2013 IT Innovation Contest

A team-based contest for creative IT solutions

Printable Proposal Content

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Another link on Care Links -- titled "The Updates"

Proposal Status: 

I've worked at UCSF Medical Center for 1 year, UCSF Benioff's Children's Hospital for 6 years.  Prior and post hire, I volunteered on 12 Long, 10 ICC, and the Emergency Department.


The consensus I see a need for, from all experiences is the need for another link on Care Links called "The Updates".  What is The Updates?  The updates is a one-stop-go-to-link for ALL pending and implemented policy, procedural and other working unit flow changes, form changes, procedural changes or issues. 


The consenses from ALL employees across the board is that when changes happen at UCSF, they are not implemented in a streamlined manner.  They are implemented in a hit or miss manner where some people know of the changes and others don't.  When changes are sent by email, people delete emails, forget to read them, or never receive them or say they've never received them.  It's been an ongoing issue with an attitude that frustrates all and an unnecessary feeling of helplessness on all fronts that is needless. 


The link should be organized by department and unit.  It should be a blog format for any staff that has a valid employee ID # to be able to post updates on it pertaining to their topic of knowledge on the subject.  Department managers should have a special access to be able to delete any posts from their unit if they feel the posts contain inaccurate information or are inappropriate. 


Having this on a dedicated link makes it easy to find...not a long, time-consuming hunt for an old email that may or may not have been since updated.


We are a big institution.  With big institutions, the details often get lost or replaced rapidly.  If we are to be an efficient institution, following the money being spent on the Operational Excellence Committee, then this link will be an added tool to help support that mission and lessen the frustration of ALL employees that work at UCSF and its affiliates.


Please seriously consider this suggestion and improve upon it.

Commenting is closed.

What's in a Name? - "Preferred Name" Auto Grab

Proposal Status: 


UCSF advertises itself as a LGBT-friendly employer and supports that claim with a diversity center, LGBT-inclusive healthcare benefits, and more. The University even has a "preferred name" column in the electronic HR files, which is great for transgender members who do not have the ability or readiness to change their first legal name, and also serves useful for when there are more than 2 University members with the same name, as well as when University members known by nicknames.

However, there are numerous University systems who map to members' legal first name instead of the preferred name, causing those transgender-identified, double names, and chosen names to get ignored and confused.

This proposal is a simple mapping project to ensure that University members are referred to and listed by their preferred name instead of their legal first name. This will ensure emails, phone calls, and auto-generated system messages are addressing the correct individuals by their correct name, as well as help others reinforce that name and eliminate confusion for finding and communicating with that individual.


University systems (LMS, BearBuy, ID Badges, etc.) will automatically pull from University members' HR "Preferred Name" listing instead of their legal "First Name" listing. 

Related system administrators may receive an email, a quick reference guide, or a job aid, depending on the need for acclimating systems to this small change (team meetings will determine if there is a need for this).


1) More inclusive space for transgender University members who may be unable or unprepared to change their first name legally.

2) Less confusion and lost communications in the case of having more than 2 University members with the same first and last name -- e.g. "Mike's not here? Oops, I must have sent the meeting invite to the wrong Michael Smith again."

3) Less confusion, time, and lost messages for staff members who are known by a nickname instead of their first legal name -- e.g. "I can't find your name in the Outlook address book, DJ, because there are 30 people with your last name," "oh, sorry, I'm the one listed under Jones, Dean."

4) Less discomfort, time, and errors spent on communications with names that University members have difficulty spelling or pronouncing, for those who opt into being referred to by a nickname toward that purpose.

5) More consistency and compatibility between University systems -- e.g. "Sorry, I cannot register you for MyAccess, CJ, because your email address does not sync up with your University Directory listing."

This affects not only those University members with preferred names that are different than their legal first name, but also those who need to communicate with them, as well as all who are affected by those members' productivity and happiness. It is a system that is easy to set in place and has no future maintenance needed to last indefinitely. In short, it is an incredibly low-involvement project with high-impact, sustainable results that have a realistically high probability of success.

Team Members & Roles:

1) Project Coordinator, Subject Matter Expert, and Test User - CJ Frosch

2) HR Administrator/Expert- ?

3) ITS Administrator/Expert- ?

Estimated time would be no more than 1 hour in weekly team meetings and 1.5 hours of implementation time spent weekly for 4-6 weeks, for a total of 10-15 hours.

Commenting is closed.

A user-friendly system for creating long-term, individually timed emails in Qualtrics

Proposal Status: 

Description of Project:

Quality follow-up data is paramount for clinical research, and Qualtrics Research Suite, a robust online survey system available for UCSF, makes it simple to create comprehensive follow-up surveys.  However, Qualtrics’ existing email function does not have the capacity to send automated, individually timed email messages.  Though the option to schedule emails for future delivery exists, it is only available for emailing the entire participant cohort at once, not allowing for the possibility of different participants joining the study at different times (even though rolling enrollment is the norm in clinical studies). Thus, researchers wishing to take advantage of the Qualtrics’ otherwise superior system must devote considerable time and effort of study personnel to manually schedule emails for each individual participant.  Adding the ability to send a series of email follow-ups over the course of months or years individually timed to each study participant would significantly enhance Qualtrics for UCSF, thereby improving the efficiency of clinical research or of any other project for which individually timed emails are desired.


Previously, we developed a custom solution for a specific study; this solution integrates the Qualtrics REST API (a native Qualtrics interface system) with Google App Engine (a web framework for developing web applications), creating in a robust, secure emailing system. For this project, we propose to develop a user-friendly way for others to create similar emailing systems.  Specifically, we propose to develop a set of scripts that are driven by an intuitive user interface, as well as a comprehensive, easy-to-follow manual for setting up the email system. Thus, a researcher will be able to set up a system to deliver emails on a desired schedule, with or without reminders, to any set of users represented in Qualtrics by a user panel (Qualtrics native user management system).  The system will include automated reliability checks, user status checks, and an error reporting system.  Importantly, the use of such system will not require the assistance of a programmer or a web developer. 



  • Google App Engine web site (python & HTML files)
  • Qualtrics sample integration survey
  • Manual (initial setup & customization) 

Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community:

By making an existing research tool – Qualtrics – more powerful and effective, this project will increase the efficiency and impact of clinical research at UCSF.


