News and Publications

Data from full hospital stay not much better at predicting risk for readmission than data from first day

March 30, 2016 – Culling more detailed clinical data from electronic health records throughout a hospital stay did not substantially improve predictions about who was more likely to be readmitted, an analysis by UT Southwestern researchers showed, suggesting further studies will be needed to help build effective analytical tools that can help predict outcomes and readmissions.

“Our group’s previous research found that using clinical data from the first day of admission was more effective in predicting hospital readmissions than using administrative billing data,” said lead author Dr. Oanh Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences at UT Southwestern. “So we expected that adding even more detailed clinical data from the entire hospitalization would allow us to better identify which patients are at highest risk for readmission. However, we were surprised to find that this was not the case.”

Better hospital financial performance didn’t produce better patient outcomes

March 30, 2016 – How well a hospital performs financially is not associated with better clinical outcomes, based on results of a new study from UT Southwestern Medical Center that examined hospital mortality and readmission rates.

In addition, the study found that improvements in patient outcomes on several commonly assessed criteria did not lead to a loss in revenue, as some had feared.

“This finding suggests hospitals that are financially well off do not necessarily do better on these publicly reported outcomes than hospitals with worse financial performance,” said study lead author Dr. Oanh Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences at UT Southwestern.

Often-ignored glucose value in routine blood tests correlates with risk of type 2 diabetes

March 4, 2015 – Glucose values obtained during routine blood tests are often overlooked, but could provide valuable insight into whether someone is at risk for having type 2 diabetes, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Study finds no reason for cancer survivors to be excluded in advanced stage lung cancer trials

Feb. 9, 2015 – The common practice of excluding patients with a prior cancer diagnosis from lung cancer clinical trials may not be justified, according to a study by researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center. Having previously had cancer did not impact clinical outcomes in advanced lung cancer patients and these patients therefore should be considered for inclusion in clinical trials seeking new therapies, according to the study, appearing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Predicting Diabetes Risk Using Glucose Data in the Electronic Medical Record

Michael Bowen, M.D., M.P.H. – "Predicting Diabetes Risk Using Glucose Data in the Electronic Medical Record,” Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award, The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Testing of ER patients for heart attack in absence of symptoms widespread

November 17, 2014 – Emergency rooms are testing many patients for markers of acute coronary syndrome who show no signs of having suffered a heart attack, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Inappropriate testing for heart attacks increases the cost of treatment; increases the number of false positives, which could lead to further testing and unnecessary consultations; and adds to patient anxiety, said Anil Makam, M.D., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and first author of the study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.