University of Pennsylvania, Opthalmology Department
My interest in healthcare innovation began in college, when I worked with my school’s University Health Services to design and implement HealthPALs, a campus community health worker program. Through fostering greater communication and collaboration between the health system and student community, we were able to nearly double the number of flu shots given out in campus dorms. This experience showed me that the health of patients and communities is affected by much more than direct clinical care; the health system, care delivery processes, and community infrastructure all play critical roles.
This past summer, I worked with Penn’s Department of Ophthalmology to identify opportunities to improve follow-up care for cataract surgery patients. Traditionally, patients undergoing cataract surgery have been seen for follow-up visits at one day, one week, and one month after surgery. I worked with the department to design a study evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the post-operative visit regimen, through a review of data in the electronic medical record. In particular, we are examining the utility of these visits in detecting and preventing post-surgical complications. The results from our study will enable innovation in how we conduct follow-up care, to improve access for patients and efficiency for the healthcare system, while ensuring patient safety.