List of team members and their roles:

  1. Omar Contreras, B.A. – Developer.  Mr. Contreras has been working at the UCSF for over 4 years, developing internet interventions for depression and smoking.  He was the main architect of the custom email system that will be the basis of this project.  
  2. Yan Leykin, Ph.D.  – Researcher.  Dr. Leykin is the Qualtrics Division Administrator for Psychiatry, and a researcher interested in using IT for mental health.  He will advise the Developer on researchers’ needs and help draft the Instruction Manual.
  3. Melissa Latham, B.A. – Ms. Latham will develop a comprehensive manual for setting up and customizing the system. 

Commenting is closed.

Develop Calendar Data API for UCSF Ilios Curriculum Management System

Proposal Status: 

Thank you for all the feedback and interest in our proposal. This version reflects updates as of 10-17-2-13. 


A student’s life is 24/7 and always on the go. Knowing where you have to be, when, and what you need to do before you get there is a key to success. Health professions students find themselves learning across five major campus sites and a multitude of smaller clinical settings, all the while still responsible for new learning.

The primary tool for managing a learner’s day is their course calendar. For UCSF students and thousands of others around the world the UC San Francisco Ilios Curriculum Management System delivers that calendar via an interactive webpage in their online courses. However there isn’t a flexible and reliable way to access the calendar and course materials on mobile devices or to sync a student’s schedule to their favorite calendaring application such as their iPhone calendar or Google Calendar. As a result students must manage and update their schedules in multiple places and can miss out on important scheduling changes. The ability to access scheduling data is the number one requested feature of students using Ilios. The UCSF implementation of Ilios is online at (https://curriculum.ucsf.edu/).  

We seek to develop an API (application programming interface) for calendar and curricular data in the Ilios curriculum management system in order to facilitate the creation of student and teacher tools for education. Ilios has become a powerful component of the Collaborative Learning Environment at UCSF by capturing, managing and delivering the curriculum of the schools of medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, as well as, faculty development, making it the second most accessed application at UCSF. In addition, it is in use at dozens of school around the US including UCLA, Stanford, Dartmouth, SUNY Downstate, the University of Texas Health Science campus, and most recently outside the US at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Deliverables: (Revised based on feedback)

This project will develop an API for the Ilios calendar data which will:

  1. Allow for the insertion and synchronization of a user’s calendar into their existing mobile device calendar (google, iPhone, etc)
  2. Allow for integration into course management systems such as Moodle.
  3. Provide the ability for others to build mobile tools and desktop applications that utilize calendar and curriculum data.
  4. Allow for the insertion and integration of calendar and curriculum data, such as learning objectives, into enterprise tools such as Drupal and Salesforce.
  5. Create efficiencies in maintaining, updating and extending the open source Ilios codebase.

Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community:

  1. Will enable more flexible, real-time access to learning content for new competency-based health professions education programs.
  2. Development of tool to feed data about the who, what, when, where, why and how of a course, workshops, or learning event to mobile calendars or learning interfaces is an essential need for health professions learners and teachers.
  3.  Thousands of learners from more than 21 schools in the US and abroad will benefit from the development of this API.
  4. Will allow for content to be embedded on sites served by another host or be dynamically posted to user interfaces.
  5. Will be used to ease the work of programming graphical user interface components.

Measures of success and output:

  1. Ilios Calendar API released as part of the open-source code on GitHub
  2. Usage documentation for the API.

Team Members and estimated time committee: (Revised based on interest)

  1. Sascha Cohen, Project Management @ 15%
  2. Rich Trott, Techical Resource Coordinator @ 15%
  3. Elliot Kendall, Programmer @ %70
  4. Kevin H. Souza, Associate Dean, Executive Sponsor @ in-kind support

Commenting is closed.

UCSF Peer Recognition Program

Proposal Status: 

In the results from the recent UCSF Employee Engagement Gallup poll, "Recognition" received the 2nd lowest score of all engagement measures (lowest was having a "Best Friend" at work).  Current recognition programs have not been effective and do little to motivate and encourage employees.  Peer recognition programs give employees the power to reward one another for doing an amazing job.  Peer recognition programs are more effective because employees themselves know who works hard and deserves recognition, since management can’t be everywhere all the time and may not be connected enough to all employees; employees are in the best position to know when people are doing great things.  This has been demonstrated at a month-long pilot by Dr. Arup Roy-Burman at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in the PICU & PCICU.  Using a peer-based recognition application based off Salesforce.com Chatter, an enterprise social network and collaboration platform, employee recognition increased by 24% and multiple recognitions increased by 91%.




The primary deliverable will be implementation of a peer recognition program pilot in multiple departments.  There are two specific deliverables for this proposal: a recognition program outline and a recognition program system.


The recognition program outline is a non-technical, yet critical piece.  It identifies a generic program that can be used by multiple teams across UCSF (both Campus and Medical Center).  The principles of the program would be as follows:


 * Recognitions must come from peers and be meaningful and thoughtful, requiring a brief explanation of why a peer is being recognized

 * There should be a limit on the number of recognitions that can be given within a certain time frame

 * Recognitions must be publicly available and shareable, transparent to peers and managers

 * Additional comments from other peers can be added in support of the original recognition

 * Recognitions should come from teams, cross-teams, cross department, and ideally from across the organization

 * Rewards can and should be given as a result of recognitions


The second deliverable will be a selection and implementation of a recognition program system.  This system would include two components -- a tool for managing a program and a platform for employees to give recognitions.  In all likelihood, the basis of the tool will be Chatter, which is available to all faculty and staff at UCSF.  For Recognition Management candidates include the tool developed for the PICU/PCICU pilot (expanded for a wider audience) or an off-the-shelf product from Salesforce.com called work.com.


Using the program outline and tools, we will implement pilots within Pediatrics and units within the School of Medicine Dean's Office.



