Researchers develop app to improve coordination in perioperative services

April 15, 2014

Pre Op Checklist App Screen image

Figure 1 – Sample Screen

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Clemson University and the University of South Carolina is working to leverage technology to eliminate the critical coordination barriers between operating rooms, pre-op, and post-op areas.  The NSF-funded project focuses on enhancing the coordination and communication among hospital staff in these areas and specifically targets the use of technology to eliminate the critical coordination barriers in these departments to facilitate decision making that is patient-centered and evidence-based.

The research team is led by three Clemson professors: Dr. Larry Fredendall (Management), Dr. Joel Greenstein (Industrial Engineering), and Dr. Kevin Taaffe (Industrial Engineering) and two USC professors: Dr. Nathan Huynh (Civil Engineering) and Jose Vidal (Computer Science). Efforts are aimed at developing a smart-app that provides real-time data and status updates to multiple stakeholders so that staffing and scheduling can be adjusted to current conditions and needs.  Researcher and developers have been working closely in the development process with healthcare organizations around the state including the Greenville Health System (GHS), Palmetto Health in Columbia, and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston. Researchers have conducted site visits to GHS, Palmetto, and MUSC to observe and interview healthcare providers as part of the needs assessment. Since defining the problems and opportunities, developers have started developing a working prototype of a voice-recognition mobile application for Android devices targeted at users in perioperative services. Figure 1 shows a sample screen of the pre-op checklist under development. Pilot studies and beta testing of this application are scheduled to be conducted in the coming months.

In addition to the project leaders, undergraduate and graduate students for Clemson’s industrial engineering department are also contributing to the research initiative. Graduate researchers include: Robert Allen, Sumonthip Chompoodang, Venkatramanan Chanchapalli Madhavan, Mahesh Sreedharan, and Nazanin Zinouri. The undergraduate, Creative Inquiry team members include: Arianna Cipollone, Nick Malette, Lauren Pearson, Sarah Rast, and Jackie Smolinski.