IT Innovation Contest

A team-based contest for creative IT solutions

Printable Proposal Content with Comments

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PandO DB - SFGH Pain and OB Patients Database Application

Proposal Status: 

The Pain and Obestetric Anesthesia Database (PandO DB) is a project of the Dept. of Anesthesia at SFGH to facilitate the management of block patients, pain patients and laboring patients at SFGH.

At SFGH we perform up to 50 regional anesthesia cases per week, both single shot and continuous nerve blocks. Additionally, we place epidural catheters for surgical as well as for laboring patients. All these cases patients need proper documentation and follow up.

What’s challenging about this is that the patients are seen by several different anesthesia providers. Our shift changes twice every day, and the patients are seen by different attendings and residents.

We are currently keeping track of the patients and the interventions by using multiple paper forms. It is difficult to ensure that all the relevant information is passed on, and that the anesthesia residents have access to the relevant information when they are paged. Additionally, we face potential PHI issues with paper notes, and we cannot analyze the data for quality assurance.


  • Replace current pain & OB cards to avoid PHI problems and improve i
  • Collect data for quality assurance
  • Facilitate follow-up by OB/Pain service and for in-house single-shot blocks
  • Optimize handover between providers
  • Replace current pain service forms
  • Hold all relevant data in terms of medical information, legal information and billing
  • Collect data to allow comparison with national and international pain benchmarks
  • Physically based on a secure server (HIPAA compliant) with regular backups and high availability
  • Web-based user interface, scalable for mobile devices (e.g. iPad, iPhone) and PCs
  • Compliant with HIPAA, JCHO, Pharmacy policies, MERP requirements
  • Allow export for further analysis
  • User authentication


  • Physically based on a secure server (HIPAA compliant) with regular backups and high availability
  • Web-based user interface, scalable for mobile devices (e.g. iPad, iPhone) and PCs
  • Compliant with HIPAA, JCHO, Pharmacy policies, MERP requirements
  • Allow export for further analysis
  • User authentication
  • Optional: Interface to hospital databases to query patient data and store notes.


Web application, hosted on a secure server, that is accessible with both desktop computers and mobile devices (automatic scaling).

Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community

  • Improved patient safety and patient care
  • Improvement in inter-provider communication
  • Improvement in workflow
  • Increased protection of sensitive patient data
  • Generates data for quality assurance and potentially research

List of team members and their roles

  • Oliver C. Radke, MD, PhD, DEAA. Faculty at the Dept. of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, San Francisco General Hospital: Conceptual design, UI design, Testing, Project coordination
  • Katja Radke, MD, PhD, DEAA. Faculty at the Dept. of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, San Francisco General Hospital: Conceptual design, Testing
  • Jacobsen, Adam. Programmer/Analyst, Dept. of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, UCSF: Database setup, Programming, Testing
  • Spinner, Jon. Programmer/Analyst, Dept. of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, UCSF: Database setup, Programming, Testing
  • Dispensa, Brad. Programmer/Analyst, Supervisor, Dept. of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, UCSF: Project coordination

Estimated time devoted by each team member

  • Oliver Radke: 2 work weeks + testing during clinical time
  • Katja Radke: 2 work days + testing during clinical time
  • Jacobsen, Adam. Programmer/Analyst, Dept. of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, UCSF: Database setup, Programming, Testing
  • Spinner, Jon. Programmer/Analyst, Dept. of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, UCSF: Database setup, Programming, Testing
  • Dispensa, Brad. Programmer/Analyst, Supervisor, Dept. of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, UCSF: Project coordination


We have developed a spine pain database application within QUIPC (quantitative image processing center) for the iPad. Would be great to determine if that could be leveraged to support this project as well. Might save time and money! (

I'd assume that your database is aimed at *chronic* pain, while we deal with *acute* pain patients who receive invasive interventions and need a short-term follow-up.

The application is fairly generic. It has an interface of the human body with relevant ROIs on which the person reports their pain. It would have to be modified for reporting Acute pain as you suggested, however the data capture, storage and interaction layers could be reused. Would be happy to show you if interested.

The complexity increases greatly with the optional interface to hospital databases, however would be a more robust solution that would decrease manual entry errors. Overall a laudable goal and somewhat ambitious, but one that would seem to be widely applicable to other services seeking to keep a patient/procedure database with handoff capabilities that is not served by existing hospital systems. The goal of "Hold all relevant data in terms of medical information, legal information and billing" would need a secure, robust authentication mechanism that provides the equivalent of a digital signature.

Enrique, thank you for your feedback. We agree the hospital interface causes complexity, and that's why we have already laid the ground work with the DPH to ensure data access for our project. Remember that we are aiming to replace the current paper based model used in the OR at SFGH with a digital model that reduces the risk of loss from cards being left behind as well as mistakes based on "hand writing interpretation". Since this data will flow into our departmental databases, a wealth of patient care related studies could be originated from our data. As Oliver notes, this project aims to reduce communication issues at SFGH, increase patient safety and develop a framework for evaluating patient care over longitudinal studies.

Commenting is closed.

Accountability Tool for Tenured Faculty in the Graduate Division at UCSF

Proposal Status: 

Tenured faculty members in the Graduate Division at UCSF (biophysics, tetrad, etc.) run labs consisting of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. However, these tenured faculty members are not held to task in their mentoring responsibilities and very talented students sometimes slip through the cracks. Faculty members are typically chosen by their ability to do great science and not on their ability to run functional well-balanced labs.


I am proposing to develop a web-based accountability tool that makes these lab bosses accountable for the well-being and successes (and failures) of their graduate students. This can be developed in conjuction with the establishment of a governing student body that maintains and monitors the accountability tool.


Some potential functions of the accountability tool:

- address immediate concerns of graduate students

- have resources for mentoring classes and workshops for faculty members

- have team-building exercises


Please email me at if you are interested in working on this project. Here is an example of an accountability tool:



Hi - Can you expand a bit more on you envision this tool would be used in practice? Wondering if its the graduate students or the faculty (or both) who would be the primary users of the tool. For example: 1. Would students write their concerns and would those concerns go back directly to the mentor or would the concerns be captured so that later, someone could go back, analyze and find a workshop that can help address a gap in skills for mentors? 2. Would this accountability tool be a resource for workshops and team building exercises that people come across, thereby becoming a repository for people looking for training? I went to the example you provided, but still wasn't quite sure of the exact functions that you are thinking about. thanks!

I share Leslie's concerns and also wonder if an existing tool that is used in Graduate Medical Education, Evalue, could be used to provide some of the functionality in this proposal.

It might be useful to see if there any appropriate accountability tools built for an existing UCSF-supported platform, e.g. Salesforce.

Commenting is closed.

the Paper Link for PubMed

Proposal Status: 

__Search and Get PDF Link Now__


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, >2000 active users
    ** Test version for Firefox, >100 active users
    ** Test version for Safari, no statistics

* Testing the web app and the mobile app, running at

* Testing the Facebook App, running at

* Testing an API for calculating an author’s publication statistics; a page uses this API running at

* Keyword match based alert service tested with several users


#### 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 Javascript client for browsers that do not have native extension/add-on support

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

* Improve the integration with 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


#### 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


Very nice time-saving utility that allows users to quickly retrieve relevant articles. The browser extensions are key since they allow functionality from within Pubmed itself. However, this is a team based contest and I do not see the listing of the team members for this project.

Just add the people behind the project. Any proficient iOS or Android developer are welcome to join.

Agree with prior commentor re: discussion on team. Would also be good to understand the targeted use cases and estimated impact. But sounds great - sounds like a worthy discussion with the CTSI team that brings UCSF Profiles to campus as well.

The project targets to anyone frequently uses PubMed - I think all the researchers in UCSF do. It presents all the information researchers interested in one place, and helps the users saving their valuable time.

It might be good to add a sentence or two to explain why someone would be interested in using Paper Link over PubGet. Not sure if the apparent cost recovery via Google Ads on the site is an issue for this contest. I suspect it's not a problem, but thought it worth mentioning in case I'm wrong. If you're looking for others to help, I might be interested in doing some of the JavaScript work.

* PubGet wants the users to browse the papers in their website, as a mean for revenue. The Paper Link proves many ways to access the information, without the need to change the existing 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.
* The Paper Link has better integration with the social networks.
* 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: present open access link to the user which can be read by anyone from any where, allow the using of EZProxy, give the link to the user directly.
* The browser extension and addon of the Paper Link are open source. API of the Paper Link is open to everyone.
* As for the Google Ads, it only shows on the web site when visiting from a Desktop. Mobile app and browser extension are free of Ads. It is for the sustainability of the service, because we are using Google App Engine and Amazon EC2 to store data and handle requests.

ONE MORE THING: at least right now, PubGet has not released a tool to record the articles a user read. The Paper Link utilizes an API from for archiving, and under the permit of the user, will use that information to predict whether a new article will be interested by this specific user.

A very useful APP, which allows to get all the information at a glance. Cool!

Commenting is closed.

