Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering

Research Projects

Patient/System Research

Health Literacy, Medication Burden and Self Care Behaviors in Patients with Heart Failure Across Multiple Care Settings

  • Primary Investigator: Kimberly Plake, Ph.D., RPh, Pharmacy Practice
  • Faculty: Karen Yehle, Ph.D., MS, CNS-BC, Nursing
  • Students: Aleda M. Hess, PharmD, Pharmacy Practice and Gerontology
  • Overview: Heart failure is a chronic illness which requires health-related skills, such as monitoring and appropriately taking medications. Inadequate health literacy on the part of the patient or the caregiver may lead to poor self-care or increased medication burdens. This research team is working to determine the impact of health literacy on self-care ability and medication administration among heart failure patients.

Health Literacy in Underserved, Pre-Diabetic Populations

  • Primary Investigator: Jakob Jensen, Ph.D., Communication and Oncological Sciences Center
  • Students: Graham Bodie, Communication
  • Healthcare Partner:
    Purdue Extension
    Community Health Network
  • Overview: Patient-centered healthcare delivery is increasingly common, but many patients have insufficient skills to manage their own health. This study seeks to address this problem by creating and validating instruments that measure health skills (e.g., health literacy) necessary for patient-centered care. This research targets underserved, pre-diabetic populations in four Indiana counties - Lake, Marion, Howard and Tippecanoe.

Self-Care and Health Literacy in Telehealth and Traditional Home Health Patients with Heart Failure

  • Primary Investigator: Karen Yehle, Ph.D., MS, CNS-BC, Nursing
  • Faculty: Kimberly Plake, Ph.D., RPh, Pharmacy Practice
  • Students: Megan Martin, Nursing
  • Healthcare Partner: Community Health Network
  • Overview: Heart failure is a chronic illness that requires daily monitoring. Delivering data from the patient to the healthcare provider assists the provide in caring for the patient. This one-way delivery of information does not necessarily result in patient behavior changes necessary to optimize health outcomes. A main goal of this project is to compare the impact of telehealth vs. tradition home health on health literacy, self-care ability and health outcomes among patients with heart failure.

Care Services Research

Center for Assistive Technologies

  • Principal Investigators:
    Steven M. Witz, MPH, PH.D., Regenstrief Center
    Bart Collins, Ph.D., Communication
  • Healthcare Partners: Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
  • Overview: Purdue University and the Regenstrief Center were awarded $1.5 million to establish a Center for Assistive Technology in partnership with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services. The center will be dedicated to the mission of improving the functionality and independence of those with disabilities through innovation and adoption of assistive technologies. The Center is funded to establish a market-based system to support the development, distribution and adoption of assistive technologies. While initially focused in Indiana, the Center is anticipated to increase its effectiveness through a multi-state collaboration.

Telehealth, information and communication technologies in primary care

  • Principal Investigator: Bart Collins, Ph.D., Communication
  • Faculty: Scott Schaffer, Ph.D., Education
  • Healthcare Partners: Community Health Network
  • Overview: New technologies, including web, elearning, and social networking technologies can play a role in bridging patients and providers in meaningful and scaleable ways. This research team is looking at how patient self-care ability, health literacy, and related factors are influenced by information and media consumption and how healthcare providers can leverage patient-oriented information systems to assess patient risk and define appropriate interventions.

Patient Scheduling

  • Principal Investigator: Mark Lawley, Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering
  • Faculty:
    Kumar Muthuraman, Industrial Engineering, University of Texas
    Laura Sands, Nursing
    Deanna Willis, Quality and Medical Management, Indiana University Medical Group
  • Students: Joanne Daggy, Statistics
  • Healthcare Partners: Wishard, Indiana University Medical Group
  • Overview: Clinical managers and physicians are usually quick to identify inadequate patient scheduling as a major source of operational inefficiency and patient dissatisfaction. The expertise to implement advanced scheduling methods does not exist in most clinics, and clinical information technologies do not easily support data and computational needs. This project utilizes engineering and statistical analysis to optimize patient satisfaction, clinic access, waiting times and clinic efficiency.

    Funded in part by the National Science Foundation

Point of Care Audit and Feedback Tools to Improve Patient Safety

  • Principal Investigator: Lisa Hopp, Ph.D., RN, Nursing Calumet
  • Faculty:
    Susan Schachitti, MBA, Industrial Engineering Technology Calumet
    Lasa Mapa, Ph.D., Industrial Engineering Technology Calumet
    Charlene Gyurko, Ph.D., RN, Nursing Calumet
    Jane Walker, Ph.D., RN, Nursing, Calumet
  • Students:
    Doreen Zokvic, RN, Nursing Graduate Student
    Melissa Grzybowski, Nursing Graduate Student
  • Healthcare Partners: St. Mary's Medical Center, Hobart IN
  • Overview: The long term objectives are to improve patient safety by implementing evidence-based nursing practices using audit and feedback and the application of quality improvement principles to decrease reasonably preventable hospital acquired complications. Health system structures, processes and outcomes will be analyzed by the research team to determine the applicability and effectiveness of a newly developed suite of evidence implementation tools.

