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Beacom Researchers To Collaborate with Sanford Health to Improve Cardiac Patient Outcomes

Carole South-Winter, along with Srini Ragothamansrini and Ali Dag, lead USD's research collaboration with Sanford Health.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Researchers from the Beacom School of Business will partner with Sanford Health to study real-time data in order to analyze patient trends and hopefully reduce readmission rates due to complications after cardiac interventions.

One of six Dakota universities chosen for the award, the USD team includes business school faculty Carole South-Winter, Ali Dag and Srini Ragothaman, student researcher Murtaza Nasir and two additional researchers from Sanford Health: Emily Griese and Benson Hsu.

“It was serendipitous that we would work together,” said South-Winter. “The combination of using the collection of patient demographic and clinical data to increase quality of patient outcomes was a natural progression given the expertise and experience each of us offered.”

The health information will be gathered from thousands of patient visits to Sanford facilities each day. The data, which will be stripped of private information, can help improve patient care by identifying underlying causes for various illnesses. The USD team will use this information to attempt to develop algorithms that can create risk scores for patients after heart surgery and inform preventative measures.

“From a clinician’s point of view, we can predict using the analysis which patient has greater odds of having a readmission or continued problems. In a way, we are watching the indicators to predict a readmission due to complications, to avoid the perfect storm,” said South-Winter.

Ultimately, the researchers hope this collaboration will result in multiple benefits including saving lives and reducing health care costs.

“The overall benefit is to avoid a convergence of factors in order to improve patient quality outcomes,” said South-Winter. “This will also save health care organizations from lost revenue and fines from Medicare. Thus, a win-win.”

Other institutions with accepted proposals include Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, University of North Dakota - Population Health, University of North Dakota - School of Medicine and Sanford Research.

Download a picture of Carole South-Winter.

Download a picture of Ali Dag.

Download a picture of Srini Ragothaman.


USD's Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News