 1. Increase the level of recognition, initially in the participating pilot groups, and eventually across UCSF

 2. Improve morale, quality of work, engagement, customer service

 3. Reinforce and promote positive behavior


Team Members, Roles, % time

 1. Dr. Arup Roy-Burman, PICU/PCICU Director – mentor/guide for programs design and implementation (5%)

 2. Lindsay Lightbody - Project Manager for PICU/PCICU expansion (5-10%)

 3. David Law - Project Manager for Pediatrics pilot implementation (5-10%)

 4. Maria Livelo & Laura Chin - Technical Resource for Pediatrics pilot implementation (5-10%)

 5. Stephanie Belger - Project Manager for SOM DO pilot implementation (10-15%)

 6. Ed Martin - Technical Manager for Salesforce platform (10%)

 7. Kristin Chu - Program Design and tool selection (10-15%)

 8. TBD Salesforce Developer - configuration/customization (10-15%)



Commenting is closed.

CoPathFinder: Enabling innovative translational research via the creation of a searchable pathology database.

Proposal Status: 

Description: Hypothesis-driven science in translational/clinical research is heavily dependent on large searchable electronic databases of clinical information.  UCSF is among the pre-eminent centers for both basic and translational research in the health sciences in part because of its foresight in implementing and maintaining such databases.   Notably, the CoPath database maintained by the department of pathology is critical to many multidisciplinary -and multi-center- translational research efforts involving the departments of pathology, surgery, radiology, transplant medicine, neurology, hematology/oncology, and many others.  At this time, however, no API exists for end-users such as faculty, staff, or residents involved in research projects to search the CoPath database themselves: rather, all searches must be performed by an IT staff member and yields only the most rudimentary information (ie, surgical case numbers only).  This approach is needlessly tedious for both IT and clinical investigators and impedes all research efforts involving the department of anatomic pathology.  We therefore propose the creation of an API accessible to suitably trained end-users for searching the CoPath database in order to harness the tremendous potential of such an interface to spur innovative clinical research.



1. Database of CoPath data separately housed from the native CoPath database by the department of anatomic pathology.

2. User-friendly API for use by clinical investigators to search the database    .

3. Secure data storage of all search data.

4. Mechanism for tracking performed searches by pathology IT.

5. Secure user login requiring registration and training by pathology IT.

6. Training materials (in the form of a pdf document and an audio-visual powerpoint slide show   accessible online) to reiterate patient safety and HIPAA compliance.


Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community:

UCSF’s mission: UCSF advances health worldwide through innovative health sciences education, discovery and patient care.

1. Completion of this project will promote innovative translational/clinical discovery by unlocking clinical data for investigators and encouraging early hypothesis-driven inquiries to spur new research directions.

2. By enabling investigative inquiry among properly trained UCSF residents and medical students, this project will also promote self-directed education/training in translational/clinical research.

3. The collaborative nature of nearly all modern translational/clinical research studies means that the impact of this project extends to all collaborators of the UCSF department of anatomic pathology, including nearly all UCSF medical center/research departments, pathology and other departments at dozens of partner universities, and industry collaborators.

4. CoPath databases are in use at hospitals throughout the U.S. and the world: distribution of this API to other CoPath users will thus promote innovative research worldwide.


Team Members:

- Ben Buelow, MD, PhD


    -Subject matter expert (pathology resident, clinical investigator)


- Dianna Ng, MD:

    -Subject matter expert (pathology resident, clinical investigator)


- Gavin Law:


- Sebastian Geiger (non-UCSF):



Advisory Panel:

Enrique Terrazas, Residency director, Department of Lab Medicine

Angela See, Director of Clinical Operations, Department of Pathology

Vicky Kirby-Martin, Privacy Office

Tim Hoffman, IT, Medical Center Security

Sunny Bang, IT, Database management

Taylor Sittler: Programming consultant

Commenting is closed.

Enabling Citrix application for Ipads

Proposal Status: 


a. Description: Currently, UCSF has enabled Ipad users to access patient data through a portal that is difficult to navigate.  This program is called Apex Canton.

However, Citrix is the prefered portal to navigate and record patient information by all healthcare professionals.  It has been already developed as the main gateway by some departments in UCSF.  It is made available to the nursing department, but not many physicians, whom most need access to patient data. 

This project aims to standardize the Citrix portal so that it is uniformly available to all attending physicians in all departments in a HIPAA- compliant manner.   


b. Deliverables:  The Citrix application is free and available for download in the Apple App store.


c. Impact on UCSF's mission:  it would upgrade the availability to health information technology to a superior format and enhance patient care.  Having a functional Ipad can facilitate rounds and communication between physicians in all fields.

d. List of team members:  I would like to request assistance from team members whom have expertise in this area.  Most desirable would be those whom have already worked with Citrix applications in other departments.


e. each team member would devote a minimum of 10 hours a month.  This is an initial estimate.

Commenting is closed.

the Paper Link for PubMed

Proposal Status: 

This is a browser extension, a web app, also a mobile app!

-- built based on eUtils and related APIs of various web sites; Fast, Light & Mobile Friendly


#### Targeted User ####

The project targets to anyone frequently uses PubMed. It presents all the information to the users in one place, in real time, to help the users to save their valuable time.


#### Aims ####

* Direct access the PDF link of the related articles, on PubMed pages and any webpage with DOI/PMID/PMCID

* Integrate information for easy access and sharing

    ** When browsing on PubMed, display the impact factor, F1000 link, citation statistics, and any related information next to the article
    ** When browsing on PubMed, a button will be placed next to the article for copy and paste the article summary between applications
    ** When browsing on PubMed, provide links to email the PDF files or save the select articles to the Cloud services, including sharing to social networks if the user wants to

* Rich search experience when access from any mobile device, including smartphones and tablets, with single click to the PDF files, related articles, author publication statistics, etc.

* Alert service to notify users when new entry in PubMed has keyword matched their pre-entered list (alert will be delivered in real time; via email, Twitter direct message, Facebook wall post, etc.)