Measuring and Reporting Quality Performance and Medication Safety in Community Pharmacy

  • Principal Investigator: Carol Birk, MS, PharmaTAP
  • Healthcare Partners:
    Indiana Health Information Exchange
    Regenstrief Institute
    Eli Lilly and Compnay Pharmacy Quality Alliance
  • Overview: This research will develop reports of measures of pharmacy quality performance and medication safety, including prescription drug utilization reports to compare patterns across pharmacies.

Healthcare E-Learning Hub

  • Principal Investigator: Scott Schaffer, Ph.D., Education
  • Faculty: Bart Collins, Ph.D., Communication
  • Students: Hannah Kim, Education
  • Healthcare Partners:
    St. Vincent Health
    Community Health Network
    Purdue Homeland Security Institute
    Midwest Alliance for Telehealth and Technology Resources
  • Overview: The primary goal of this project is to develop an elearning framework for piloting and researching optimal strategies for educating individuals through web-based interfaces. Content will include patient education for chronic disease (i.e., diabetes and congestive heart failure), professional education and public education.

Care Outcomes Research

Also visit RCHE's subcenter, Center for Health Outcomes Research and Policy.

Impact of Insufficient Community-Based Long Term Care on Medicare Expenditures

  • Principal Investigator:
    Laura Sands, Ph.D., Nursing
    Joseph Thomas III, Ph.D., Pharmacy Practice
  • Faculty: Huiping Xu, Ph.D., Statistics
  • Students:
    Lori Ward, Pharmacy graduate student
    Ziaoqin Yang, Pharmacy graduate student
  • Healthcare Partner: Indiana Office of Medicaid Planning and Policy
  • Overview: Approximately 20% of disabled older adults report they do not have sufficient personal assistance for their disabilities that reequire assistance in one or more basic activities of everyday living. Prior studies have provided evidence that insufficient long-term care increases the need for acute care services. This research is directed toward informing payers of community-based long-term care about current methods of determining which long-term care services and how much of each of these services should be allocated to a recipient.

System Support Research

Improving Provider Adoption of IT

  • Principal Investigator: Vince Duffy, Ph.D., Industrial Engineering
  • Students: Ashley Benedict, industrial engineering doctoral student
  • Healthcare Partner: WellPoint, Inc.
  • Overview: Duffy and his research team are working to develop a framework by which physician adoption of e-prescribing systems can be predicted and evaluated. The team will use human performance engineering to determine categories of critical technology, human factors and organizational characteristics that influence physicians’ willingness to adopt an e-prescribing system.

Modeling the Supply Chains for Healthcare Products

  • Principal Investigator: Leroy B. Schwarz, Ph.D., Management
  • Faculty: Vinayak Deshpande, Ph.D., Management
  • Students: TBD
  • Healthcare Partner: VHA, Inc., Ascension Health
  • Overview: The primary long-term objective of this research is increased efficiency in the management of the supply chains used to distribute healthcare products, specifically medical/surgical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and (orthotic and cardiovascular) devices. It is expected that this increased efficiency will be based on enhanced information-sharing, collaborative decision-making and mechanism design. Although the cost of these products accounts for only about 13% of the US healthcare dollar, for most hospitals these products are the second-largest "variable" cost.

Optimal Long-Term Care Resource Allocation for Older Adults Enrolled in Medicaid

  • Principal Investigators:
    Nan Kong, Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering
    Laura Sands, Ph.D., Nursing
    Mark Lawley, Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering
    Joseph Thomas, Ph.D., Pharmacy
  • Healthcare Partner: Indiana Medicaid
  • Overview: The broad objective of this research is to design and implement cost-effective resource and service allocation in providing long-term care. This research aims to: 1) provide states with valuable insights and clear targets in coordinating and managing long-term care and 2) support decision-making for individual patients on long-term care services.

Creation of a Virtual Reality Healthcare Facility Design Hub

  • Primary Investigator: Laura Arns, Envision Center
  • Faculty:
    James McGlothlin, Health Sciences
    Phillip Dunston, Construction Engineering and Management
  • Overview: In a previous project with Ascension Health, Purdue developed a patient-centered design room created in virtual reality. The goal is to create an environment where virtual reality research institutions can share template codes nationally and internationally.

About RCHE

Applying academic research to transform healthcare delivery.


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