment grant in conjunction with the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin. The grant, titled “Pediatric Readiness Program for Community Emergency Departments,” will enhance access to quality, evidence-based pediatric emergency care in Wisconsin and address health inequities in rural and community emergency departments. Dr. Kim is the Site PI at UW-Madison and will work with Wisconsin EMS for Children, the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, and many other groups to achieve their goal.

Dr. Shah to co-lead $7.5 million dementia research study from National Institutes of Health

The BerbeeWalsh Emergency Department is one of four sites awarded a total of $7.5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research that could lead to improved care in emergency departments for people with dementia.

The effort aims to leverage expertise in emergency medicine, geriatrics and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to identify gaps in emergency care for people with dementia and address those gaps, according to Manish Shah, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and co-principal investigator.

For example, many commonly used medications are problematic for people with dementia. Better understanding which medications are safest for this vulnerable population would help clinicians better care for them, he said.

“The emergency department is not an ideal care setting for people with dementia,” Shah said. “What we want to do is find better ways to care for one of our most vulnerable populations, namely older adults with cognitive impairment.”

The funds will support Geriatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network 2.0 – Advancing Dementia Care (GEAR 2.0 ADC), which is a collaboration between SMPH, Yale School of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. All four institutions are home to an NIH-National Institute on Aging-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Ula Hwang, MD, MPH, at Yale, is serving as co-principal investigator.

The study has two phases. In phase one, the co-principal investigators will convene a panel of experts to review current research related to dementia patient care in emergency departments, identify areas where more research is needed, and create an infrastructure in which care researchers across the country can conduct this research.

In phase two, the research will commence. With joint support from numerous partners, GEAR 2.0-ADC will award more than $1.1 million to fund nine pilot study awards. Phase two will also see the deployment of resources and mentoring support to help researchers successfully execute their research projects.

The network’s executive committee, task force and advisory committee members hail from more than 35 academic medical centers across the United States. GEAR 2.0 community partners include the American Geriatrics Society, American Federation on Aging Research/Clin-STAR, Alzheimer’s Association, Emergency Medicine Foundation, Family Caregiver Alliance, Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative, IMPACT Collaboratory, NIA Research Coordination Center Network, Patient Family Center Care and West Health Institute.

Recent Publications

Research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, October 2021

Simon R. Yadgir, Collin Engstrom, Gwen Costa Jacobsohn, Rebecca K. Green, Courtney M. C. Jones, Jeremy T. Cushman, Thomas V. Caprio, Amy J. H. Kind, Michael Lohmeier, Manish N. Shah, Brian W. Patterson. Machine learning-assisted screening for cognitive impairment in the emergency department. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2021; 1- 7. doi:10.1111/jgs.17491

Research published online in Wisconsin Medical Journal, September 2021

Keon Young Park, MD, PhD; Benjamin L. Eithun, CRNP; Jeffrey Havlena, MS; Jessica Draper, APNP; Randi S. Cartmill, MS; Michael K. Kim, MD; Jonathan E. Kohler, MD, MA. Driving Time to Trauma Centers for Children Living in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Medical Journalhttps://wmjonline.org/new-online/09272021-park.

Research published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, August 2021

DeSanti, R.L., Cowan, E.A., Kory, P.D., Lasarev, M.R., Schmidt, J. and Al-Subu, A.M. (2021), The Inter-Rater Reliability of Pediatric Point-of-Care Lung Ultrasound Interpretation in Children with Acute Respiratory Failure. J Ultrasound Med. https://doi.org/10.1002/jum.15805

Research published in Academic Emergency Medicine, July 2021

Gwen C. Jacobsohn, Courtney M. C. Jones, Rebecca K. Green, Amy L. Cochran, Thomas V. Caprio, Jeremy T. Cushman, Amy J. H. Kind, Michael Lohmeier, Ranran Mi, Manish N. Shah. Effectiveness of a care transitions intervention for older adults discharged home from the emergency department: A randomized controlled trial. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2021. http://doi.org/10.1111/acem.14357.

Research published in Air Medical Journal, June 2021

Nicholas Lepa, Andrew Cathers, Kevin Emmerich, Richard Galgon, Brian Jennett, Kristopher M. Schroeder, Michael Steuerwald. Comparison of Hyperangulated and Standard Geometry Video Laryngoscopy Tracheal Intubation for Prehospital Care in a Manikin: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial. Air Medical Journal, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amj.2021.05.007.

Research published in Annals of Emergency Medicine, June 2021

Justin P. Purnell, Hani I. Kuttab, Mary C. Westergaard. Young Male With Penile Pain. Annals of Emergency Medicine. Volume 78, Issue 1, 2021, Pages e9-e10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2021.02.002.

Research published in JAMA Network, June 2021

Schwei RJ, Hetzel S, Kim K, et al. Peer-to-Peer Support and Changes in Health and Well-being in Older Adults Over Time. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(6):e2112441. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.12441

Available Positions

Research Fellow (BC/BE)

Now accepting applications for a residency-trained emergency medicine research fellow to start July 2022. Please visit the research fellowship page to learn more about the opportunity and to apply.

Questions? Please email demresearch@medicine.wisc.edu
Tel: 608-263-6690
Fax: 608-265-8241