Research Initiatives

 

THINQ is a group of individuals composed of undergraduates, graduate students, physicians, and allied health care professionals. We are an intentionally diverse organization; we analyze quality of care administered within the healthcare landscape from multiple perspectives, thus giving us a valuable platform to act from. Aside from our various projects within UCLA's Department of Medicine, we come together as a team and talk about diverse topics in health care and industry that affect both patients and doctors across the globe. From THINQ Tanks to direct patient contact, we implement a variety of holistic strategies to achieve our goals reflecting healthcare improvement and innovation in quality.

 

Ongoing Research Projects (2020-2021)

  • Patient Feedback: The Patient Feedback team aims to investigate the impact of MD-RN rounding on a patient’s hospital stay by directly incorporating their feedback into our ongoing observational study on interdisciplinary team rounds. We’ve come up with a few potential study designs, and are currently in the process of analyzing HCAHPS surveys to see how their data fits in with the data collected from shadowing rounds.
  • Computational: The Computational Project team has been working on analyzing the vast amount of MD-RN study data that THINQ members collected during shadowing shifts. We have mostly focused on figuring out which variables are dependent on or are correlated with each other, but are looking to expand to more advanced data visualization or machine learning projects in the future.
  • Undergraduate Research Journal: The research journal team has been drafting a research article on our MD-RN research study for submission to the UCLA Undergraduate Science Journal. It has been a fun challenge to not only compile findings from such a large dataset in a concise manner but also be able to write collaboratively, which has pushed us to expand on each other’s ideas and explore the greater implications of our clinical observations for interdisciplinary teams of care providers.
  • Medical School Diversity and Professional Perceptions: The Diversity Project team has been currently working on analyzing survey data of the perceptions of MDs and RNs to seek underlying attitudes behind observed MD-RN communication barriers. We have learned a lot about how unit organization can contribute to perceptions of communication as a whole, and how to create surveys and analyze survey data. Future directions include exploring further communication barriers, including racial and gender barriers that might influence interprofessional relations.
  • UCLA Pre-health Guidebook: The THINQ guidebook project team aims to produce an interactive guide of pre-health organizations with which UCLA undergraduates can get involved. We’ve been working on compiling a master list of pre-health-oriented organizations at UCLA along with discussing survey methods and questions for information we plan on including in our guidebook about various campus organizations.

 

 

National Collegiate Research Conference (Winter 2021)

THINQ fellows presented three different research posters at the National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC) hosted by Harvard College, the nation's largest student-run research conference. This conference hosts over 200 student researchers from over 81 universities across the world.

A Comparison of Observed and Perceived Assessments of Interdisciplinary Team Rounding

  • Project Team Members: Abhinav Kareddy, Manuel Venegas, Dylan Mai, Bianca Nguyen, Pearl Omo-sowho, Damola Thomas, Lauren Han, Aishwarya Natarajan
  • This study analyzes responses collected from 193 physicians and nurses via a survey containing Likert-scale and anecdotal-type questions describing their attitudes toward interdisciplinary team rounding. Results showed that reasons for lack of communication with ITR were reported as nurse-blamed, physician blamed, or logical-blamed. Anecdotal responses provided additional information regarding common reasons for communication barriers, such as lack of professional input from nurses. Result showed a notable difference between the perception and actual comfortability between RN and MD to initiate conversation.
  • Research Poster

 

Impact of the Call Cycle on RN-MD Communication

  • Project Team Members: Dhwani Krishnan, Aishwarya Atmakuri, Brittney Le, Gabriel Salazar, Sidhant Umbrajkar, Aishwarya Natarajan
  • This study investigated the level of communication between physicians and nurses during morning bedside rounding in Internal Medicine wards over a 5-day call cycle, consisting of a short call, medium call, long call, intern day off, and resident day off. Our findings suggest that the level and quality of MD-RN interaction varies over the call cycle, which can result in miscommunication between team members.
  • Research Poster

 

Efficacy of MD-RN Communication in Interdisciplinary Team Rounds

  • Project Team Members: Chidinma Ikonte, Neha Divi, Monica Gonzalez, Kevin Chen
  • This study identifies associations between MD-RN communication factors and bedside ITR duration as a means of potentially determining if these factors affect quality of care. Results showed that interactional factors such as contact, communication, and involvement highly influenced bedside rounding times.
  • Research Poster

 

 

Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (Fall 2020)

Project Team Members: Chidinma Ikonte, Sidhant Umbrajkar, Seerat Chawla, Nikoo Dalili, Dorothy Nguyen

This presentation expands on our existing study on MD-RN communication during interdisciplinary team rounds.

This research project was presented at the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC) in October 2020. This presentation was recognized at the conference for Best Research Presentation.

 

UCLA Undergraduate Research Week: Efficacy of MD-RN Communication During Interdisciplinary Team Rounds (Spring 2020)

Project Team Members: Brandon Goenawan, Peter Lee, Aneri Patel, Callista Wu

 

This research project focused on the role of communication between physicians and nurses during daily interdisciplinary team rounds (ITR) within the Department of Internal Medicine at Ronald Reagan Medical Center. Our data collection method included a survey of various metrics that THINQ research fellows audited over a span of over 830+ bedside rounds. Some of these metrics included: average duration of nurse contact, the individual who initiated contact, and reason for no contact. Our results showed discrepancies in MD-RN communication across different units within the department, and one of our most significant main findings was that 79% of non-contact cases were due to no attempt being made.

Our findings suggested that these discrepancies in MD-RN communication may result in different patient care understanding between various providers. Variations in source of contact initiations may also indicate possible underlying reasons for being less proactive in routinely partaking in ITR. Additionally, a trend of lack of contact may result in a loss in potential opportunities to discuss patient care plans and deficits in understanding the importance of ITR. For future research, studies can explore the correlation and impact of implementing standardized rounding for the care team (physicians, interns, residents, and nurses) on patient care outcomes.

Our research project was presented at UCLA's Undergraduate Research Week in April 2020. 

 

 

Read more about our previous clinical research projects here.

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