An Apple App To Help Patients And Their Families Deal With Neurofibromatosis

Proposal Status: 

  Neurofibromatosis (NF), which includes NF1 and NF2, is the most common genetic mutation and affects about 1 in 3,500 people.  Its phenotpyic expression is protean and can involve the brain, spine, peripheral nerves, skin, bones, eyes, GI system, and a variety of other tissues and organs to varying degrees from mild to life-threatening.  Clinical symptoms can include pain, weakness, numbness, hearing and visual loss, changes in GI function, abnormalities in bone growth, to mention the most common.  As a result, NF is one of the most challenging conditions to evaluate and treat, either medically or surgically.  Although special NF clinics and support groups exist, it is still often a challenge for patients and their families to receive pertinent information and optimal care.  Barriers include money, time, travel distance, and often insufficient information on the part of both patients and health care professionals.  One solution would be to create an Apple App that not only provides comprehensive clinical and scientific information on the various type of NF, but also lists available medical and treatment resources, as well as facilitates people with NF and their families to exchange information gained from their personal experiences which often involve trial and error.

   We propose to deliver a social mobile App aimed at providing a tool for patients already diagnosed with NF so that they can track their symptoms and findings, as well as response to any ongoing treatmets.  It will also allow NF patients to interact with other people diagnosed with NF using other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.  A question and answer format will be provided which will allow patients and their families to ask specific questions not covered by the App.  NF patients can also receive updates on new treatments or clinical trials.  NF patients can also share their medical conditions with family members and/or health professionals as they choose in a regulatory compliant manner.  We envision also having an associated UCSF web site that will provide general information on the disease and its clinical manifestations; what a thorough clinical workup involves and how a definitive diagnosis is made using state of the art genetic and clinical tools; and specific treatments for various problems.  The App itself will evolve over time in response to feedback from its users.  In particular the types of NF clinical problems encountered will increase over time with use of the NF App.

   The NF App will expand on UCSF's mission to provide the best care possible to the most people by increasing access to important medical information and treatments as well as available resources.  It will build upon the mission of the RAS Clinic and newly created NF Clinic at UCSF.


High level project plan: 

- Design User Interface for the App (2 weeks)

- Collect list of NF conditions with their associated symptoms and findings to be used as a starting point wtihin the app (2 weeks)

- Leverage OpenPath ( to develop the initial version of the App (2 weeks)

- Setup and deploy servers and database to support storage of NF clincal conditions and their associated symptoms and findings in a secure manner (1 week)

- Collect content to be used on the webiste. We will use UCSF Radiology Website template for the site. (3 weeks)

- Plan to pilot the use of this app with patients seen in UCSF NF Clinic (1 week) 

- Work with to engage in helping dissiminate the app and suport the pilot (2 weeks)


This will be a joint effort with Neurosurgery and Radiology, key personnel listed below, and we will attempt to engage CTSI mHealth consuting services for the project as well. 


   Michel Kliot MD, Dept. of Neurosurgery

   Nick Butowski MD/PhD, Dept of Neurousrgery

   Vivek Swarnakar PhD, Dept. of Radiology - QUIPC





Mobile health is certainly a rapidly growing area and the goals of the project would certainly help the NF patient community. Much of the content of the app is informational, and as such, would an HTML5 application be better served than an Apple App? It would certainly reach a much wider audience (Android, etc.).

Are there any apps out there today (either for apple or android) that would serve as a model? For example, I did a quick search on the Apple App store and found "Beat Neuropathy and Chronic Pain" ... are you thinking something similar to this? Or perhaps there are better examples that can serve as illustrative?

It's hard to say because HTML5 can be packaged up as a native app on both iOS and Android: If you don't need access to phone specific features, HTML5 optimized for mobile would be easiest to deploy as it would not require vetting through Apple.

UCSF Mobile is done the way Enrique is describing. The content at is identical to the content served by the native iOS and Android apps. They are just web browsers that point to the site. Pains have been taken to make performance snappy so that it feels like a native app and not a web site, but it really is a web site under the native apps. So, you could have it available both ways. One thing the UCSF Mobile site statistics makes clear is that iOS users especially prefer apps over web sites. But it's nice to have the web site so any device can access the information.

Michel - I think OpenPATH would be a good fit. There may be some HTML5 aspects to this app depending on the specific functionality, but this is certainly a very acheivable app.

Commenting is closed.

test for brain damage

Proposal Status: 

Title:  Test for brain damage

  1. Description of project: We propose to develop a device for measuring brain damage. It is based on prior observations1 that the ability to detect a ‘black flash’ is markedly affected by age and sedative drugs, but not by cholinergic or anti-cholinergic drugs.  A ‘black flash’ is defined as the extinguishing of an illuminated diode for from 10 to 100 msec. Preliminary work will be done with a single diode, then a circular 12 diode array will be developed. Subject will initiate the ‘black flash’, then try to indicate the position where the ‘black flash’ occurred. Correct responses speed the flash and errors slow it, so threshold will be determined automatically.
  2. The deliverable will be an automated inexpensive device for detecting and following brain damage.
  3. The device will have extensive application.  For just one example, it could be used to pre-test athletes before contact sports and again following head trauma.
  4. Team members are Dr. Enoch Callaway and Dr. Reese Jones, co-PIs and Emerita Prof. of Psychiatry who will be clinical trial investigators. In addition, Dr. Winthrop Williams, U.C. Berkeley, will be responsible for electronic development.
  5. Dr. Williams will devote 50% time until models are developed.  Then Drs. Callaway and Jones will devote time as subjects become available.  This could eventually involve full time


Certainly an intriguing project especially with the attention that concussions are receiving in pro football, however, this project seems primarily a bioengineering project. I'm having difficulty identifying the IT problems that are being addressed.

Commenting is closed.

Research Collaboration Social Networking Pilot

Proposal Status: 

Many promising efforts to discover cures for disease involve collaborations span departmental, organizational, and disciplinary boundaries. These collaborations typically bring together researchers and assets from across academic research institutions, private institutes, industry partners, and medical centers. In the current economic climate, this increased focus on “partnering” is recognized as a winning business strategy for many companies and universities.


We propose a comprehensive pilot of the Yammer social networking platform by the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC), including use of the platform within four established collaborative research efforts that are “shovel-ready” for more sophisticated networking technology. We believe our collaborative efforts will be markedly accelerated by using these cutting-edge information networking tools to create a new virtual research environment in which the streamlined sharing of collective expertise can generate critical individual insights.


Realizing this vision will require a brief, sustained effort by key technologists and engaged researchers to 1) rapidly apply the social networking platform functionality to real world research; 2) identify and document the implementation strategies that work; and 3) evaluate the impact of the pilot on participants’ collaborative behavior and attitudes.


Our conversations with researchers and social enterprise leaders have highlighted key areas of collaborative activity that we will evaluate in the pilot.

  • Secure document sharing
  • Hypothesis generation and research-related discussions
  • Collaborative editing of manuscripts and other shared intellectual products
  • Administrative organization of grant applications and progress reports
  • Management of both virtual and in-person meetings (agendas, presentations, notes)
  • Information curation and establishment of knowledge bases (e.g. wiki/topic pages)


Collaborative Research Social Networks for the Pilot

  1. UCSF Memory and Aging Center, a division within the Department of Neurology where 100+ faculty and staff engage in neurodegenerative disease research, clinical care and education.
  2. Tau Consortium (TAU), a philanthropically funded translational collaboration studying the tau protein in the context of neurodegenerative disease with 50+ investigators across 13 institutions.
  3. Consortium for Frontotemporal Dementia Research (CFR), a philanthropically funded translational collaboration across 8 institutions in which researchers study frontotemporal dementia (FTD) with the goal of developing a cure/treatment for progranulin variants of FTD.
  4. Frontotemporal Dementia Program Project Grant (FTD PPG), an NIH-funded program project grant at UCSF and 4 other institutions investigating FTD.
  5. PCA Consensus Criteria, an international effort with 40+ participants working to develop consensus research criteria for the posterior cortical atrophy variant of Alzheimer’s.


  1. Performance Metrics: Detailed documentation of adoption and usage metrics for each function of the social networking platform during the pilot period.
  2. Implementation Guidelines: Detailed description of implementation strategies, organizational principles, and lessons learned/best practices from the pilot.
  3. Evaluation and Outcomes: Report of quantitative and qualitative changes to participants’ behavior and attitudes as a result of the pilot, including recommendations for ensuring maximal participation in future programs, based on pre- and post- questionnaires, focus groups, and interviews.


Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community

UCSF is a leader in establishing cross-sector collaborations and has a reputation for its highly collaborative research environment. Thus, UCSF is ideally positioned to spearhead the innovative use of social networking tools to enhance research activity. The results of this pilot will directly support the wider research community by developing evidence-based strategies for intellectual networking that can be adopted throughout the university and beyond.


Team Members, Roles, and Estimated Effort

Joe Hesse – Technical Director (20% effort during pilot period)

Caroline Latham – Social Network Curator and Advocate (40% effort during pilot period)

Katherine Rankin, PhD – Psychological Evaluation/Outcomes (20% effort during pilot period)


All team members’ effort is approved for the pilot effort during working hours. Additional effort outside of working hours will be applied to the effort as appropriate/needed.