#### Current Progress ####

* Backends running on Google AppEngine and Amzon EC2, with >2,800,000 articles cached for quick response

* Browser extensions written by Javascript, HTML and CSS; open sourced on github

    ** Test version for Chrome, >6000 active users
    ** Test version for Firefox, >500 active users
    ** Test version for Safari, no statistics

* Testing the web app and the mobile app, please visit http://www.thepaperlink.com

* Testing the Facebook App, please visit https://apps.facebook.com/thepaperlink/


#### To-do List ####

* Decrease the server latency, aiming for 100 milliseconds response time

* Improve the user interface of the web app, using Twitter Bootstrap

* Integrate support for Google Drive, and other widely adopted cloud storage services (currently when the user click “save it”, the file can be saved to Dropbox, but not to Google Drive, etc)

* Improve keyword based text matching and alert service, including customizable alert frequency, directly store keywords for alert if the user chose to, parallel processing capability on large user population

* Build a smarter alert service using text mining and machine learning; a prototype using Google Prediction API has been tested and proven to be promising - we will modify it to decrease the cost on large user population

* Improve the integration between Google Scholar and PubMed, such as sorting by citation count, sorting by journal impact, etc.

* Improve the integration with http://www.pubmeder.com to allow full text search in a user’s own article collection

* Add support to display the Paper Link information bar into other webpages, such as F1000 comments, Cochrane summaries, etc

* If time permits, build a native iOS app to decrease the network traffic required to use the mobile app


#### Team Member ####

* Developer: liang.cai@ucsf
* Designer: hao.wu@ucsf
* Tester: xiao.peng@ucsf, and anyone interested


#### Questions Answered ####

* Why someone would be interested in using the Paper Link over PubGet?

    ** PubGet wants the users to browse the articles in their website, as a mean for revenue. The Paper Link provides many ways to access the information, without the need to change the existing reading habits.
    ** PubGet does have a mobile app, but it has much less function than the Paper Link.
    ** The Paper Link has better algorithm to extract the PDF links, which is the core of both services.
    ** The Paper Link has better integration with the social networks. Sharing the knowledge openly!
    ** There is no way to email the PDF file to yourself in PubGet.
    ** PubGet requires an institutional affiliation to check the PDF link, and requires visiting the site from a specific IP range to see the PDF file. The Paper Link does not need that. The Paper Link: displays the open access link to anyone from anywhere, allows the using of EZProxy, gives the PDF link to the user directly.
    ** The browser extension and addon of the Paper Link are open sourced. API of the Paper Link is free for personal use.
    ** The Paper Link was inspired by PubGet. It is built on the believe of Free, Open and Sharing.

* My NCBI has email alert service, why is the Paper Link trying to “reinvent the wheel”?

    ** My NCBI’s service is not in real time - an article might take days, even weeks to get to inbox
    ** My NCBI’s service is based on keyword matching, not by artificial intelligence
    ** My NCBI’s service only delivers the alert via email

Commenting is closed.

UCSF Maps: A new mobile website and web service

Proposal Status: 


To create a mobile friendly website that has data for all UCSF buildings, by campus, and with all the peculiar names by which the buildings are known.  For example, a building can be known as “MCB”, “1855 Folsom”, or “Mission Center Building”. The map website will allow one to generate useful directions to a building from anywhere. This website will also allow other UCSF applications to use a simple application programming interface (API) to access geographic data.


A mobile friendly website with a standard API webservice (most likely JSON), that will allow both use as a website and as a repository of UCSF specific geographic information. This will build on the work now being used on www.ucsf.edu as "UCSF: Committed to the City"  http://www.ucsf.edu/news/community.

In this phase, all UCSF buildings and their common aliases will be added to a web based geographic information system (GIS) using Leaflet to display. The data will also be available for other UCSF applications to consume via some common API.


Since UCSF has many campuses, it can often be difficult to know exactly how to find someone at UCSF. A location can have many common names. Having a mobile web interface to the map would help faculty, patients, students and staff to better navigate UCSF. It could eventually by integrated to both the UCSF Directory and shuttle application to provide real time directions from one’s current location to an office or appointment on campus.

Imagine looking up a colleague via the UCSF directory and then having your phone give you directions to their location. It could even be integrated with the UCSF shuttle schedule to tell you where to catch the next UCSF shuttle to the colleague’s location.

This should save time and the frustration of getting lost moving between our locations dispersed over much of San Francisco

Team Members:

John Kealy- Project Manager and Lead Programmer
Richard Baker- Programmer - Drupal and GIS specialist
Richard Trott – Programmer – Mobile and API specialist

Estimated Time Devoted by Each Team Member:

John Kealy – 20 hours
Richard Baker – 20 Hours
Richard Trott – 20 hours

Commenting is closed.

Application Access Management

Proposal Status: 

Project Desription:

For UCSF there are a significant number of enterprise web applications in use; currently, 84 are listed on the MyAccess site. For many of these applications, access administrators must manually assign access to individuals. Currently, there is no automated way to request access for an application.  The objective of this project is to create a uniform and centralized process for members of the UCSF community to request and grant access to many of the systems across the enterprise.


  • Create a request web application with a matrix of applications to enable an application request function
  • Modify the MyAccess web application with a link to the request web application
  • Modify the EDS to store what applications the user has access to
  • Provide Access administrator or Application Security administrator a way to update EDS with access changes.
  • Email notification for the requester, approver, granter
  • Create reporting from EDS.

Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community:

UCSF can move to a more uniform and centralized process to request and grant access to applications across the university.  For individuals with access to the existing MyAccess web site, they will be able to submit a request for access to an application listed in the proposed new web application, if that application owner has worked to have it setup. A process will be defined for the setup, approval, and provisioning of access that will result in the following benefits:

  • A single place for 28,000+ users to not just to login into web applications but to also request access.
  • A defined process that ensures a simpler access provisioning process, leading to faster turnaround times and more opportunities for automation.
  • Better reporting and auditing of users and access to UCSF applications.
  • A more efficient service model for groups supporting the UCSF community (ie. Service Desk, IT field service groups, administrative offices, etc.)
  • Moderate to significant cost savings once all the phases are implemented derived from operational efficiencies and better security management.

Team members, roles, %:

Rebecca Nguyen

Project Coordinator


Kevin Dale

Systems Analyst


Freddie Tai

Developer - Application


Mukesh Yadav

Developer – EDS


Mimi Sosa



Orlando Leon



Commenting is closed.

