Innovator Spotlight Q&A Series: Jocelyn Carter, MD, MPH
The Center for Innovation in Digital HealthCare Innovator Spotlight is a Q&A series that celebrates innovative ideas, highlights the important work that digital health innovators are doing to advance patient care and outcomes at Mass General Hospital, and shares key learnings about the innovation journey.
We are pleased to feature Jocelyn Carter, MD, MPH, Mass General Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine (DGIM) Physician-Scientist and Internal Medicine Hospitalist, Albright Medicine. As the Director of the MGH Community Care Transitions (C-CAT) Initiative and Director of Research Equity within DGIM, Dr. Carter is passionate about transformational change via scalable, evidence-based initiatives and leveraging technology to drive the redesign of patient-centered care. CIDH had the pleasure of collaborating with Dr. Carter on her innovative efforts. She reached out to our team for guidance on how to improve the execution of heart failure remote monitoring technology and explore other available platform options for heart failure. We’re excited to see what’s next, as Dr. Carter continues to look for new approaches to achieve better care for our patients at Mass General and beyond!
Keep your focus and when you run into resistance, reach out early and often to others who understand your challenges.
As an awardee of a 2017 Mass General Brigham Healthcare Center for Population Health Delivery System Innovation Implementation Grant, Dr. Carter and her team are studying the impact of 30-day patient-community health worker pairings at the time of hospital discharge on health care outcomes in high-risk populations. Primary outcomes of this work include rates of readmission, outpatient appointment adherence, and patient perspectives on hospital and health care transitions. Dr. Carter was awarded a five-year, K23 award from the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute that will fund a second clinical trial to assess the preliminary effectiveness of a digitally enabled community health workers intervention in reducing readmissions among heart failure patients.
Q: Tell us about your innovation and the challenge(s) you were trying to solve.
JC: As a physician-scientist and internal medicine hospitalist, my focus is innovative interventions that leverage technology and promote improved clinical outcomes for patients with serious illness during care transitions from the hospital.
Q: The innovation process can be long and challenging, but also rewarding. What inspired you to begin this journey?
JC: Seeing how many clinical and socially complex patients have outcomes diminished by the cycle of readmissions, which limits their ability to fully benefit from much of the stellar clinical care they receive.
Q: Please tell us about your overall experience and some of the major milestones you’ve achieved so far? What are the next steps?
JC: It has been a journey moving from observational qualitative studies to clinical trials that leverage technology. I am grateful to my mentors, and I am looking forward to thinking more about digital platforms that meet patients where they are and augment the care that multidisciplinary and community-facing care teams can provide to improve patient outcomes. I am preparing for a clinical trial investigating the acceptability, and feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a digitally enabled community health worker intervention right now.
Q: What resources have been most helpful to you, and that you think other MGH innovators would benefit from?
JC: Understanding the core domains associated with a digital health review and a biomedical engineering review is key. Also, having a sense of what information security specialists look for in their data security review is very helpful. As a researcher and trialist, the Clinical Trial Office has been a critical component as well. I lean heavily on the Digital Health in Review website and on others who are already in this space for guidance.
Q: What advice would you give to other innovators at MGH that you wish you had been given early in your innovation journey?
JC: Keep your focus and when you run into resistance, reach out early and often to others who understand your challenges.