August 13, 2005

Small Developments

We got through the first day of research class yesterday. 8 1/2 hours. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, especially considering how much we celebrated the night before.

We celebrated the completion of the Course 3 on-campus portion of ISP by chartering a boat to take us around Lake Minnetonka. The trip on the Lake is a little step up from the boat trip in Course 1 and 2. It was very quaint, there was good service, and Lake Minnetonka is beautiful. It was nice to sit around and cruise the lake.

I got a chance to talk to Vern about my project idea on the boat. I'm interested in looking at the impact Information Technology (IT) use on the success[failure] of healthcare organizations. Many of us are chronicly under-investing in IT. Most would say its hard to come up with the money because of the generally accepted necessity of large capital investment in physical plants and medical technology and large investment in the highly skilled personnel it takes to do our good work.

Resource allocation is all about priorities. Chronic under-investment can indicate a lot of things. One thing it can indicate is that its not under-investment, its right-size investment... Ugh.

Okay, I'll leave the research paper for the research paper. Generally speaking, my idea, like I mentioned, is to look at the impact of IT on healthcare organizations. In my advisor group, we talked about limiting the sample to negate some of the variability that could create noise in my results. I work at a stand-alone rehab facility and there aren't that many of those around the country. We decided my type of organization might be a good candidate.

I talked with Vern about it, and he suggested I look at Children's hospital instead of stand alone rehab facilities. Its the same idea of sticking with a subset of types of healthcare organizations for better control, but there aren't really enough of my type of information to do a good study. There are enough Children's hospitals for a good sample, and, more importantly, they apparently have a strong association that collects and keeps good data.

I think looking at Children's hospitals is a good idea. My organization has a good relationship with the Children's hospital down the street, so I might be able to talk with someone over there. I hope I'm on to something.

I'm on a plane heading home in 8 hours. ISP on-campus is a great experience every time, but I can't wait to get home.

Posted by gath0019 at August 13, 2005 11:16 AM