UCSF-led UC collaborative for patient education: “Women-to-women series”: Women’s Health for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Proposal Status: 

UCSF-led UC collaborative for patient education

"Women-to-women series": Women’s Health for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis


Needs Assessment: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects women in a 3:1 ratio compared to men.  MS is often diagnosed during child-bearing years, and therefore commonly generates questions and concerns regarding family planning, fertility, pregnancy, and breast feeding.   MS is a chronic condition and can also affect women through menopause.  Many patients feel inadequately counseled regarding these topics.  Creation of on-line access to a live format with a panel of experts can potentially reach thousands of patients, delivering patient education and thereby improving quality of life.

Description: This women-to-women series will provide a set time for patients with multiple sclerosis and expert physicians to meet virtually on a specific topic and engage in Q&A in real-time from anywhere, mimicking a patient support group, without geographical constraints.

Dr. Elizabeth Crabtree-Hartman from UCSF has formed the panel with Dr. Barbara Geisser from UCLA and Dr. Jody Corey-Bloom from UCSD.

Zoom technology will allow for participants to join the conversation in real-time from any device (desktop, laptop, mobile), through online video conferencing or by dialing in. Hosts can augment their presentations with slides or other materials via screen sharing. The sessions can be recorded and added to a library of patient education sessions available on a dedicated website for later viewing.  

Promotion for the program will be done at the MS Centers at each location, and at the local chapters of the National MS Society.  This program can potentially reach over 10,000 patients, and can serve as a template for UCSF-led UC collaborations to deliver patient education to patients with chronic illnesses.


Deliverables: live online education platform; enduring material- library of recorded sessions

Milestones:  Platform identified/panel formed; content development; patient outreach; Data design-RedCap, Implementation, Data collection, interpretation


Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community:  This project will serve as a pilot for UCSF-led UC collaborations for patient education.  By utilizing innovative technology and existing relationships with experts, this project uniquely advances patient care beyond the clinic walls.  It directly impacts our mission for innovative health sciences education and patient care worldwide.


List of team members and their roles:

Elizabeth Crabtree-Hartman, MD- project director: Dr. Crabtree-Hartman is an Associate Professor in Clinical Neurology and is the Director of Patient Education and Support at the UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Center.  Dr. Crabtree-Hartman is a graduate from the Teaching Scholars Program at UCSF and has translated the concepts in medical education and curricular design to patient education platforms.  She has created, funded, and oversees all of the patient education platforms at the MS Center: a monthly live support group, an on-line interactive new diagnosis orientation, a community building lecture series with Stanford, and an audio podcast.


Raphaelle Loren has been leading innovative products to support patient education and communication, including the award-winning MS Bioscreen at UCSF Neurology. Raphaelle Loren will support the platform implementation, and manage patient promotion efforts. 

Estimated time devoted:

Dr. Crabtree-Hartman: content development 15 hours; conferencing with panel members 5 hours; technology implementation 10 hours; materials for NMSS and MS Centers 10 hours; data design 5 hours; data collation/assessment 15 hours= 60 hours.

Raphaelle Loren: Zoom implementation and training of panel- 5 hours, data design 5 hours; data collation/assessment 15 hours- 25 hours.

Commenting is closed.

Mobile App to Extend our Clinical Care: BabyHeartTrak Mobile App

Proposal Status: 

Description of Project

We envision a smartphone app that facilitates collection of basic health data from congenital heart patients, allowing accurate monitoring and follow up and leading to reduced morbidity and mortality.

Infants with congenital heart conditions suffer from high rates of mortality after they leave the hospital. Phone-based home monitoring programs began 10 years ago and have decreased mortality.

Such programs are a great first step. Through them we have learned that systematic collection and tracking of very basic health data metrics such as weight, oxygen saturation, heart rate and caloric intake over time allows for improved follow up and significantly decreasing mortality in this population.

However, current systems of data collection are tedious, slow, and error prone. For example, Emma Olson, our team member and nurse practitioner in the Pediatric Heart Center collects, stores, and transfers data in a labor intensive and highly manual process. She sometimes must enter the same data manually 4-5 times across multiple IT platforms (Apex, Filemaker, Excel, pen/paper, etc). Just to obtain basic data, she spends significant amounts of time each week in challenging phone conversations, often requiring language translation assistance—thus increasing opportunities for miscommunication and human error.

Our BabyHeartTrak app will be the first step toward a digital, mobile-based systematic data collection and will play a leading role in establishing new mobile-based monitoring techniques for our sickest patients. We envision a simple, readily accessible, smart phone-based app that will enable simple data entry by patients' parents. The app will enable health care providers to monitor for signs of alarm. By allowing the parents to track their baby's status over time, families will be empowered to better understand the health progress of their babies.

As professionals in the UCSF Pediatric Heart Center, we have come together to improve patient care through improved data collection. Nick has experience working with this data and writing electronically secured programs to collect patient data.  Emma is ready to implement this app with her patient population. Finally, Doctors Larrazabal and Brook conceived of the idea to transfer home monitoring to a mobile platform and have prepared the clinical requirements and oversight to make the data collection of clinical importance.


BabyHeartTrak is a mobile app designed to assist parents in simply recording their children’s health data so that it may be easily shared with their health care providers. By using mobile data collection, the ultimate goal is to improve health outcomes for children with complex health conditions.

Our final deliverable is a mobile app that includes four simple screens:

-       Record of baby characteristics (name, DOB, diagnosis, recommended caloric intake)

-       Daily log (date, weight, heart rate, oxygen saturation)

-       Feed log (date, time, and quantity of feeds)

-       Progress report (graphs that track progress and compare against norms)

Our team lead, Dr. Larrazabal, is a native Spanish speaker who will facilitate production of our app in both English and Spanish.

Our work plan includes the following interim steps:

  • As a team we have created the initial app design using software application Balsamiq (see attachment). This is already complete.
  • Our team member Nick Robins, a programmer at UCSF, has built web databases with similar cardiology data and will manage the building the mobile app using our Balsamiq designs. He will also coordinate the building of a computer dashboard for medical professionals to manage and monitor patient data.
  • Nick and Dr. Larrazabal are currently reviewing applications from mobile programmers.
  • Christina LaMontagne (a seasoned product manager from the health IT industry) will lead a user testing process to ensure that the user interface is simple and accessible for users.
  • Emma will also be responsible for the deliverable of a basic training curriculum for our users.  

