Featured Resident: Jon Wanderer
DACCPM resident Jon Wanderer's first love while growing up was computers, not medicine.
Wanderer hadn't planned to become a physician. But after going on medical missions in Central America with his uncle, a doctor, he decided to attend medical school.
While working at a hospital, he realized how "functionally broken" some of the informatics systems were. The systems just didn't talk to each other, he said.
"I saw a good opportunity to help fix some of the clinical systems that we work with and help provide better patient care," he said.
Wanderer merged his interests. He received a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania, then went on to attend Cambridge University on a Churchill Scholarship. After finishing medical school at UPenn, he interned at a Pennsylvania hospital and then came to Mass General for his residency.
At Mass General, he's combined his love of technology with an interest in medicine and an eye toward increasing clinical efficiency. For one research project, he redesigned a user interface for an anesthesia information management system. The goal, he said, was to capture the appropriate data and provide feedback to users as to whether or not they've entered the correct information.
He's performed a usability analysis on the redesign, which presented a unique challenge because users tended to navigate the interface in unique ways, he said.
"We had 20 clinicians do documentation with the existing system. I looked at the path of menus that they stepped through, and every single one was unique," Wanderer said. "Everyone does something unique and different. So we've got this interface that looks to be standardized, but the use of it is divergent."
In another research project, Residents Helping in Navigating OR Scheduling (RHINOS), Wanderer is designing an operating room scheduling system that enables residents to request cases.
"I built some software that integrated our OR scheduling system with an easy-to-use Web application that lets you drag and drop choices so that it's easy to see which cases are available," he said.
"People really like it a lot because it gives you some say over your day. People feel empowered."
In another project, Wanderer is building a tool to enable physicians to determine the cost of all drugs administered per type of procedure.
"There are some opportunities for efficiency and cost reduction, as well as providing better care," he said.
In the future, Wanderer hopes to work in academic anesthesia and split his time between anesthesia and informatics research on systems improvement.
He finds informatics research satisfying.
"It's more straightforward" than bench research, he said. "You've got a question you're asking, and you can answer it."