2013 IT Innovation Contest

A team-based contest for creative IT solutions

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.


Selected feedback from Reviewers:

Unclear whether primarily a social or collaborative focus; since this will be institutional need, it should be considered  as part of a larger, comprehensive effort in the future; committee recommends a go slow approach to this effort.

Commenting is closed.