We are excited about the research that we conduct and our study findings. We hope that patients and community members will be excited about these too.
In order to make information from our scientific talks and publications more understandable to everyone, we provide highlights of recent work below.
Norovirus in Healthcare Settings – In order to have a better understanding on the how norovirus (sometimes referred to as “winter vomiting bug”) spreads within the hospital, we are examining characteristics of the virus, infected patients and the hospital environment by linking clinical data (symptoms, diagnoses and lab results from eHospital) to the genetic information of the norviruses that the patients have. By doing this we have recently discovered that one patient may have more than one norovirus inside of him or her at once! This may be how new strains that affect the entire world start. We have also discovered a strain not yet seen in the UK. Please see our recent conference abstract at: https://www.noro2016.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Program_Web.pdf
Prostate Cancer Patient – When patients visit modern hospitals they leave behind digital footprints of their clinical history. Collecting this information and linking it together has allowed us to investigate new ways of representing the journeys that patients take through care. By mapping these journeys we can better understand current clinical practice and suggest ways to improve it. We can also investigate how particular journeys may result in unexpected outcomes for the patient and how close they are to national or international best practice guidelines. This work was previously carried out by one of our team members at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital using a case study on prostate cancer. Please see the publication at http://medinform.jmir.org/article/viewFile/medinform_v3i3e26/2
Using Hospital Staff Sickness Absence to Help Understand Seasonal Influenza – Using electronic data on hospital staff absences from the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, we mapped absences from coughs, colds and flu among hospital staff and demonstrated how these related to our current flu mapping based on GP visits. Our findings from this study indicate that hospital staff absences are a good source of understanding and predicting season flu. Please see our publication at http://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-015-0789-z.
A Comprehensive Understanding of Illnesses that Cause Vomiting and Diarrhoea among Hospitalised Patients – Working together with Public Health England, we used a new test for patients with vomiting and diarrhoea that tells us if patients have any of 29 different infections. This test was used on CUH patients who had samples sent for testing in the laboratory. They received both regular testing for vomiting and diarrhoea and the new test. The new test revealed a number of missed infections, when compared to the standard tests and that patients often have more than one infection. This has implications for changing testing methods, as well as looking after patients with vomiting and diarrhoea. Please see our recent conference abstract at: https://www.noro2016.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Program_Web.pdf
- Healthcare Worker Experience with eHospital: in the Beginning and Now – We are currently looking at the written transcripts of audio recorded interviews on ~65 healthcare workers to find patterns of experience with our new medical record system (called eHospital).
- Patient and Public Perspectives on Using Electronic Medical Records for Research and Large Electronic Registries – We are currently looking at the written transcripts of audio recorded public and patient involvement workshops to summarise patterns of ideas expressed across age groups and communities on opinions about electronic medical records and registries.
- Understanding Fungal Infections among Immune Compromised Patients – Fungi are organisms that normally grow in soil, although some grow on our skin in very low numbers as part of our normal health. Many modern patients often have conditions that result in their immune systems not working correctly, which provides the opportunity for these normally harmless fungi to grow into very severe infections that can be life threatening. This study will describe what types of fungal infections we have seen in patients at CUH (Addenbrooke’s and Rosie Hospital) over the past 10 years and factors that put patients at greater risk. Such information will help us to better protect are most sensitive patients from these types of infections.
- Assessment of Lab Orders Before and After eHospital – We are assessing the number of laboratory tests ordered at Addenbrooke’s and Rosie Hospitals before and after the adoption of eHospital, to determine the impact of the fully integrated Electronic Health Record system on the rate of unnecessary test orders and to calculate potential cost saving.