It might be worth considering if SalesForce along with its Chatter service, adopted by UCSF for campus wide use, fully integrated with MyAccess, can address the areas of collaborative activity identified in the proposal. At the least this would highlight the additional value (or lack thereof) of using Yammer instead of Salesforce.

Agree with Vivek. I'm not familiar with the differences between Salesforce+Chatter and Yammer, but on casual reading of Yammer's features, it appears that Salesforce+Chatter would accomplish the goals, and would utilize an existing UCSF framework. If there are unique features of Yammer that are critical to the success of the project, it would be useful to see those delineated.

Nina Jameson and I, who are responsible for the Salesforce program at UCSF, been in discussions with Joe over the use of Chatter. There are a few things they are looking for that Salesforce cannot do yet. The first is "Collaborative editing of manuscripts and other shared intellectual products". The second is "Information curation and establishment of knowledge bases (e.g. wiki/topic pages)". There's also another item not listed in the proposal, and that's the management of the networks. is working on these items, but there's no explicit timeline. Joe is aware of the risk -- that the tool he's picking for the pilot may not necessarily be the tool recommended as the enterprise collaboration tool. I think there's value in the pilot Joe and team are proposing, specifically in their outlined deliverables, and we can all benefit from what they learn piloting their research collaboration social network.

In this light, then yes, seems like a very worthwhile pilot, and if Salesforce adds the features, would probably translate well to that environment as well. I am extremely interested in their deliverables, especially "Detailed documentation of adoption and usage metrics for each function of the social networking platform during the pilot period." It would be very educational to learn what tools and features are actively used in this context.

Commenting is closed.

Survivor's Mobile App

Proposal Status: 

Survivor Mobile Phone App


Improving outcomes of children diagnosed with cancer is one of the triumphs of modern medicine. At present, nearly 80% of children diagnosed with cancer will be long-term survivors. The Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program at UCSF provides comprehensive medical, nursing, and psychosocial consultation to provide education for childhood cancer survivors as well as their families and health care providers. A detailed history and physical examination is performed and a comprehensive summary letter of the survivor’s current and future health care follow-up recommendations is sent to the survivor’s primary care physician.

All survivors also receive an educational “Survivor Healthcare Passport” to provide a succinct, credit card-sized summary of their therapy and follow-up recommendations (see below).  The follow-up recommendations are individualized and are based on the therapy that the patient received.  In other words, different types of chemotherapy, surgery, and fields of radiation therapy trigger different types of follow-up tests and how often they are needed.  The follow-up recommendations are provided by the Children’s Oncology Group, a National Cancer Institute supported clinical trials group.  

Many patients find the “Survivor Healthcare Passport” very helpful due to its portability and concise nature.  However, some patients have expressed interest in having an interactive tool that can alert them about any follow-up tests they may be due for.

We propose to develop a mobile Survivors App as an additional tool to help cancer patients be aware of their recommended follow-up. Users will use the application to enter the details of the therapy they received such as the names and doses of chemotherapy, the types of surgeries, and the fields and doses of radiation therapy.  The application will then display the recommended follow-up based on the entered therapy. For example, if a user enters a cumulative dose of over 300 milligrams per meter squared of doxorubicin as part of his or her therapy, the application will indicate that an echocardiogram should be done annually. The application will hopefully be associated with a calendar which can alert users that they are due for specific follow-up tests. 

Impact: Could be used by all of our patients undergoing cancer therapy at UCSF and beyond.

Team Members:

Robert Goldsby, MD - Director of the Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program

Linda Li – Coordinator for the Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program

Benjamin Braun, MD, PhD – Pediatric Oncologist, Ancillary IT Input

Needed member – IT specialist to help convert the material into a mobile application


I wholeheartedly agree that a mobile technology to track therapies, follow-ups and maintaining general well-being is an imperative piece to the program we have. How will this be different than the CureSearch app that is currently available? In addition can psychological resources be made available to connect these survivors with support groups? I am excited to see how this idea develops and impacts the children, families and healthcare outcomes.

This proposal would help patients empower themselves to ensure that adequate follow up is maintained, which is especially important in cancer care. Integration with calendar/reminder would definitely increase the usefulness of the application, as well as integration of the educational material that is provided.

The mHealth Services group would be very interested in making this concept come to life.

I like the idea of framing the alerts like a to-do app, so users can mark recommended follow-up tests as either complete, or unnecessary (upon consultation with a doctor). How do you envision new data and alerts being entered into this system? Will they be added by health care providers, or by the patients themselves? If the latter, will there be a way for providers (or their EHR systems) to check (edit?) the results, to prevent user error?

Commenting is closed.

UCSFbox - An in-house version of Dropbox built specifically for the UCSF Community

Proposal Status: 

UCSFbox brings private cloud storage capabilities to UCSF

UCSFbox is a product broken into 2 parts

  • A client package that allows authentication to data
  • The actual cloud storage infrastructure

This service will address

  • Issues of private data being used on public cloud storage systems
  • Allow users more control over their data
  • Provide a modern private platform to access data from any location
  • Create methods of easy data collaboration between users from all departments

Current team members

Marlon Lee

Department of Medicine IT Services

James Cundiff

Department of Pediatrics IT Support

Raymond Tam

Department of Surgery Information Services

Pamela Rothenberg (non technical role)

Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology


Any ideas yet about what platform you'll use, and what platforms you'll support? The main reasons DropBox works so well for so many are the synchronization features and the ubiquity of platform support. Options/comparisons to explore: Xythos (used by UCI and now owned by Blackboard),'s Internet2 service (tested by UCB), Tonido (private cloud portal for mobile platforms)

We are looking at using OpenStack Swift. UC San Diego recently built a storage cloud with this and had good results. Tonido looks like it would be a perfect tool for the mobile side.

A project that provides a need for UCSF. However, it would need HIPAA compliant security, and seamless access across many devices. Are there existing frameworks that could/would be utilized?

This is a needed service here at UCSF. However some additional issues to address would be: cost to users, easy collaboration with users outside the University, and the service/product needs to be seamless to users across many desktop and mobile platforms.

These are all really good concerns. I hope a few of them can be solved with a new security policy for cloud storage usage.

Commenting is closed.

UCSF Mac Imaging Solution

Proposal Status: 

Apple Macintosh computers make up approximately ⅓ of the desktops and laptops at UCSF, numbering between 5000-7500 devices.  With the introduction of the UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Administrative Computing Standards (JACS) program, most UCSF Macs are standard configurations.  This standardization simplifies desktop support issues, but to fully realize the cost savings and efficiencies standards can bring we need a common imaging solution.

A lack of platform consistency leads to problems supporting enterprise-wide initiatives like encryption, email consolidation, supporting clinical applications, etc.  These initiatives require more planning, staffing, and time to complete, greatly increasing their costs.  By supporting a variety of platforms and systems for our customers, we have limited our options when selecting and deploying new systems to support the enterprise.

Creating a common Mac image for UCSF would eliminate duplicate effort and expense across the enterprise.  Each Mac support group researches, selects, purchases, and deploys its own solution.  Many smaller IT groups lack the resources to research and purchase their own solutions, and often build and deploy systems manually.  Standardizing on a single solution would support the OE aims of lowering the cost, decreasing the deployment time, and improving the support experience for Mac users at UCSF.

Our team of Mac imaging, deployment, and support experts includes

  1. Andrew Riley, subject matter expert (SOM ISU) – image QA and deployment (18% effort)
  2. Jerry Tung, user (ITS DLS) – image testing and patching (18% effort)
  3. Erik Wieland, visionary (DOM IT) – project management, documentation, and procurement (18% effort)
  4. Wesley Yip, technologist (Radiology IT) – image development and packaging (18% effort)

Our team will deliver the following

  1. Image Requirements - Create a set of minimum requirements for the image, and agree on a framework for reviewing and updating the image on a regular basis.
  2. Standard Image - Create a standard Mac image, using the latest supported version of Mac OS X and a common set of software packages.
  3. Deployment System Requirements - Create a set of minimum requirements for an image deployment system, and research solutions that fit these criteria.
  4. Deployment System Shootout - Perform a “shootout” between imaging solutions that meet these requirements, and select our preferred product.
  5. Deployment System Prototype - Create a prototype deployment system as a proof of concept.
  6. Deployment System Cost Estimate - Document the cost and effort required to put the system into production, and making it available to any group supporting Macs at UCSF.
  7. Functional System Prototype - Deliver the prototype and recommendations to ITS Customer Services, under Sian Shumway.  Sian has agreed to own and support the system.
  8. Documentation and Communications Framework - Create a Chatter/web/wiki space for communicating with the UCSF Mac support community.


There are indeed far reaching benefits from this project. As noted, Macs are fairly ubiquitous at UCSF, and a common standard imaging solution would result in devices that are more easily supported, and drive down support costs.

Commenting is closed.