Impact on UCSF’s mission and community

Mobile devices have become ubiquitous in the US and around the world. Especially in developing countries, mobile devices have become a major channel of communication and data storage. By advancing mobile data collection and analytic techniques at UCSF, we are generating new knowledge and best practices to share across departments within our hospital and at our partner sites worldwide. We aim to contribute to the setting of a new standard of data collection and patient monitoring–starting with our youngest and most fragile patients.

Eventually BabyHeartTrak will contribute to efforts to automatize collection of patient data such that the data feed directly into EMR technology like Apex. With enhanced automatization, nurses and clinicians are free to spend less time collecting data and more time diagnosing, treating, and caring for patients.

Finally, one of the primary benefits of our app is the empowerment of patients to own their health data. We believe that when patients have access to their own data they are better able to learn about and manage their own health. We believe the use of mobile apps creates a more engaged and healthy patient population.

List of team members, roles, and estimated division of responsibility & time

  • Dr. Luis Alesandro Larrazabal: 15 hours
    Pediatric Cardiology Fellow @ UCSF, lead app inventor & designer, team leader
  • Dr. Michael Brook: 3 hours
    Clinical expert and senior pediatric cardiology attending @ UCSF, senior clinical advisor
  • Emma Olson: 20 hours
    Nurse Practitioner @ UCSF Pediatric Heart Center, lead user responsible for implementation and patient/caregiver training on app
  • Nick Robins: 10 hours
    Senior Programmer @ UCSF Pediatric Heart Center, lead developer of current web-based system, responsible for managing development of app
  • Mobile app programmer TBD: 20 hours

We have posted this job and already received 13 applications/bids to build this product. We are confident we can find a great programmer to collaborate on this project.

  • Christina LaMontagne: 5 hours
    Experienced product manager of technology applications, health IT start-up executive, MBA (non-UCSF)


Commenting is closed.

Campaign Data Import into Salesforce CRM

Proposal Status: 

Description of project

As UC San Francisco amplifies its message and mission in ‘leading revolutions in health’, communicators across campus are moving away from ‘spray and pray’ mass email tactics to targeted email marketing campaigns. Communications leaders on campus (University Relations, QB3, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Institute for Nursing Excellence, ITA Entrepreneurship center) have expressed enthusiasm for the adoption of a campus-wide email service provider for better email communication. The ability to import email campaigns into a customer relationship management system (CRM) is the logical next step.

To achieve truly relevant and responsive campaigns we need an ecosystem that allows for targeting emails based on custom criteria and previous email history (email was opened/not opened, etc.). That ecosystem consists of a contact management system as a central repository for an individual’s information and an email delivery system that tracks and reports campaign success.

A growing number of UCSF departments are actively using/or planning to use a Salesforce CRM as contact management system to track and report on details about their constituents.  Using the CRM campaign functionality, an email list can be created based on filtering custom criteria. The list can then be imported into an email delivery system for execution. To close the loop, campaign data can then be used to update the contact record in Salesforce allowing for better targeting for future campaigns – targeting the right communication to the right person and ultimately improving engagement.

CTSI has piloted a program to use Salesforce CRM and MailChimp to create an email delivery & feedback ecosystem. The solution includes a direct feed of completed campaign data back into the CTSI CRM both for campaign success reporting and more targeted communications. CTSI uses a MuleSoft integration platform to pass the data between MailChimp (via downloaded spreadsheet from Mailchimp) and the CRM.

CTSI chose MailChimp as their preferred email provider after an exhaustive analysis of the options taking into account factors that include pricing, reliability, clean UI, etc., however, the deliverable outlined below is not restricted to Mailchimp.


  • Email campaigns sent throughout UCSF reach thousands of people each day.  The project would be to expand the CTSI pilot to allow email campaign data integration with any existing and or new Salesforce application.
  • The deliverable for this project would be a generalized MuleSoft-based solution that provides a way for any UCSF Salesforce CRM owner to import campaign data from Mailchimp and/or a formatted spreadsheet. The data will be added to the individual contact record for reporting, analysis and future campaign needs.

    Workflow: Mailchimp data/Email Campaign data -> Formatted Excel csv -> MuleSoft -> Salesforce CRM

Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community

The community of campus communicators and related staff, who reach hundred of thousands of people through email campaigns, has demanded both an email and content management system (See recent comments: http://bit.ly/17Y0yv1 & Communicators Network group on Chatter).

This solution would improve email campaign targeting, tracking, and reporting, which would result in improved university email communications to appropriate, targeted audiences. Importing email campaign data into the Salesforce CRM also allows users to take advantage of detailed individual data (department, title, etc.) to get a more comprehensive view of the people targeted (i.e., Advanced analytics and reporting from the integration of UCSF Salesforce CRM with an individual’s campaign history. Query: “What was the open rate of email campaign X broken down by the four schools?”)

The team/roles, % Time

CTSI-ISU partnership:

-          Nooshin Latour, Communications Manager, subject matter expert, business user 10-15%

-          Oksana Gologorskaya, PM/BA for CTSI solution 15-20%          

-          Danni Pugeda, Salesforce developer 50%

-          Kristin Chu, Salesforce Program Manager 5%


Commenting is closed.

CareWeb Radiology Alert System

Proposal Status: 

a. Description:

CareWeb is a UCSF IT innovation and the premier project for the Center for Digital Health Innovation that integrates various disparate electronic communications information systems within UCSF. This integrated solution unifies electronic messaging with a social networking/microblogging motif to provide real-time streaming as well as “push” notifications via text-page. The data stream is instantly searchable and accessible by those within the patient care workflow. The solution can be accessed via any client with a browser or via an iphone client.

The CareWeb Radiology Alert System (CARESS), the current project, aims at integrating imaging procedure status data from the Radiology Information System (RIS) into the information stream presented by CareWeb. It will allow users to designate an alert status if and as a radiograph moves from ordering to protocol to scanning to completion to having been “read” preliminarily to being finalized. This integration allows access to real-time status updates on patient imaging procedures, and delivers them to a provider if and as the provider so selects.

b. Deliverables:

A special screen/UI element in CareWeb that displays information from the Radiology feed

* Leverages existing Mule Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) software as middleware for getting this data “into” CareWeb

* Ability to select a stage in a radiology exam’s  life cycle at which a provider can be alerted when that point has been reached.

