Parker B. Francis Fellowship Grant
Congratulations to Dr. Curtis Weiss, who recently received the Parker B. Francis fellowship grant. This is a three year career development award that supports the development of outstanding investigators who plan careers in pulmonary and critical care medicine. His project is titled "Novel Quality Improvement Clinical Decision Support in the Intensive Care Unit."
Physicians in the intensive care unit must integrate a tremendous amount of data in order to make effective medical decisions for their patients. Clinical decision support tools that assist in this process are not yet streamlined or optimized for issues related to quality improvement or for the complexity of the ICU. My research aims to create a new clinical decision support tool focusing on the use of empiric antibiotics. We plan to create a new tool within the electronic medical record that will alert physicians when a decision threshold is achieved for the decision to start and stop empiric antibiotics. We also plan to conduct a pilot study that determines the effect of this tool on process of care and clinical outcomes.
My primary mentors are Drs. Richard G. Wunderink and Jacob I. Sznajder (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine), and Drs. David W. Baker and Stephen Persell (General Internal Medicine). In addition, I am fortunate to have the following other collaborators: Prof. Luis Amaral (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Prof. Igal Szleifer (Biomedical Engineering), Drs. David Liebovitz and Abel Kho (General Internal Medicine), and Dr. Jeffrey Glassroth (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Dean).
3. Challenges faced while working on the project.
There are several challenges. First, how do we define valid predictors of infection (and therefore create the model for when to start or stop empiric antibiotics). We plan to conduct an extensive literature review and develop an expert consensus panel. Second, how do we develop a model of these predictor variables. We plan to use complex system analysis for this. Finally, inserting the model into the existing EMR will be a significant challenge.
About Dr. Weiss
I was born and raised in Chicago in Lincoln Park and Lakeview. I went to college at Yale University, where I also completed a Masters in molecular biology. I stayed at Yale for medical school and residency in internal medicine. After 11 years in New Haven, I came back to Chicago and joined Northwestern for my fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care. My wife, Alexandra, and I live in Lincoln Park with our almost one year old son Micah. We are currently teaching him the finer things in life, like sleeping through the night, learning how to walk, and rooting for the Cubs.