Driving Quality and Safety through Gamification

Proposal Status: 


Hospital-acquired infections may account for nearly 100,000 deaths annually in the United States.  Many such complications may be reduced by increased awareness of risk factors and standardization of management practices— across all health care provider professions (e.g., nursing, physicians, and ancillary staff).  National patient safety initiatives are increasingly utilized by regulatory agencies, the insurance indsutry, and the public, to encourage hospitals to improve quality through performance in the respective associated safety metrics. 

Success requires participation of all members of the health care team.  Qualities of previous successful initiatives include (1) engagement of staff; (2) driving of participation; (3) collaboration across disciplines/professions; and (4) competition—which ultimately moves the needle.  Essentially, this is gaming.  "Gamification" is the application of gaming mechanics to measure and motivate individual use of a tool or service which already exists—and reframe the experience to engage all eligible participants.  At the enterprise level, we would like to utilize metrics for target outcomes and processes, promote intrinsic motivation of the staff/user, and ultimately enhance the experience—without distraction. 

Together with the gamification firm Bunchball, we are developing a social gaming engine tailored specifically to the healthcare environment and able to run on an existing UCSF CRM platform.  Key elements focus on performance, achievement, and social interaction—from the individual to escalating levels of teams.  Our initial user audience is UCSF Nursing, with staff numbering over 2,000.  For a proof-of-concept pilot, the project will be implemented in two competing intensive care units, with over 100 nurses.  Target metrics include patient safety initiatives (prevention of central line associated blood stream infections), multi-media nursing education, enhanced distribution of unit-specific operational and care quality information, and facilitation and encouragement of peer recognition for exceptional performance.



Social gaming engine to run on existing UCSF database platform, accessible to staff nurses via the web—thereby accessible at work, as well as remotely through desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

A rough demo of the concept, including the strategy for engagement, was presented last May at the Gaming and Learning Symposium at UCSF. A video link can be found at .


Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community:

As a novel approach to improving hospital quality through the engagement of bedside care providers, this project impacts all four components of the UCSF Medical Center Mission: Caring, Healing, Teaching, and Discovering.  The pilot can be scaled up to include additional nursing units, and ultimately, include physicians, as well as ancillary staff, with an additional goal of promoting inter-professional communication and collaboration.  With a core principle of staff education and collaboration in patient quality measures, such gaming platforms could be applied in essentially any other hospital environment, with a potential salutary effect on national patient safety outcomes.


List of team members and their roles: 

Arup Roy-Burman, MD—Medical Director, UCSF

Lindsay Lightbody, MA—Project Manager, UCSF

Robyn Huey, DNP, CPNP-AC-- PICU NP and recent staff RN (end-user), UCSF

Edwin Martin—Director, Software-as-a-Service Solutions, UCSF

Latrice Barnett—Project Manager, Bunchball


While certainly an innovative concept, I think the difficulty will be in coming up with an engaging experience to deliver the target outcomes. For example, simple hand washing dramatically decreases the rate of hospital acquired infections. The challenge is in translating this to a social gaming experience that will reinforce the concept sufficiently to change behavior while engaging the user sufficiently to want to use the system.

A rough demo of the concept, including the strategy for engagement, was presented last May at the Gaming and Learning Symposium at UCSF. A video link can be found at .

Commenting is closed.

Employee On-boarding - HR and IT Partner Initiative

Proposal Status: 

Goal: Streamline employee on-boarding process by establishing seamless and automated communication to IT support units within minutes of when new employee data has been entered into the HR OLPPS system. This is to enable quick turn around for providing access to UCSF and departmental IT resources. The aim is also to enable notification for when an employee is departing from the University so IT staff are able to proactively engage in following exit procedures such as recovering equipment, securing data and obtaining the signed Electronic Information Consent form.

Description: The required employee attributes will be extracted from the Enterprise Directory Service (LDAP). The job title, department and supervisor fields will be used to compare against a look up table to match the appropriate IT support unit and initiate automatic email notification . The IT support unit then has the required information to initiate requests for campus and Medical Center AD accounts and provision accounts required to access departmental/specialized IT resources. After the required access is provisioned, the user will then receive a basic IT Fact Sheet via email which will list the accounts provisioned, relevant contact numbers and information regarding access to VPN and MyAccess. Notifications will also be triggered for employees leaving the University based on the termination date so appropriate exit procedures are followed by the IT support units.

The Enterprise Directory Service (EDS) is a LDAP directory server maintained by the Identity and Access Management Services group. The data in the EDS is extracted from OLPPS and updated every 20 minutes. The main attributes required for each employee would be the Employee ID, full name, job title, department and employment termination date. The idea is to create a proof of concept where we minimize time lost between when an employee starts at the University and is able to access their email and login to their system. So, currently, the scope is limited to Radiology Desktop Support, School of Medicine ISU and the UCSF Service Desk teams. This project could be an interim step in the longer-term roadmap of the Identity and Access Management team to automate the provisioning of AD and email accounts and to provide a central access management tool. 


  • Automated email notifications upon new hires and appointment termination to corresponding IT support units.
  • Generate basic access templates for users based on job titles and associated department. These “roles-based” access templates could serve as the basis for a larger roles-engineering effort which will be required as UCSF centralized access management is implemented for the University.

Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community:

  • Provisioning accounts in a timely manner will reduce loss in productivity for new users
  • Potentially lower the call volume to UCSF IT Service Desk from anxious users who are awaiting access
  • Develop a foundation for future central access management systems at UCSF
  • Heightened customer satisfaction

Participants: roles and effort

Pete Seatavakin: Visionary and subject matter expert (15% effort)

Pranathi Sundaram: Visionary, project manager and technologist. (15% effort)

John Chin: User and subject matter expert (15% effort)

Norma Fong: Subject matter expert (15% effort)

Lucas Rockwell: Consultant and user (15% effort)

Jeff Block: Technical lead and programmer (25% effort)


This project, if successful, would realize a dream of mine! Make sure you consult with Riju Myladumkunnel in MedCenter IT to see if you can learn anything from their ARF implementation.

Oh, my! How soon can this be implemented?

All, Please let me know if I can be of any assistance with your project. This could be a great value add for the campus community. Best, Jason Stout UCSF HR 476-1207

Fabulous idea! Go Pete and team!

Long overdue and needed desperately! Congrats on being funded.

Commenting is closed.

UCSF School of Medicine Collaborative Syllabus

Proposal Status: 

Description of Project: The UCSF School of Medicine predominately uses comprehensive syllabi rather than textbooks for the first two pre-clinical years. These syllabi have developed significantly since their inception through major efforts from the faculty, but unfortunately student feedback has been difficult to effectively coordinate, analyze, and integrate. In order to overcome this obstacle, the proposed project aims to give medical students a live forum through which they can easily submit errors, pose questions for the faculty, share explanations and other insight that would benefit fellow students and faculty for future editions of the syllabi. Furthermore, faculty and course directors could also use this easily accessible forum to distribute announcements, corrections and reply to students’ questions or comments in a convenient and time-responsive manner.


Deliverables: Each of the essential core curriculum blocks will have their own collaborative syllabus available on the iRocket website each week for students to easily download. This platform allows users to make in-text comments and reply to other comments directly at the relevant text within the syllabus. Users will be instructed to use yellow text boxes for comments to address the faculty (corrections, errors and questions) and green text boxes to address fellow students (useful alternative explanations and memory devices). Faculty will reply to comments and distribute announcements with blue text boxes. This color-scheme will allow users to focus on relevant comments. Students and faculty with Internet connection will be able to publish their comments as well as immediately view the comments of others, creating a discussion forum directly on the syllabus. The faculty can review the feedback and incorporate changes into subsequent yearly editions of each block’s syllabus and also respond to students’ questions. Because Adobe already offers this platform (please download and use Adobe Acrobat/Reader to open the attached example of a first-year Pathology syllabus section graciously annotated by second year medical students Ben Friedman, Dora Friedman, Katelyn Dow, and the author Dr. Ramachandran), the collaborative syllabus is immediately capable of being incorporated into the curriculum when classes resume in August and September for first- and second-year medical students.


Impact on UCSF: The School of Medicine syllabi is the primary academic source from which first- and second-year medical students use to build their clinical and scientific foundations. Historically, students have expressed frustrations when encountering errors or poor explanations while feeling incapable of directly integrating corrections into the syllabi with the current system. The proposed project aims to develop a dynamic, integrative forum for medical students to share insight with their fellow classmates and the faculty for future editions of the syllabi. Importantly, this system would reach not only reach 150 medical students per class per year, but changes to the syllabus would benefit future classes as an ongoing process. Compounded over coming years—and possibly incorporated in the other UCSF health professional schools—it is highly likely that such a system would have a profound and expanding positive impact upon many thousands of future health professionals.


Team Members and Roles:

Dana Rohde, PhD- Director of the Organs Block for first year medical students, and one of the major faculty members involved in improving the syllabus with 12 years of experience. Responsibilities include: Subject matter expert, review of student feedback for relevant syllabus sections and establishing final decisions on many of the changes in upcoming syllabus editions.