This element is enabled by server software that extracts radiology imaging study status updates in real-time and posts them to CareWeb via the middleware as noted.

An update to the mobile client that allows providers to see updates to radiograph status on their iPhone.

c. Impact on UCSF's mission:

The immediate impact would be an improvement in workflow for UCSF providers due to a reduction in the need to contact Radiology to check on imaging status and/or constantly refresh the electronic medical record to find out when a study is completed. There would also be a dramatic improvement in patient care if providers could refocus their efforts on a given task in the knowledge that once an update was available, it would be “pushed” to them rather than them having to keep checking up on the status. Additionally this project would demonstrate that the CareWeb system can serve as a platform to facilitate integration of data from other patient care systems on campus, including pathology or labs, which have equally compelling use cases in this space.

d. List of team members:

Edwin Martin - technical architect - his experience will bring the technical team together to ensure CareWeb and the RIS  can communicate.

Raman Khanna – team leader – his experience as the lead for the CareWeb project will be critical towards getting this integration completed in a fashion consumable by providers.

Rodanni Pugeda – provide the technical integration within CareWeb such that RIS updates are displayed and triggers are written for the alert feature.

Donna Cummings – updates to the CareWeb Smart Client UI to allow display of imaging status updates, in a manner that can be scaled in the future to include additional lab information.

James Hawkins  - radiology technologist – develop the server side technology to post imaging study status updates to CareWeb through the Mule ESB to leverage existing integration mechanism already in place for sources such as pager. .

Wyatt Tellis - imaging informaticist and workflow subject matter expert - coordinate the export of exam status information from the radiology department’s  RIS

Vivek Swarnakar – radiology team lead – coordinate the efforts between the radiology and CareWeb teams.

e. Estimated Effort:

It is anticipated that most of the integration work can be completed within 40 hrs using existing infrastructure on CARESS.

The mobile client updates would require 40 hrs additionally.

Non-development team members would be required to spend about 10 hrs each testing the integrated solution.

Commenting is closed.

UCSF Email Addresses Upon Arrival for New Hires

Proposal Status: 
  1. Description of project:

This project is a pilot to automatically issue an ‘ucsf.edu’ email address and mailbox for new employees so that email is ready upon the new hire's arrival, along with a listing in the Global Directory/Campus Locator System (CLS) and Active Directory connectivity.  The goal is to reduce the administrative steps and improve the new hire experience around this critical aspect of employment.

  1. Deliverables: 
    1. Domain login, Email address and CLS listing available by 8am on the employee’s first day, based on either the  new hire status or the affiliate titles specifically associated with pre-hire (NEWEMP, ACADAP, POSTMD).  The format would be first.last@ucsf.edu, with additional numeral added if an address already exists.  This is the same format that students already receive.  (Note: The CLS listing is being provided by the IT service desk as part of an earlier project to support departments and compliance training.)
    2. Notification of the new account would be emailed to the supervisor, who would notify the employee on their first day.  All new hires should have a supervisor indicated on the new hire HR ticket, backup would be the Business Officer role for the department from the Department Role Table.
    3. Communication plan within the pilot department.
  2. Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community:   
    1. This pilot project will eventually allow 2,341 supervisors (minimum) to have new employees be productive upon arrival.  Approximately 3,000 new employees per year would avoid the historic delay or issues experienced due to a manual account request system.  
    2. The initial pilot group is the ITS organization, with the design and scalability to support the UCSF enterprise in the future.
    3. IT, HR, and departmental resources are freed from the email, phone call, and service request back-and-forth communications that are currently required for every account.
    4. Specific needs for no email or a different domain could be accommodated by submitting a request, which is the same effort required under the current system.
    5. Having an 'ucsf.edu' email removes the following current issues:
  • Movement of individuals between departments/units results in additional email addresses, and confusion.
  • Reliance on difficult to support custom software to provide guidance during the manual provisioning of the email account.
  • Adds the following value:
    • A department or other organizational move by an individual does not affect their assigned email address.
    • Much simpler account provisioning logic, leading to faster turnaround times, and more opportunities for automation.
    • Moves to an industry standard of an organization having the same email domain.
    • Uninterrupted delivery of mail to all legacy addresses
    • Consistent use of the ucsf.edu domain will greatly improve the process of integrating with systems that use email as the unique identifier.

  • List of team members, their roles, estimated time devoted
  • Team Member


    Estimated Time Devoted

    Vincent Ma, Sr. System Administrator

    Active Directory and Exchange Developer


    Mukesh Yadav, Identity Mgmt Technical Lead. 



    Elliot Kendall, IAM Engineer



    Susan Sall, Director, HR Service Center A

    HR Project Coordinator


    Andres Mattes, Identity Management



    Mark Day, Deputy Dir of Systems

    Executive Sponsor

    In Kind

    Kevin Dale, Sr Manager, Identity Management

    Executive Sponsor

    In Kind

    Kraig Kluba, Virtual Hosting, Exchange, and Active Directory

    Executive Sponsor

    In Kind

    Jason Lin, Service Now

    Executive Sponsor

    In Kind

    Brian Auerbach, OB/Gyn

    Department Representative

    In Kind

    Commenting is closed.

    WAIT-INFO: A system to automatically send “current waiting-time” updates to our patients via SMS

    Proposal Status: 

    I. SUMMARY: Let’s leverage APEX and text messaging technologies to automatically reduce the anxiety and burden on patients and their caregivers currently caused by long waiting room time uncertainty!  

