MedStar Health Human Factors Center to Work with Virginia Tech on NIH R01 Grant Award to Better Leverage Unstructured Patient Safety Report Data to Advance Care

Virginia Tech has announced that its team will collaborate with the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare on a newly-awarded, multi-year Research Project Grant (R01) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance care by developing novel statistical methods to analyze unstructured text in patient safety event reports and to identify temporal trends and patterns in the data.

Raj Ratwani, PhD, director of the MedStar Health Human Factors Center and associate professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and Allan Fong, research scientist with the Center, will serve as principal investigators (PI), along with project lead and PI Srijan Sengupta, assistant professor of statistics in the College of Science and a faculty member at the Discovery Analytics Center at Virginia Tech.

The Center is contributing its expertise in machine learning, natural language processing, patient safety, reporting databases that can be used to identify safety trends and patterns, and translating resources like those established through this grant into healthcare environments to improve patient safety.

“This research is critical to identifying patterns in the reported data and turning data into knowledge that the healthcare provider can then use to assess the safety of their technologies and processes and develop actions and interventions to prevent patients from being harmed by recognized hazards,” said Ratwani.

R01 awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are among the most prestigious grant mechanisms. The Center is proud that this marks its fifth active multi-year R01 award, among its other large, high-impact research efforts that are advancing health care. In addition to this award, the Center’s top leaders are the PIs on three Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded R01s that focus on improving the safety of electronic medication administration records, usability and safety guidelines for health information technology, and technology to support emergency department communication, as well as another NIH National Library of Medicine-funded R01 on developing effective clinical decision support.

Read more about the Center’s latest R01 award in the Virginia Tech press release here, and on the NIH’s website here. Read the overview of all Center R01 awards and other high-impact research grants here.