UNC department of emergency medicine

Clinical Research

Area of Study: Geriatric Acute Care
Faculty Member: Kevin Biese, MD, MAT
Project Description: The Departments of Emergency Medicine and the Division of Aging are teaming up to find innovative ways to enhance care for geriatric patients throughout the UNC Health Care System with a particular focus on the Emergency Department. We are currently researching topics on improving transitions of care from nursing homes to the ED and from the ED to the hospital or back to their place of residence; enhancing comprehension of discharge instructions for elderly patients; improving the triage system for the elderly; creating educational curriculum for health care providers of the elderly; and enhancing comfort measures for elderly patients while in the ED. The research group meets weekly and includes attending physicians from departments as well as nurses, residents, statisticians, professional educators, medical students, and fellows.

Area of Study: Predicting and preventing chronic pain after minor trauma in the elderly
Faculty Member: Tim Platts-Mills, MD
Project Description: The goal of our research is to improve the identification of elderly patients at high risk for chronic pain after minor trauma and subsequently to develop interventions to prevent chronic pain. The planned investigation will use methodology developed by Dr. Samuel Mclean as part of a large study of chronic pain after minor trauma in non-elderly adults. Additional related investigations will examine the association between heart rate variability and the development of chronic pain and improved methods to assess the level of pain experienced by patients after minor trauma. Related projects include work with the joint geriatric-emergency medicine research group looking at: 1) the sensitivity of triage tools for identifying elderly patients in need of an immediate intervention; and 2) the predictive utility of abnormal vital signs at the time of triage in this population.

Health Services Research

Area of Study: Health Care Quality
Faculty Member: Seth W. Glickman, MD, MBA
Project Description: Research focus is determinants of health care quality, including the role of organizational structure and systems management, physician behaviors, and financial incentives. Other studies include the ethical issues related to participation of human subjects in clinical research and health implications of regionalization of care for patients with acute, time-sensitive conditions such as acute myocardial infarction, trauma, and stroke.

Area of Study: Emergency Medicine/Public Health Informatics Research
Faculty member: Matthew Scholer, MD, PhD
Project Description: Members of the Carolina Center for Health Informatics within the UNC Department of Emergency Medicine work with large datasets to address research topics in the areas of Emergency Medicine and Public Health Informatics. Projects focus on disease surveillance and population based emergency medicine research using de-identified statewide Emergency Department data. We provide analytical support, web access and data storage for the North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT, www.ncdetect.org). Educational activities include CCHI team meetings and weekly Emergency Medicine research meetings with frequent extramural speakers.

EMS Research

Area of Study: Prehospital Medicine/Stroke/Disaster Medicine/ Literacy
Faculty member: Jane Brice, MD, MPH
Project Description: STAT 911 - a study examining the effect of a 911-telecommunicator algorithm for stroke. CARD - assessment of citizen personal preparedness for disaster. Stroke Registry and PreMIS Linkage - a study examining the validity of a data linkage between the North Carolina Stroke Registry and PreMIS, the state EMS patient care database. Barriers to care for Hispanic patients and the effect of health literacy on those barriers.


Basic Science

Area of Study: Recovery after trauma
Faculty member: Samuel McLean, MD / TRYUMPH Research Program
Project Description: The goal of our research is to improve recovery after traumatic events such as motor vehicle collision, sexual assault, and burn injury. Current activities include Project CRASH (1R01AR056328), which is currently collecting genetic and non-genetic risk factor and outcome data on 1000 MVC patients at six US ED sites; The Womens Health Study, which similarly collecting data on sexual assault survivors at ED sites across North Carolina, and a pharmacologic study to improve outcomes after burn. Educational activities include a weekly TRYUMPH Program journal club, a weekly Center meeting with frequent extramural speakers, and a weekly meeting discussing the molecular biology work of the Center.

Area of Study: Translational research on therapeutic hypothermia and infrared imaging.
Faculty member: Laurence Katz MD
Project Description: Our group studies thermophysiology in order to develop medications to optimize therapeutic hypothermia to treat acute ischemia with a particular focus on brain injury. We collaborate with members of the Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC), Duke University and the military.

Area of Study: Trauma and cardiac resuscitation
Faculty member: James Manning, MD
Project Description: Experimental studies of hemorrhagic shock and cardiac resuscitation. Dr. Manning's research focuses upon novel strategies to treat hemorrhagic shock and provide physiologic and metabolic support during cardiac resuscitation. His work is funded by the DOD and Naval Medical Research Center.