UH RISES to New Heights in Research Outcomes

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Creating an organized and collaborative center for outcomes research from UH Department of Surgery, UH RISES builds enthusiasm for UH’s academic mission and supports advances in health care – “bedside to bench.”

UH CMC Update | May 2021

As an academic medical center, UH has a proud history of completing groundbreaking research that has led to meaningful medical discoveries and treatments. Resident physicians and fellows go through UH’s teaching hospital clinical rotations, and also need to complete academic research requirements to graduate. To encourage and support research, Joseph Sabik, MD, Chairman, UH Department of Surgery, began the concept of an outcomes research center, and his colleague Sharon Stein, MD, FACS, then extended this idea to include the Department of Surgery’s 11 divisions (Surgical Oncology, General Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Hepatology Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Acute and Trauma Surgery, Pediatric Surgery and Plastic Surgery).

Today, UH RISES brings resident and attending physicians together to examine outcomes research, looking at how changes in practice affect patients. “The data shows improvement in infection and postoperative complications through an enhanced recovery program,” said Sharon Stein, MD, Director of UH RISES. “It becomes a cycle. You study what you’re implementing on the patient level – from bedside to bench – and make changes.”

UH RISES provides structure for resident physicians (one “division champion” is appointed from each division) and attending physicians to collaboratively refine their hypotheses on outcomes data to study. When needed, national databases are obtained to examine greater patient populations and statisticians from Case Western Reserve University examine the data. The findings then lead to conference presentations and peer-reviewed journal articles. With this “cross-pollination” of departmental support, Dr. Stein said it increased the visibility of physicians who are doing research. Both Dr. Sabik and Dr. Stein notice greater synergy and excitement for research as a result of UH RISES.

About 200 medical research papers are created each year by UH RISES, and grant support is also coming in. “It’s a lot about mentorship, collaboration, and working together to refine their research questions,” said Dr. Sabik. “In a short period of time, they’ve exceeded expectations of what they could do. There is healthy competition – if one division is presenting at UH Research Day, the other divisions want in. It’s about collaboration and competition.” Many are submitted to the Cleveland Surgical Society, where this year UH RISES took all three prizes, and seven of the 10 submissions for presentations were from UH.

Dr. Stein encourages everyone, including medical students, who have surgery research ideas to attend the weekly meetings on alternating Mondays from 2-4 p.m. For more information, visit Research and Education Initiatives Enhance Colorectal Surgery Experience and Surgical Research, or contact UHRISES@UHhospitals.org.

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