Christian Burke- Assistant Director, Technology Enhanced Learning. Expert on Adobe platform and technical liaison for students and faculty.

Alissa Gee- Course Administrator with 3 years of experience coordinating faculty feedback into final syllabus changes. Responsibilities include: technologist providing students with the annotatable weekly syllabi as well as transferring annotated syllabi to faculty and course directors.

Yoseph Kram- UCSF Second Year Medical Student. Project visionary and coordinator. Responsibilities include: coordination of the project as a whole, and oversight for second-year medical students’ feedback. Responsible for project implementation in August and September, including an introductory lecture to explain the collaborative syllabus for first- and second-year medical students.

UCSF First Year Medical Student Committee- Primary users of the collaborative syllabi who will track its effectiveness throughout the year. Responsibilities include: oversight and liaison support for fellow first year medical students and their feedback, including monitoring for professionalism and participation.

     Richard Alexander- incoming first year UCSF medical student.

     Will Morrel- incoming first year UCSF medical student.

     Harjus Birk- incoming first year UCSF medical student.


Estimated time devoted by team member:

Dana Rohde, PhD- 1-3 hours per week while class is in session, and numerous hours after the block ends to incorporate some of the larger changes, such as clarification of concepts.

Christian Burke- up to 1 hour per week troubleshooting technical issues.

Alissa Gee- 1-3 hours per week while class is in session devoted to uploading relevant syllabus sections, and transferring annotated syllabi to relevant faculty and course directors.

Yoseph Kram- 1-3 hours per week devoted to reviewing 2nd year medical student feedback for professionalism and participation, and also coordinating faculty replies to students questions.

UCSF First year medical student committee- 1-3 hours per week devoted to reviewing 1st year medical student feedback and also coordinating faculty replies to students’ questions.


The system does seem very useful for collaborative education and collaborative review of material. The technical challenge is syncing everyone's comments from their downloaded syllabus. Does this utilize the Adobe export/import comments functionality (ie. user intervention required) or is there a system to automatically synchronize? And if automatically synchronized, is this software offered from Adobe or developed as part of this project?

Thanks for the comments and questions, Dr. Terrazas. Indeed, Adobe has a platform set up for this exact issue called a "Shared Review". Once a user downloads this type of pdf and opens it with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, he or she is prompted to sign in with an Adobe username and password. After signing in, the user has the capacity to simply click buttons in the tool bar to publish his/her comments and to check for new comments from other users. This means that we can simply upload pdfs to the iRocket medical student homepage for students and faculty to download, and then everyone can comment and communicate directly on the pdf without ever re-uploading the files or emailing them to each other. All one needs is an internet connection, the pdf, and an adobe username and password (which is free). These links help explain further: This video at 4:37 in particular shows what I've tried to explain here about the "Publish Comments" and "Check for new updates" buttons: I hope this helps to answer your questions, but please let me know if there is anything that I can clear up further.

Very nice use of existing technology and applying it to education. I can see the benefits to students and syllabus creators alike, and is a vehicle for continuing discussion of a lecture outside of the lecture itself.

Commenting is closed.

Development of a Video Library to Enhance Intraprofessional Education and Practice

Proposal Status: 

The challenges of the health care system and clinical practice have increased significantly in complexity and there is a greater demand for all health care team members to be prepared to intervene and apply health care interventions daily.  Improved accessibility to innovative educational materials is particularly crucial to effectively support nursing practice at UCSF Medical Center. Video media is a potentially valuable tool that can be utilized to support nursing education and practice hospital-wide.  Creating short video clips of standardized interventions would serve to provide continuous reinforcement of procedures and assist in standardizing clinical practice.  The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of patient care and prevent hospital-acquired infections through active utilization of this video library.  For example, all nurses will be able to actively review the recommended methodology for changing a central line dressing which will support standardization of care and minimize the risk of catheter-associated infection.  All members of the health care team can use this video resource to review procedures and/or clarify possible misinterpretation of the written policy by examining the procedures.  Given the technologically advanced, fast-paced clinical environment, video learning is aligned with the current expectations of nurses’ work flow.  Watching a video clip will be more time-efficient than reading an extensive written procedure to support clinical practice. The videos can also act as a primary resource for education for new graduate nurses and physician trainees who are comfortable with multimedia education commonly used in nursing and medical schools. By offering audio, visual, and written modes of education, the videos would accommodate diverse learning styles of the audience. Dissemination of new and revised procedures would also be expedited, since the audience will more readily watch a short video versus read through an extensive written policy.  The video will serve as an adjunct to the text, and a link will be placed at the end of the written policy to encourage referencing the policy as needed.


Future expansion of the project could include expanding the access of these video resources to a mobile device application and/or to the public as a community resource. Videos can also be created or modified to educate patients and families, which would be an invaluable resource in comparison to potentially unreliable resources found on the public domain. These videos can also serve as a vehicle to enhance relationships with patients at UCSF and referring community providers. 



-          Develop a video library which displays procedures for clinical practice and supports enhanced standardization of clinical practice at UCSF

-          Decrease the risk of nosocomial conditions through standardizing nursing interventions

-          Support resource-efficient dissemination of education for health care team members

The Video-Library Team includes:

  1. Robyn Huey UCSF Pediatric ICU/Transport NP – project management, video development and planning (40% effort)
  2. Mary Lynch UCSF School of Nursing faculty – education consultant and video development (15% effort)
  3. UCSF IT support – video support and integration of media onto website (20% effort)
  4. Scott Martin, PICU Staff RN – video development (15% effort)

  5. Dr. Arup Roy-Burman, PICU Medical Director-physician consultant (10%)


A challenging project but one with obvious benefits! This concept can be expanded to medical students as well as residents. I think having it available from mobile platforms would be a huge benefit as well.1

Did you have a sense of how many videos would need to be created and included to create a resource that people would want to keep handy? Is there preexisting video content that could be included, to help bootstrap the content creation phase?

I am estimating at least 10-15 videos to support frequently performed procedures. There was one video created by a pediatric surgery NP regarding ostomy care that was linked to the ostomy care procedure.

Commenting is closed.

Mapping UCSF “inside” and “out” Pilot

Proposal Status: 

All of us are familiar with the search feature of the online map, such as Google Maps. Finding a site in UCSF is just a click away from our fingers (or just search out loud over your mobile phone). However we are most often stopped at the front door of the building. If we need to find a place, say a conference room in a building (even worse if you are looking for a printer), we are back to our old technology – either looking for a directory or asking people.

In 2011 Google I/O conference, a session (Mapping your Business Inside and Out) was presented with approaches to mapping all of the business locations, not just on the outside. Using these techniques, we may overlay the indoor floor plan on Google map presenting different floor plan on each floor. People may drill from the top of the building in the map to the inside floor plan and easily associate any location inside to the building outside. Additionally, the benefit of the indoor map is not limited to identify a location. We may build a geo-location data store for the University’s properties, such as medical devices, library books, printers etc. Once the property has been in place, a user may create the geo-location for the property and other people may effortlessly identify their location in Google map.



Web application provides:

  1. Navigation from Google map to UCSF premises (A couple floors in one of 24 UCSF sites in San Francisco will be selected based on the availability and accuracy of the indoor plan)
  2. Floor plan for each floor
  3. Create a proof of concept geo location store of the UCSF properties
  4. Search capability to identify the location of the property

Due to resource and time constraint, indoor street view is not in the scope of this proposal.


Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community

Goal is to provide indoor map to public for public accessible buildings and restricted access for private premises. Patients, visitors, neighbors would be able to find stores, restrooms, patient rooms etc. in UCSF public buildings.



  1. Locations are easily searchable by keywords and destination
  2. Reduce time to look for a destination or equipment – customer satisfaction
  3. Improve UCSF image
  4. Provides a foundation for future applications requiring indoor locations, such as indoor navigation


List of team members and their roles

  1. To be recruited: Responsible for co-ordination, communication, outreach, security policy, privacy documentation
  2. To be recruited: Responsible for web design and implementation
  3. To be recruited: Responsible for building and converting floor plan, overlaying on Google map, building tiles
  4. Freddie Tai: Responsible for design, integration and implementation


Estimated time devoted by each team member

  1. Person 1: 60 hrs
  2. Person 2: 80 hrs
  3. Person 3: 80 hrs
  4. Freddie Tai: 80 hrs


I was just discussing this with Rich Trott, who developed the UCSF Mobile app. He suggested that I talk to Paul Franke in Planning, so I will make the same recommendation to you. Any attempt to properly map UCSF would help every enterprise network initiative, too, so you might want to see if someone from ENS wants to help.

Hi Freddie, We had the same idea at SIS, particularly because I'm new to UCSF and this was one of my first questions. Do you want to join our team? Or do you have individuals already? Our proposal is listed under "UCSF Room Maps/ Locator."