    II. DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT:  One of the most common patient complaints in a number of clinic waiting rooms at UCSF are the long and uncertain waiting times to see their doctor. On average, wait times can be a minimum of 30 minutes up to 2 hours without any status updates to the waiting patients, causing high levels of patient frustration and anxiety to the point where patients leave unseen. Rather than discussing health issues with patients, our doctors and staff are faced with triaging anxious and angry patient complaints such as “I was afraid of missing my named being called but if I’d known how long the wait time was going to be I could have (a) used the restroom (b) gone to the cafeteria because I was starving (c) fed my meter but now I have a parking ticket”.   It has been difficult for front desk personnel or doctors to manually track and manually update patients on their wait-time statuses.  As a solution, we propose to develop “WAIT-INFO” a back-end application that utilizes APEX’s care management platform to (optionally) send automated free text message updates to patients with their estimated wait time and queue number. This will greatly reduce wait time uncertainty and provide freedom for patients to travel around.  As an example in ophthalmology, patient statuses in APEX are changed to a green circle after initial tech work-up, indicating they are now in the waiting room ready to be seen by their doctor. Wait time is often longest here. Our proposed WAIT-INFO application will utilize and track data (via color code system) from APEX to monitor patient’s wait time/queue status. Once the green circle is displayed in APEX an initial text message will be sent automatically to the patient. The first text message and subsequent messages are: "Thank you for your patience. There are currently #___ patient’s ahead (intervals >5, 5, 4, 3)".  Once the patient is #3 in the queue- the text will read: "Please return to the clinic immediately". If patients do not return to the clinic in time, they will be skipped but placed next in line.  An SMS “your patience is greatly appreciated” will then still be sent every 15 minutes, until the healthcare provider opens the chart ending all SMS alerts.  A manual override to text a patient to return to clinic can also be sent by the front desk.   

    III. DELIVERABLES:  (a) Proof of value (completed!): In an already-completed pilot simulation using manually sent free SMS via txt.att.net,  “mock patients” (our team members) were followed through a real clinic schedule and responded to manually-sent SMS wait-time alerts. In this WAIT-INFO simulation, the estimated waiting room time was only 13 minutes (vs 46 minutes actual patient wait time in office).  (b)  Proof of concept:  One next step is a WAIT-INFO simulation manually monitoring and text messaging a cohort of waiting clinic patients as with the pilot study above, then surveying patients who did and did not participate in the WAIT-INFO simulation, comparing patient’s waiting-satisfaction, and gauging interest and feedback in an automated WAIT-INFO system.  From anecdotal evidence, we are confident patients will appreciate WAIT-INFO.  (c) WAIT-INFO application beta development: in parallel with step b above, the study team programmer will develop a beta version of the application that will use APEX as an automated means of gauging wait time, queueing patients, and sending text messages. (d) WAIT-INFO pilot testing and refinement: After steps b-c, we will refine in our clinic, extend and customize the application to a clinic in a second department, and then further refine for expansion at UCSF.

    IV. IMPACTS: The proposed SMS WAIT app unites innovation and discovery to improve the patient and clinic staff experience and satisfaction all of which are UCSF’s foundations for quality patient care.  Just in ophthalmology alone, we estimate this would directly impact several thousand patients a month, as well as clinic staff.  Broader potential usage of this system includes wait-time alerts in other UCSF clinic and clinical lab waiting rooms with long uncertain wait times, or families waiting anxiously in surgical or maternity ward suites can be provided with SMS status updates of their loved ones. Front desk personnel could also leverage the system to manually send a text message to call patients to the front desk privately (a privacy improvement over the tradition of calling out a patient’s name in the waiting room).

    V. PROJECT TEAM:   Jane Kuo, OD, FAAO (Team/clinical lead ~25 hours); Michael Deiner, PhD (Project manager ~25hours); Winnie Wat (APEX Analyst/WAIT-INFO developer ~35 hours). 

    Commenting is closed.

    E*Value Efficiency Effort for Faculty Advancement Packets

    Proposal Status: 
    1. Description of project: Develop a new process to save thousands of hours of work each year by automating the process of pulling required faculty evaluation data and delivering to a secure HR drive. Currently, each faculty member or their representative must manually extract this data from E*value.This will allow HR generalists to efficiently upload the required evaluations into Advance to support faculty appointments and advancement.  This is a pilot for the School of Medicine departments, with the future goal to invite other Schools to experience a reduction in their administrative burden as well. 
    2. Deliverables:
      1. Identified and vetted E*Value standardized report that provides the required evaluation data on an annual basis for eligible faculty.  The vetting would include the Committee on Academic Personnel as well as the Vice and Associate Deans.
        1. Using a unique identifier (ie employee id)
        2. Pdf files would be used, 1 per faculty member for all teaching in the School of Medicine that evaluates its program through E*Value. This includes required UME and GME teaching.
      2. Secure location on an HR drive
      3. Communication to affected campus community, disclosure to faculty members
    3. Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community:
      1. At least 3,000 less hours of administrative work per year for faculty, departments, HR, SOM
    • 2012-13 had 2,973 appointment and advancement packets created across all departments at UCSF. In 2011-12, there were 3,054.
    • It takes approximately one hour compile and pull a faculty member’s evaluations for the year.
    • For the approximately 40 Academic HR Generalists, they will have the ability to obtain the information directly from the secure file as required without phone calls, emails, and follow up.
  • UCSF can do a better job meeting the requirements for faculty appointments and advancement.  Evidence of teaching is required, and evaluations form E*Value represent the majority of that evidence.
  • This project will ensure accurate, timely, and complete evaluation data within the advancement packets of all faculty so that the Committee on Academic Personnel (CAP) can trust that all information is included and is consistent.
  • There will be a reduction in the number of individuals handling evaluation documents, which protects the data.
  • List of team members, their roles, estimated time devoted
  • Team Member


    Estimated Time Devoted

    Luke Hones, HRIS

    Technology Advisor, provide HR IT resources


    Cynthia Lynch-Leathers, Assistant Vice Provost

    Advance System, Executive Sponsor

    In kind support

    Kevin Souza, Associate Dean Medical Education

    Executive Sponsor

    In kind support

    Bonnie Hellevig, Director, Educational Data

    Technology Advisor, E*Value Programmer


    MarkLovett, Evaluations Research Analyst

    E*Value Programmer


    Arianne Teherani, Medical Education Evaluations Unit

    Executive Sponsor

    In kind support

    Allison Chen, Medical Education Evaluations Unit

    Evaluations Specialist


    Amy Day, Director of GME

    Executive Sponsor

    In kind support

    Susan Sall, HR

    Project Coordinator



    Commenting is closed.