Biology student takes part in study that raises patient compliance

May 24, 2018
Marilyn Nguyen

Newman junior Marilyn Nguyen, a biology major, recently participated in a research study that was presented at two different forums — one at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Conference on Practice Improvement in Louisville, Kentucky, and the other at the annual University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) Research Forum.

“Implementation of Aspirin Guidelines in Pregnancy at Initial Obstetrical Visit,” the research study, was created and managed by KUMC family medicine residents Dr. Rachel Griffith and Dr. Mary Masterman. Nguyen was offered the opportunity to help along with another medical student.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the use of structured documentation and its effect on quality measure performance for dictation and documentation in obstetrical (OB) patient charts.

Marilyn Nguyen
Marilyn Nguyen and twin girls shet met during her medical mission trip to Guatemala in January 2018.

Nguyen said, “The residents wanted to evaluate the utility of this initial OB structured documentation to prompt physicians to appropriately recommend aspirin for prevention of pre-eclampsia in high-risk patients and to also evaluate the clinic encounters for compliance with clinical guidelines in use of this structured documentation.”

Nguyen’s primary responsibility in the study was data collection. She reviewed initial OB charts in the clinic to see what had been present in the documentation template, what was documented and assessed, the treatment plan given and what kind of population was served.

“Although it may seem like a menial task,” she said,  “I enjoyed learning about the other side of the physician life, the part you do not see on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ and what goes into assessing a patient and the long-term effects that come from documentation.”

The study was recognized and asked to be presented because of the incredible results it produced. The use of structured documentation and compliance rate with clinic guideline results included a 324 percent increased compliance rate in pre-post-structured documentation results.

Dr. Griffith presenting at the annual KUMC Research Forum.

Nguyen said, “I was overwhelmingly excited and humbled that something I contributed to was able to be shared with those involved in the health professions.”

Though only the two residents presented the study, Nguyen attended the forums and enjoyed the energetic atmosphere. “Being at the event and seeing the work and results shared with others was a special and exciting experience I never had before,” she said.

Her favorite part of the presentations was seeing the engagement of the audience. Many asked questions and showed true interest in the study that she had been a part of.

Nguyen said, “This study provided me further insight into possibly what I may do in the future with both being a physician and possibly a researcher. It gave me another step, another perspective within the medical field through the behind-the-scenes work after the encounter with the patients.”

The team is conducting a second round of data collection to compare the compliance rate over time, results are not yet available.