Transforming Global Health: Insights from Brigham and Women’s Hospital Physicians

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 16, 2014

From war-torn Somalia to the mountains of Rwanda, the Global Health Summit, hosted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School (HMS), and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), provided attendees an inside look at the inspiring work of leading global health experts.

The event’s keynote panel discussion, “To Alleviate Human Suffering: Our Work to Strengthen Global Healthcare,” was moderated by Robin Young, co-host of “Here & Now” on NPR and WBUR. She spoke with  Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Nawal Nour, and Dr. Atul Gawande on how they began their careers in global health, what they have learned, and the experiences that have shaped them as leaders. (All three have been named MacArthur Fellows.)

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Checklists Improve OR Performance During Crises

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 15, 2013

Using checklists during an operating room crisis has the potential to markedly improve care and safety.

With important tasks at hand, many people find checklists useful in getting the job done. But what about a hospital operating room staff using a checklist in crisis situations?

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) researchers, along with colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health, have released a study showing that provider teams that use a checklist in the operating room (OR) were 74 percent less likely to miss key life-saving steps in care during an emergency situation.

“For decades, we in surgery have believed that surgical crisis situations are too complex for simple checklists to be helpful. This work shows that assumption was wrong,” says Dr. Atul Gawande, a BWH surgeon, senior author of the study and author of the book, The Checklist Manifesto.  (Surgical crises include complications such as cardiac arrest or excessive bleeding or hemorrhaging.)

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Crowdsourcing Medical Innovation

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 28, 2012

Dr. Robert Green, winner of the first BRIght Futures Prize.

On November 15, 2012, the Biomedical Research Institute (BRI) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) held its first Research Day.  The day-long public celebration featured a discussion on the importance of medical research and included 150 poster presentations by leading BWH researchers on today’s hottest health topics, such as obesity, healthy aging, and personalized medicine.

But the highlight of BWH Research Day was the announcement of Dr. Robert Green as the winner of the $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize.  Just as exciting: the use of crowdsourcing, or relying on the collective wisdom of groups, to choose the winner.

Dr. Green was named the winner after nearly 6,500 people from around the world voted for the three finalists online.  Dr. Green and his research team are searching for effective and responsible ways to use DNA sequencing technology in newborns to help families understand a child’s genetic risk for developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.

In addition to Dr. Green’s project, the other finalists included a project jointly led by Drs. Phil DeJager and Elizabeth Karlson, whose proposal focused on using genetics and electronic health records to treat multiple sclerosis and a project led by Dr. Robert Plenge, whose proposal focused on the use of technology to unravel the mysteries of the immune system. Read our recent blog post to learn and view more about all three projects.

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