Hi lisa, definitely we should talk about it. As you may already know, Google allows public to load their floor plan images to their google map and provides professional photographic service for taking pictures used in streetview. That's why I am trying to put more emphasis on creating the geolocation store. The indoor map implementation is to lay out the foundation. We may then provide a service for users/applications to input and search their properties' geolocation. Think about a new printer is placed, the system folk may want to know where it is in the future. And when you just join and you need to access a printer but you may not have an idea where it is. So the data store (may be stored in LDAP) will help us better manage and access the properties.

I can't count the number of times I have stopped to help poor, lost looking souls find their destination (especially difficult is finding the Koret Vision Center - I always see people wandering the hallways looking for that destination). This would be an invaluable service to UCSF.

We ahve done some useful content for this. e.g. Lat/long building corners in GIS format. Let's talk. Paul Franke, Campus Planning

Commenting is closed.

Disseminating UCSF research & connecting with disease communities via social media automation

Proposal Status: 

Synopsis: Develop a suite of datafeed-driven disease-specific UCSF Twitter feeds (e.g. @UCSFDiabetes) to promote and disseminate UCSF disease-specific research more widely and engage thousands of members of disease communities (patients, family members, students, funders, health care providers, policymakers). Apply social media outreach best practices to extend reach. Project builds on a successful demo, and is designed to be potentially scalable to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of disease areas, to support existing campus communications work in disease-specific communities.



61% of U.S. adults search for health information online, and 59% of adult Internet users have looked online for information about specific diseases or treatments (Pew Research, 2009, 2011). On the other hand, peer-review journal articles and professional presentations are still the two major methods used by researchers to disseminate their work (Chen et al., 2010; CTSA Consortium 2008). As a result, “scientists are failing at communicating science to the (wide) public” (The Welcome Trust, 2001; Wilcox, 2012).



We propose a novel automated mechanism that leverages a data feed strategy via Twitter to achieve three goals: 

  1. disseminate UCSF disease-specific research more widely
  2. promote science advances in the biomedical field by employing the channels in which potential target audiences are currently engaged (e.g. patients, family members, students, funders, health care providers, policymakers)
  3. provide a time-efficient mechanism that leverages state-of-the-art technology to support the ongoing science dissemination efforts of UCSF research institutes and programs (e.g., UCSF AIDS Research Institute, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center)



In our experience, disease-specific communities crave access to research findings, but often don't know where to look. A recent online experiment indicates that more people look at research articles if these are promoted on social media. While prior work in the field has often focused on using social media to disseminate research among researchers, there are a wide variety of important additional audiences (e.g. emerging donors) who are also online, yet not sufficiently aware of relevant UCSF research and the UCSF brand. Twitter is a particularly good medium for this outreach because of the significant presence of disease communities, as evidenced, for example, by the widespread use of disease-specific hashtags, making it easy for users to categorize and search for disease-related content.


Are people really using disease-specific hashtags? According to Hashtracking, in the past 24 hours, there have been:

  • 119 tweets referencing #rheum (rheumatoid arthiritis), reaching an audience of 46k Twitter accounts
  • 125 tweets referencing #psoriasis, reaching an audience of 146k Twitter accounts
  • 210 tweets referencing #alzheimers, reaching an audience of 210k Twitter accounts
  • 960 tweets referencing #AIDS, reaching an audience of 1.2 million Twitter accounts


Our Prior Work Proving the Concept:

Anirvan Chatterjee, our team’s technology expert, created a test Twitter account @EpilepsyScience which demonstrates the concept: @EpilepsyScience is intended to distribute links to PubMed articles relevant to epilepsy. Relevant hashtags are automatically added, and URLs are shortened. After a year online, @EpilepsyScience now has over 350 followers, despite the fact that the account was essentially a one-time test, with tweets posted on only 2 of the last 365 days.



We will select disease areas based on several criteria:

  • UCSF’s areas of excellence (e.g., cancer, diabetes, heart and vascular, neurology and neurosurgery, immunology and infectious diseases, stem cells, transplant services)
  • under-represented, neglected diseases (as identified by national research priorities) that would benefit from wider exposure and dissemination of ongoing research
  • existing UCSF outreach activities on Twitter (e.g. @UCSFCAPS, @UCSFDC) that could be supported or supplemented with the proposed project


Automated Twitter feeds are by no means a replacement for existing hand-curated UCSF Twitter accounts, such as @UCSFScience (1,100 followers) or @UCSFCAPS (53 followers). Instead, the project will provide a new approach to disseminating UCSF research widely which we will develop, implement, and evaluate. If the project is successful, we hope to be able to share best practices and/or supplemental automated content to existing UCSF Twitter feeds.



Over the project period of seven weeks, we will:

  • Launch six to ten pilot Twitter accounts that provide disease-specific live feeds of new UCSF publications.
    • Each pilot Twitter account will be associated with a given disease subject area (e.g. epilepsy, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS), making sure to use naming and descriptor hashtags that leverage our understanding of the actual keywords that Twitter users are using.
  • Develop a hosted solution to automatically feed relevant content on new UCSF research to these Twitter accounts on a daily basis
    • New publications will be tracked either directly from PubMed, or via the UCSF Profiles publications database, by making use of keywords and MeSH associations.
    • News stories may be automatically sourced by searching UCSF RSS feeds for relevant keywords.
    • Relevant hashtags will be added to tweets to enhance discoverability. Hashtags will be added in at least two ways: by marking existing text with hashtags (e.g. "Types of sleep problems in adults living with #HIV/#AIDS"), and adding relevant trailing hashtags where none exist in the text ("CD4 cell count and viral load monitoring in patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy #HIV")
  • Implement and refine promotional strategy
    • Follow relevant Twitter accounts to help publicize the account's existence and engage target audiences
    • Do direct outreach to influential Twitter users in specific disease communities. We will use free online listening / analytics tools, such as SocialMentions and Klout, to identify these influential users.
    • We track the relevant literature on Twitter outreach strategies, and will evaluate and implement other strategies, as appropriate.
  • Evaluate the success of the project.
    • We will focus primarily on the number of followers, and secondarily on the number of links clicked and retweets per posted tweet.


Impact on UCSF's Mission and Community

  • Reach over 2,000 people (e.g., patients, family members, students, funders, health care providers, policymakers) with current updates about relevant UCSF research
  • Pilot a novel method to reach target audiences in a targeted and measurable manner through an automated technology-driven approach combined with a social media strategy that can be substantially scaled up to potentially benefit groups across the UCSF campus and at other research institutions.
  • If the pilot is successful, follow-up steps might include:
    • rolling out additional disease-targeted Twitter feeds
    • handing over ownership of the new Twitter accounts to relevant groups on campus
    • integrating automatic publication updates into existing Twitter accounts used by groups on campus (e.g. automatically publishing links to UCSF HIV/AIDS-related papers to @UCSFCAPS)
    • sharing and publishing on the development, implementation, and evaluation of this novel approach


Risk Assessment

  • Technology: Because this project builds on a successful proof-of-concept project (the @EpilepsyScience Twitter experiment), we anticipate no technological risks.
  • Social Media: While the @EpilepsyScience experiment was successful in drawing attention from a wide variety of patients, advocates, and medical professionals with relatively low effort, we can't know for sure whether other audiences will be more responsive, or less. We will be distributing the risk by choosing a variety of disease areas and implementing a more comprehensive promotional strategy, incorporating outreach to influential Twitter users.


Team Members and Roles

  • Anirvan Chatterjee (20% effort during pilot period)
    • technologist, member of epilepsy online disease community, Twitter user since 2007
    • @anirvan on Twitter
  • Katja Reuter (20% effort during pilot period)
    • scientist, science writer & editor, social media strategist overseeing 12 UCSF Twitter accounts
    • @CTSIatUCSF on Twitter
  • Bradley Voytek (advisory/strategy role)
    • neuroscientist with a strong interest in science outreach, data-driven methods, and social media for research
    • @BradleyVoytek on Twitter


Chatterjee and Reuter's time during working hours has been pre-approved. We also anticipate using time outside of working hours.


A very imaginative use of Twitter to promote UCSF science and brand! I like the concept and hope that it really takes off. Use of automation is key as hand curating would take significant effort.

Hi Dr. Terrazas - Thanks for the comment. We look forward to more feedback, also regarding how we can improve this idea.

I like this idea, especially for rare diseases. What will an automated system do with relevant articles that are not available free online?

Hi Sarah, great to hear that you think this idea could be helpful. In most cases, a summary of an article will be available online even for those articles that are not fully accessible publicly. The feed will provide a link to that summary. However, we hope that as UCSF adopts the open-access policy, more opportunities will emerge to develop this approach further. See also: 1) 2)

I can speak to this from personal experience. As someone with very limited exposure to biomedical research prior to joining UCSF, it was a revelation to me that research results are at all accessible. I can think of several occasions where as a patient or family member, I would have benefited from being able to access PubMed or Cochrane Summaries. Even being able to read just an abstract is a substantial improvement over feeling like you have zero access to research data — but full access is so much better. This project benefits substantially from our new open access policy. Open access *removes* barriers to access; projects like this are the next step, *encouraging* access, allowing us to showcase UCSF's work and people.

