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Research Teams

Off-Road Vehicle Injury Prevention

The major area of focus for our off-road vehicle injury prevention program are deaths and injuries from all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crashes involving children and teens, riding on public roads, riding with passengers, and occupational use. Our research has recently been expanded to include off-road vehicles called side-by-sides (SxSs).

We conduct epidemiological, community-based educational, and engineering studies to understand risk factors for death and injury and to develop interventions to prevent crashes and injuries that result from use of these off-road vehicles. We also do public policy advocacy and we have developed the only ATV simulator in the U.S. that can study humans on ATVs. Our simulator is used to understand how ATV and rider characteristics contribute to crashes. We work closely with other members of the Iowa ATV Injury Prevention Task Force and with a national coalition advocating against laws allowing ATVs and SxSs on the road.

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Rural Regionalization and Telemedicine    

Our group focuses on regionalized care in rural areas for trauma, sepsis, and critical illness. We use health services research methods and large administrative claims data sets to understand the role of regionalization and inter-hospital transfer in improving outcomes for rural patients with critical illness.  We also are interested in how telemedicine enables regionalization without inter-hospital transfer, and how this tool can be used to improve quality, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of health care, especially in rural emergency departments. We are interested in how changes in health insurance influence emergency care in rural areas.

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ED Antimicrobial Stewardship  

Our group focuses on antimicrobial prescribing and implementation in the emergency department. Specifically, we are interested in clinical decision rules that guide antimicrobial prescribing and tools that identify patients at high risk of drug resistant infections.  We have focused on implementation science through tools in electronic medical records, education, and regionalization efforts to develop systems of care across health systems. Our research team has focused on the delivery of pharmaceutical care for patients presenting to rural emergency departments and the potential role of regionalized networks to improve patient outcomes. 

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Early Risk Stratification and Prophylaxis in Critical Illness

Our group focuses on early risk stratification and treatment of patients with critical illness in the emergency department. We study:

  • Heart rate variability
  • Mechanical ventilation to prevent acute respiratory distress syndrome and antimicrobial medications for the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Fluid resuscitation strategies
  • Early identification of anaphylaxis and delirium
  • Adherence to national evidence-based medicine guidelines especially in sepsis care

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Interpersonal Violence Prevention and Treatment 

Our group studies ways for youth and adults to develop healthy interpersonal relationships skills and we examine the effects of interpersonal violence on individuals. Interpersonal violence is a strong risk factor not only for acute injuries, but also for the development of chronic diseases such as depression and heart disease. We work to develop robust screening programs that can be used in emergency departments and interventions that can be deployed in schools.

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