April 3, 2008
Regenstrief Foundation, Purdue center strengthen efforts to improve health careINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -
The foundation, which helped create the university's Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering with a $3 million gift in 2005, is investing $11 million more over the next five years, Purdue President France A. Córdova announced at the President's Executive Roundtable Luncheon at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. The Purdue center's charge is to use systems engineering, management, science and information technology to improve patient safety and patient care.
"We have seen how research at Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering in Discovery Park is helping address inefficiencies in this nation's $2 trillion health-care system," Córdova said. "Researchers are addressing patient scheduling, telemedicine, patient safety and other areas of the complex heath-care system. And we are confident Purdue will play a major role in offering solutions to make health-care delivery more efficient, effective and affordable for all Americans."
The Regenstrief Foundation grant is the first of a series of announcements by Purdue leading up to Córdova's inauguration on April 11. In all, more than $57 million in gifts for Purdue are being announced.
"From the foundation's initial $3 million in funding, Purdue's Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering has developed an exciting model that brings together health-care stakeholders and offers engineering-driven solutions to improve how health care is delivered across the nation," said Leonard J. Betley, Regenstrief Foundation president. "We view this partnership as an investment in addressing a critical issue facing every American today."
The grant to the Purdue center also will provide seed funding for smaller research projects and help sponsor annual conferences that highlight best practices and promote collaboration among health-care professionals, faculty and students.
To date, Regenstrief's research helped launch the Indiana Patient Safety Center in 2007 and expanded funding opportunities for a statewide telehealth effort. Regenstrief also assisted in a project with the Indiana State Department of Health that outlined potential communication and response gaps with the state's 94 county health departments in the event of a pandemic outbreak.
Regenstrief Center director Steven Witz, Purdue's St. Vincent Health Chair of Healthcare Engineering, said the additional funding will help the center expand its focus on three key areas of health-care related research - health education and learning technologies, systems analyses of health-care delivery and patient-outcome assessment.
"Health care remains one of the nation's top domestic issues in a year where we will elect a new U.S. president," Witz said. "The ranks of uninsured continue to rise. We spend more on health care than any other country. This nation's health-care system needs a major overhaul, and the Regenstrief Center is providing research to support systems improvement and policy development."
This funding is in addition to two supplemental grants totaling $2.46 million that the Regenstrief Foundation provided the Purdue center in September. Those grants included:
* $1.1 million to research a more systematic approach for patient scheduling to improve the efficiency of patient access. As part of this grant, Purdue researchers will design a telehealth model to promote patient learning and improve self-care. That grant also includes funding for managing research databases to support these projects.
* $1.35 million in a joint Cancer-Care Engineering project involving Purdue, Indiana University and the Veterans Affairs Hospital. The project brings together oncologists, health service researchers, engineers, biologists and others in the war on cancer.
To ensure its research results are implemented more effectively to improve patient care, the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering has formed partnerships with industry leaders such as Community Health Network, WellPoint Inc., Ascension Health and St. Vincent Health. Collaborations have been established with the Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana State Department of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Purdue center is working with the Indiana University Medical Group-Primary Care, a practice of 138 IU physicians in 17 clinics that produced more than 500,000 patient visits in 2003. Research partnerships also have been formed with the University of Arkansas, North Carolina State University, University of South Florida and North Carolina A&T State University.
Regenstrief also is part of a $1 million partnership, the Midwest Alliance for Telehealth and Technology Resources, which is focusing on how telehealth networks can meet the needs of rural and underserved residents in Indiana, Michigan and Kansas. Purdue researchers work with colleagues at Michigan State University, University of Kansas and Marquette General Hospital in Marquette, Mich.
In addition, the center is collaborating with the Regenstrief Institute Inc., which is located at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. An international leader in health-care informatics, the institute was launched in 1969 and today has one of the world's first and largest electronic medical record systems with more than 300 million online clinical results.
The Regenstrief Center was borne out of the 2004 report by the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine, "Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/Health Care Partnership." Co-written by Purdue industrial engineering professor W. Dale Compton, the report outlined ways that systems engineering could help deliver safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care.
Regenstrief researchers and staff moved into the $12.4 million Gerald D. and Edna E. Mann Hall, the fourth building in Discovery Park, in May 2007. Mann Hall also is home to several other Discovery Park centers, including the Oncological Sciences Center, e-Enterprise Center, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the Purdue Homeland Security Institute.
The Regenstrief Foundation is named for benefactor Sam Regenstrief, who emigrated from Vienna to Indianapolis as a child. Regenstrief founded a company that manufactured and popularized the low-cost home dishwasher, at one time producing 37 percent of the world's dishwashers in Connersville, Ind. Regenstrief died in 1988.
Writer: Phillip Fiorini, (765) 496-3133, email@example.com
Sources: France A. Córdova, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leonard Betley, (317) 848-1400
Steven Witz, (765) 494-9286, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Journalists: Regenstrief is pronounced REE-gen-streef. For a copy of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering proposal to the Regenstrief Foundation, contact Phillip Fiorini, (765) 496-3133, email@example.com
A publication-quality photo is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/+2008/witz-telemedicine.jpg
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