CATALYST researchers share work at scientific conference in Washington, D.C.

Flipflop Naleef

Naleef Fareed, PhD, MBA, was among the CATALYST researchers who attended the 11th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health.

By Tyler Griesenbrock
CATALYST scientific editor

Published December 12, 2018

A recent trip to Washington, D.C., gave several members of CATALYST the chance to present their work to an audience of healthcare practitioners and other researchers. 

Jennifer Hefner, PhD, MPH; Naleef Fareed, PhD, MBA; and Christine Swoboda, PhD, MS, made the trip to the East Coast for the 11th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health, which was co-hosted by the National Institutes of Health and AcademyHealth, from December 3 through 5.

“We frequently try to go to conferences to present posters or do Q&A sessions or short lectures,” Dr. Swoboda said. “We do this to present our work to other scientists so they might learn something or, conversely, if they’re really knowledgeable about the subject, they can contact us or give advice.”

AcademyHealth, a national organization consisting of health services researchers, policymakers, and people involved in the healthcare field, says on its website that it “increases the understanding of methods and data used in the field, enhances the professional skills of researchers and research users, and expands awareness.” 

The trio of CATALYST researchers presented four posters tied to the High Tech High Touch project, or HT2, which looks at how patient portals can influence the inpatient stay. These inpatient portals provide patients with information regarding their healthcare, and our team is interested in how inpatient portals affect communication between patients and their care team as well as how portal use training affects how patients use it.

The HT2 project is one of many research projects underway at CATALYST, the Center for the Advancement of Team Science, Analytics, and Systems Thinking in Health Services and Implementation Science Research at The Ohio State University.

“It’s important to disseminate our experiences with implementing innovative interventions, and it’s also important to learn from other researchers’ and practitioners’ perspectives on how they implemented similar or different interventions,” Dr. Fareed said.

The four posters the group presented looked at patients’ perceptions of portal use in both inpatient and outpatient settings, the role inpatient portals can play in the care of hospitalized patients, the training needs care team members experience when an inpatient portal system is implemented, and the inpatient portal usage patterns that can be used to classify user groups.

“It seems like (inpatient portals are) still new to clinicians from other health systems, so they’re trying to understand how theycan be used to engage patients,” Dr. Fareed said.

At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the inpatient portal offered to patients is the Android tablet app MyChart Bedside, Dr. Swoboda said. The tablets are provisioned to patients after their admission to the medical center.

“OSU is one of the first hospital systems to use the inpatient portal technology,” she said. “We’re at the forefront of this technology.”

Events such as the AcademyHealth conference offer researchers the chance to both share the research taking place at Ohio State and network with scientists from across the country.

“During the poster presentation, many scientists studying all different topics talked to me,” Dr. Swoboda said. “A lot of them were interested in this technology for their own hospital system, or it started them on a path to find out what portal technology was in use in their hospital systems.”

Dr. Fareed said many attendees were interested in the user experience and user design aspects of technology interfaces such as MyChart Bedside.

“We had lots of questions from clinicians and researchers,” he said. “It seems like this is still new to clinicians from other health systems, so they’re trying to understand how it can be used to engage patients.”

Patient portals weren’t the only subject of discussion at the conference. Other presenters discussed topics such as opioids, maternal and child health, and compliance among hospital systems. Panelists also touched on how to effectively implement new systems and how to improve entire healthcare systems.

To learn more about CATALYST and the work the center is doing, visit