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.

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