All Publications

  • The COVID-19 Pandemic as an Opportunity for Operational Innovation at 2 Student-Run Free Clinics. Journal of primary care & community health Ruiz Colón, G. D., Mulaney, B. n., Reed, R. E., Ha, S. K., Yuan, V. n., Liu, X. n., Cao, S. n., Ambati, V. S., Hernandez, B. n., Cáceres, W. n., Charon, M. n., Singh, B. n. ; 12: 2150132721993631


    The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent county shelter-in-place order forced the Cardinal Free Clinics (CFCs), Stanford University's 2 student-run free clinics, to close in March 2020. As student-run free clinics adhering to university-guided COVID policies, we have not been able to see patients in person since March of 2020. However, the closure of our in-person operations provided our student management team with an opportunity to innovate. In consultation with Stanford's Telehealth team and educators, we rapidly developed a telehealth clinic model for our patients. We adapted available telehealth guidelines to meet our patient care needs and educational objectives, which manifested in 3 key innovations: reconfigured clinic operations, an evidence-based social needs screen to more effectively assess and address social needs alongside medical needs, and a new telehealth training module for student volunteers. After 6 months of piloting our telehealth services, we believe that these changes have made our services and operations more robust and provided benefit to both our patients and volunteers. Despite an uncertain and evolving public health landscape, we are confident that these developments will strengthen the future operations of the CFCs.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/2150132721993631

    View details for PubMedID 33615883

  • Physicians Leading Physicians: A Physician Engagement Intervention Decreases Inappropriate Use of IICU Level of Care Accommodations. American journal of medical quality : the official journal of the American College of Medical Quality Ruiz Colón, G. n., Yang, J. n., Svec, D. n., Heidenreich, P. n., Britt, P. n., Smith, M. n., Sharp, C. n., Shieh, L. n. 2021


    Following the adoption of an acuity-adaptable unit model in an academic medical center, a $13M increase in cost of intermediate intensive care unit (IICU) accommodations was observed. The authors followed A3 methodology to determine the root cause of this increase and developed a 3-prong intervention centered on physician engagement, given that physicians have the ability to order a patient's level of care. This intervention consisted of: (1) identifying physician champions to promote appropriate IICU use, (2) visual changes to essential electronic medical record tools, and (3) data-driven feedback to physician champions. In the year following intervention deployment, average IICU length of stay decreased from 1.08 to 0.62 days and average IICU use decreased from 21.4% to 12.3%, corresponding to ~$5.7M cost savings with no significant change in balancing measures observed. Together, these results demonstrate that a multicomponent intervention aimed at engaging physicians reduced inappropriate IICU use with no increase in adverse events.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.JMQ.0000735480.43566.f9

    View details for PubMedID 33883423

  • Palliative Care Service Utilization and Advance Care Planning for Adult Glioblastoma Patients: A Systematic Review Cancers Wu, A., Ruiz Colón, G., Aslakson, R., Pollom, E., Patel, C. 2021; 13 (12)


    Glioblastoma (GBM) has a median overall survival of 16-21 months. As patients with GBM suffer concurrently from terminal cancer and a disease with progressive neurocognitive decline, advance care planning (ACP) and palliative care (PC) are critical. We conducted a systematic review exploring published literature on the prevalence of ACP, end-of-life (EOL) services utilization (including PC services), and experiences among adults with GBM. We searched from database inception until 20 December 2020. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews guidelines were followed. Included studies were assessed for quality using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. The 16 articles were all nonrandomized studies conducted in six countries with all but two published in 2014 or later. ACP documentation varied from 4-55%, PC referral was pursued in 39-40% of cases, and hospice referrals were made for 66-76% of patients. Hospitalizations frequently occurred at the EOL with 20-56% of patients spending over 25% of their overall survival time hospitalized. Many GBM patients do not pursue ACP or have access to PC. There is a dearth of focused and high-quality studies on ACP, PC, and hospice use among adults with GBM. Prospective studies that address these and additional aspects related to EOL care, such as healthcare costs and inpatient supportive care needs, are needed.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/cancers13122867

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8228109