I also think this is a good idea, and agree with the earlier comment about it supporting UCSF's position as a leading research institution. It may also be helpful to create an additional Twitter feed that combines all types of research conducted at UCSF to highlight the University's overall research output.

I like the idea. Maybe @UCSFRawScience, to distinguish it from the human-curated @UCSFScience (

Would be really interested in how to integrate/promote/etc with current @UCSFCancer hand-curated account, which often posts latest research article links. Keep me posted!

Hi Karen - Thanks for the feedback. We'd be very interested in working with you on a pilot to demonstrate how this approach can advance existing Twitter accounts, fine-tune the strategy based on your organizational communication goals, and help you save time.

Terrific, just let me know when you are ready to discuss. cheers!

Commenting is closed.

SFGH Patient Handoff System

Proposal Status: 

SFGH Patient Handoff System

Each year, approximately 180 residents rotate through the Department of Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital, servicing over 3700 patients and generating over 60 records each day for the patient handoff procedure that residents carry out during shift change. The current procedure relies on each resident manually transcribing and entering data for every patient (e.g., name, MRN, location, medications, lab results), updating the data daily, and verbally communicating action items and anticipated problems to the other residents. This process is bad for patient care,1,2,3 and increases the liability of the institution and involved individuals of having to spend significant time and effort responding to regulatory agencies as well as incurring significant monetary penalties. We propose designing an electronic handoff system accessible by any client with a web browser or as a printed and de-identified form, and updated by the hospital ADT HL7 feed, as mitigation for these problems and to replace the current patient handoff process and system.


The EMR used at SFGH (Invision) does not have patient handoff functionality. The current system for tracking handoffs is a twelve year old FileMaker database that can only be accessed by a full installation of FileMaker 6. Space for computers/COWS/laptops at SFGH is at a premium, and the diverse and modern nature of the DOM requires a modern solution.


Specifically, this project expects to improve communication between clinicians in the DOM (with pre- and post-surveys); decrease the number of reportable events compared year-over-year by printing de-identified notes and making an electronic version available; and provide a stable, long-term solution for the patient handoff process that works with any modern client endpoint. The new system would improve patient safety by pulling information from the hospital ADT HL7 feed, thereby reducing the need for data transcription and the errors it introduces. If this project is successful, we hope it will be evaluated as a possible solution for other services and clinics at SFGH.


The project’s requirements include an encrypted SQL database on DPH networks; an HTTPS server on DPH networks, and the SFGH ADT HL7 feed.



A web application that: is hosted in the DPH data center at SFGH; authenticates users against the DPH Active Directory; provides residents with an electronic handoff solution to replace the existing FileMaker solution; provides access to the handoff system on mobile devices; provides de-identified forms to print for carrying on the person.


Impact on UCSF’s Mission and/or Community

The most visible impact will be a decrease in the number of reportable events. A system that prevents one event will pay for the cost of this project. We hope to improve patient care and the current workflow of DOM residents, and provide a platform that can support other departments and clinics with similar patient care issues. This application will improve the care provided to vulnerable populations of patients not often seen by the rest of the UCSF community at the city’s only public hospital.


List of Team Members and their Roles (Estimated Time in Hours)

Michael Hodges, SFGH Dean’s Office; Project/infrastructure coordinator; DPH IT liaison; (250 hours)
Richard Brooks, MD, MPH, SFGH DOM; Faculty sponsor; DOM liaison; subject matter expert; migration coordinator; tester; (40 hours)
_____________, UCSF; Lead designer; lead web developer; DBA; (200 hours)
_____________, UCSF; HL7 parser developer; web developer; DBA; (120 hours)



1 Using a computerized sign-out program to improve continuity of inpatient care and prevent adverse events;
2 Improving physician communication through an automated, integrated sign-out system;
3Creating Resilient IT: How the Sign-Out Sheet Shows Clinicians Make Healthcare Work;


We actively seek the community's feedback on our proposal. We are currently seeking one or two developers to work on: 1 - The web application (.NET, PHP, or other supported language on the host); 2 - The database (must work closely with the web app developer, or be the same person); 3 - The HL7 parser to send data to the web application and database. If you are interested, or know someone who is, please contact us!

Handoffs have certainly received the attention of the ACGME and an adequate handoff system is a requirement. There are similarities between this project and the "PandO DB - SFGH Pain and OB Patients Database Application" project, with the PandO DB project adding additional patient care functionality. Perhaps collaboration or merging of the projects could be investigated? Also, for HL7 message handling and parsing, I would recommend looking at Mirth

Thank you for the reply. We currently have a Mirth server running and accepting the HL7 feed, but we need a developer to parse the data and feed it into the system. I'll contact the PandO folks about collaboration. Their focus looks to be narrow, while we're working towards a more generic system for all of the DOM.

I think at the very least the HL7 feeds can be shared/leveraged for both projects and perhaps even similar database structures.

Commenting is closed.

UCSF Document Library for Administrative Forms

Proposal Status: 

How many times does an action get delayed because you couldn’t locate the right form in order to initiate the process?  How many multiple websites must you sometimes go to (and search for those before that) in order to locate the form that you need?  Rather than searching through or looking through your emails, hoping to remember the person who might have sent it to you, or worse yet, getting rejected for a request because of using an outdated form, look no further!  A solution is just weeks away!


The goal of this project is to develop a centralized document repository for all forms and fillable documents involving administrative transactions at UCSF.  The forms targeted by this project are from various control points such as Human Resources, Finance/Accounting, Research Administration and IT/Access services.  These control points depend on client completion of these forms in order to drive actions from those service areas.  Collaborative relationships will be formed as part of the project in order to test the website and its usability and interface.  This project will also open up opportunities for adaptability and enhancements in the future to integrate with other campus IT resources and platforms. Additionally, this project will also explore means of electronic signature capability on forms, to help further complete forms.



  1. A web-based UCSF campus repository accessible to campus and medical center employees.
  2. User-friendly interface that allows users to easily locate and search for existing forms or actions or policies that are linked to an existing form.
  3. Capability for control points to upload and update forms directly onto website as needed.

Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community

This project aims to: 1) improve the management of forms that are used frequently by University faculty and staff; 2) reduce occurrence of multiple instances and outdated versions of forms stored on the existing forms of UCSF storage; 3) improve the rate of transactions dependent on forms and fillable documents and initiate actions sooner; and, 4) reduce time spent finding and downloading of documents to sign/scan/upload and submit to service areas.


Future enhancements for this project

  • Manage user and administrator profiles through MyAccess login.
  • Integrate an electronic signature application to insert verified signatures on forms.
  • Capability to store history of completed forms.

List of team members and their role

Core Member: Jennifer Lo –Project Manager, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Core Member:  Pranathi Sundaram –Technology Lead, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging

Core Member: Patrick Phelan – Technical Consultant, Department of IT Security and Policy

Core Member: John Kealy - Drupal and web consultant, ITS

Core Member: Catherine Dunne - Programmer support and database development consultant, Department of Psychiatry


Estimated time devoted by each team member

The team will require additional help to program, test and evaluate the website, as well as to create collaborative partnerships.  In general, the core members will devote approximate 0.10-0.15 FTE towards this project.

This project team is seeking members to join. Please feel free to contact if you have an interest.

We are looking for programmers who can develop websites on Drupal and other technical staff who have an affinity for document management solutions.


Interesting concept. I can think of two use cases for forms, and this project as described would address the first one: (1) I know there is a form for this, but where is it? (2) I want to accomplish X and don't know that there is a form for this The second is the more challenging to address, but would greatly enhance the utility of this tool. Then again, as users get used to the notion of a central repository for forms and easy discoverability, for the second use case they may just check first to see if there is a form for what they want to accomplish. Robust searching will be key for this. Electronic signature is also a challenge as currently there is no standard solution in use at UCSF, and may be beyond the scope of this project.

Thank you for taking the time to offer us feedback. Great points.

Yeah!!! I like that once they are housed in one place we can standardize them so they can all be filled in electronically, (instead of print & scan). Next step- electronic signatures, and electronic retrieval of the fields. Maybe silicon valley is not SO far away.....

Please join our team!

Commenting is closed.

A. Improving Communication and Data Quality in Community-Based Clinical Research: An Extension of UCSF’s Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap)

Proposal Status: 

At the heart of this proposal is an ambition to extend current UCSF IT research tools to handle the complexity encountered in developing a community-based research protocol.

B. Description of project

Community-based clinical research presents a novel set of challenges not addressed by current IT solutions at UCSF. Clinicians off-site must provide quality care while the resources to maintain and make meaning of the data exist at the hospital. In the community-based arm of the Child Trauma Research Program (CTRP) we have encountered the following challenges, (a) a research design where patients receive multiple forms of treatments at varying time points throughout the program; and (b) a lack of transparency in communication between researchers at SFGH who strive to maintain data integrity and clinicians out in the community that face obstacles such as lag time in scoring measures.

