Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2012
Mentor: Raymond L. Fowler, MD, and Melanie J. Lippmann, MD
Department: Emergency Medicine (Surgery)
Room number: E6.110
Mail Code: 8890
Phone number: 214-648-3022
Project title: Identifying Frequent Users and Abusers of the EMS System and Emergency Department: Creating a program for managing serial inebriate patients
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): #STU 112011-020
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects): Patient-based research
Brief Description of Project:
It is well known that a small number of patients place an enormous burden on the Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Department programs in the community through frequent utilization of these emergency services. Especial burden is placed by frequent users of the system whose medical problems are related to unrelenting, serial inebriation by the patient. Many municipalities in the nation have attempted to provide a program that would identify these individuals, assist them in gaining control of their substance abuse problem, and help provide alternative care resources that would help free the emergency services from much of the overutilization by these patients.
The present program will consist of two main parts: The IRB approved by UT Southwestern and Parkland allows the investigators to develop a confidential method for identifying candidates for a serial inebriation re-direction and rehabilitation effort. The second part will consist of bringing community resources together – Fire/EMS, Parkland, public safety, judicial resources, indigent rehabilitation and housing, and (where necessary) detention facility resources – to create a program of support, treatment, and rehabilitation for these patients. Through this two-tiered approach, individuals unable to care for themselves and who over-utilize emergency resources will be brought into treatment, and emergency services will be targeted toward more appropriate utilization.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students: Dr. Fowler has conducted numerous prior student research activities. Summer of 2005, Mr. Stefan Buca, analyzing data from the Stroke Network System of Dallas. Summer of 2006, The Establishing of a Municipal, Multi-City Emergency Medical Services Electronic Database for Quality Assurance and Research Purposes with Ms. Katie Murphy. In 2009, Mr. Carlos Velasquez worked with Dr. Fowler to investigate the electrocardiography interpretation skills for prehospital paramedics practicing in the UT Southwestern EMS system, the result of which was the Outstanding Research Paper for the Texas College of Emergency Physicians.