C. Deliverables

Extend UCSF-supported REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) software database to include additional features tailored to community-based longitudinal research designs. The proposed features will improve data quality by supporting clinicians in adhering to the study design:

  • Add a dynamic feedback feature directly onto both measures and tracking forms that notifies clinicians of their progress
  • Integrate the UCSF Library Wiki into the REDcap software to make the research protocol easily accessible to the clinicians in the community
    • Serves as a training tool for future clinicians and research staff
  • Program an automated “completeness” feature so that data quality is accurately reflected in the database. This feature builds upon REDCap’s excisting strengths of eliminating errors such as out of range data points, missing data points, and other types of invalid answers that typically occur when data is collected using traditional paper measures[i]
  • Five 3-minute screencasts to showcase these new features to the UCSF community

D. Impact UCSF's mission and/or community

The integration and extension of the REDCap software database will further UCSF’s mission to be a leader in patient-centered care and research targeting local, regional, and global communities. Furthermore, this solution will help bring treatment to an underserved minority population and support UCSF's efforts in eliminating health disparities.

The community-based arm of CTRP consists of four agencies in the SF Bay Area with seven clinicians and 200 clients in total per year. This software extension will at first reach this population but will then serve as a proven template for all community-based research designs at UCSF. This is centrally supported by the publication of screencasts. By implementing and improving the REDCap software in community research we hope to open communication pathways with other research labs at UCSF and within the medical and academic communities at-large.

E. List of team members and their roles

  • Esben Baek, UCSF Research Specialist, Project Lead (70% effort)
  • Arianna Gard, UCSF Research Associate, Content Creation (70% effort)
  • Miriam Hernandez Dimmler, UCSF Psychiatry Assistant Clinical Professor, Visionary (15% effort)
  • Alicia F. Lieberman, Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair in Infant Mental Health; Vice Chair, Academic Affairs; Director, Child Trauma Research Program, Visionary and Subject Matter Expert (10% effort)
  • TBD - IT Programming Specialist-Consultation (15% effort)

F. Project Milestones

  • Week 1: Finalize project plan and confirm with IT Programming Specialist
  • Week 2: Development of prototype measures and feature “plug-ins”
  • Week 3: Integration of additional feature “plug-ins”
  • Week 4: Continued development of measures and forms (e.g. CBCL, PSI)
  • Week 5: Testing and feedback from users
  • Week 6: Integrating feedback from users
  • Week 7: Final implementation

[i] Colfer, A., Brodecki, D., Hutchins, L., Stellar, J.J. & Davis, K.F. (2011) Technology Supporting Research and Quality Improvement: A Success Story. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 26(6), 595--596,


Excellent project to extend an existing framework (REDCap) to solve a clinical research problem. The ability to improve data collection from community research efforts will increase the value of the research endeavors, and by simplifying this process for community participants, would ensure better ability to recruit and retain those community partners. Potential to have a large impact in community clinical research.

You might also want to talk to Jennifer Creasman who has been leading an effort to extend RedCap's capabilities.

Extending REDCAP in this way would greatly enhance research efforts aimed at disseminating and evaluating evidence-based treatments in community settings.

Commenting is closed.

UCSF Room Maps/ Locator

Proposal Status: 

New to the campus? Or maybe even been here a while, but still get lost? Students, staff, faculty and visitors to UCSF, with its many campuses, can easily lose their way, especially when looking for a particular room. Google Maps or other map applications may get you to the right building…but where in the building is RM# ___?

Our vision would be to create indoor map facilities and geo-location object store for UCSF buildings. The indoor floor plan will be overlaid on the UCSF buildings. People may drill down from the building outside to see a deeper level of UCSF’s various campuses to pinpoint the exact room within the building. Any entities (such as medical equipment, library books, printers etc.) may be stored in our object store and found on the map. These facilities also provide a foundation for building the indoor navigation using GPS and other applications to integrate the geo-location store in the future.

Our proposed scope is to build a web application (currently target on mapping the Medical Sciences building at Parnassus), with the following scopes:

  • Zoom in on map to the floor plan level of a building
  • Switch floor to see different floor plan
  • Create a proof of concept of geo-location object store
  • Search for a room or object
  • Mobile version if time permitted

Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community
Goal is to provide indoor map to public for public accessible buildings and restricted access for private premises. Patients, visitors (i.e. Collaborators, researchers, investors, alumnus, potential students…), neighbors, students and employees would be able to find stores, classrooms, patient rooms etc. in UCSF public buildings.

  • Locations are easily searchable by keywords and destination
  • Save time to look for a destination or equipment
  • Improve UCSF image
  • Provides a foundation for applications requiring indoor locations, such as indoor GPS
  • List of team members and their roles

 List of team members and their roles

(submitted by Lisa Dong for the team. Freddie Tai added to team to combine our proposals. Orlando Leon and Lisa Dong removed from offical team but will assist as needed.)

  • Alex Siu – Developer
  • Angela Fang – Developer/Systems Coordinator
  • Freddie Tai – Project Administrator/Developer
  • Garland Woo – Developer
  • Lawrence Wong - Programmer
  • Kevin Yeung - Developer/Systems Coordinator


Estimated Time
TBD depending on final scope and requirements.


This seems similar to Freddie Tai's mapping project ( . Would it make sense to combine the two ideas?

Ha, I just sent Freddie a comment saying the same thing and asking if he'd want to join our team. Thanks for noticing. lisa

Over the past year UCSF staff geo-referenced all the building and floorplans at Parnassus. We have run some tests and it is ready to be uploaded to Google.....

Med Center has a tool on their website - "Pathway" - that allows patients to map doctor locations. That application has a good dataset of all the Doctors/Clinics. But the maps in that application are pretty basic. I think the proposed "UCSF Room Maps/ Locator" would be much better.

Commenting is closed.

ZipRounds Mobile Client

Proposal Status: 

Description: ZipRounds (ZR), a Salesforce Chatter-based collaboration tool, revolutionizes in-hospital communication. ZR enables providers to send, receive & store patient-related messages in an easily searchable, indexable & retrievable way. It hybridizes the asynchronous alerting capability of pagers (and the familiar web portals used for this purpose) with Facebook-like object-centered content management & on-the-fly hashtag indexing. Because ZR messages can subsequently be searched across patients and by keyword/hashtag, they open a vast window into clinical operations that were previously hidden by an inadequate and deliberately amnestic communication infrastructure. ZR was piloted in alpha form in April 2012 at Mount Zion to rave reviews. For the IT challenge, we will build for ZR a HIPAA-compliant mobile client (ZRMC) (ZR itself is already HIPAA compliant). This will reduce the redundancy of carrying a pager and a smart phone and ultimately allow UCSF Medical Center to transition away from pagers entirely—a long term dream for every functional department at MC from security to telecom to the privacy office.

Deliverables: ZRMC, once built, will be used by employees for all electronic communication in the hospital, supplanting in most instances both email and Pagerbox (the current text-paging solution). We will build ZRMC on the architecture of ZR (secure VM MCIT server, API-based connections to Chatter and paging infrastructure, a functional interface for sending and tagging messages), refactored for use from an iPhone or Android device. Using ZRMC, providers of all disciplines (nurses, physicians, pharmacists, etc.) will be able to securely text one another without the hassle of sitting down at a computer, while receiving messages on any device of their choice—pager, smartphone, or email.

Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community: Once ZRMC is developed and rolled out, it will dramatically improve the work flow of all UCSF providers. Nurses and physicians will be able to text back and forth for simple questions, saving call backs for points that actually require discussion. Primary teams will be able to send pictures of rashes, wounds, and even x-rays to consultants, who will be able to track and prioritize questions and analyze them in real time (X % of our consults this month are for this problem; Y % for this other problem) directly from their smartphones. The increase in efficiency will ultimately benefit the 17,000+ patients admitted each year by the Medical Center, as well as the countless outpatients managed in primary and specialty clinics. 

List of team members and roles; estimated time devoted.

Michael Blum—visionary: provide clinical leadership and oversight; member of and bridge to C-suite at UCSF MC. Time devoted: 5 hours (done independently).

Raman Khannateam leader, visionary, user/subject matter expert: clinical input into all tasks involved in build. Time devoted: 200 hours (done both independently and on department time, see attached letter from Robert Wachter).

Lekshmi Santhosh—user/subject matter expert:input into build especially features affecting residents. Interface with residents to facilitate roll out. Time devoted: 40 hours (done independently).

Michael Turken—user/subject matter expert/design: input into build especially features affecting students. Design mockups for tech team. Time devoted: 40 hours (done independently).

Larry Suarez—technologist: ITS worker who builds mobile applications; his role will be to build the ZRMC, which will acts as a front end for access to ZR from mobile phones. Time devoted: 60 hours (done both independently and on department time; have email confirmation from supervisor Jeff Jorgenson that Larry has permission to work on this project).

Luis Campos—technologist: ITS worker who will work with Larry (potentially with help from external vendors at and MuleSoft) to integrate ZRMC and ZR from the ZR production end. Time devoted: 60 hours (done both independently and on department time; have email confirmation from supervisor Ed Martin that Luis has permission to work on this project).



our proposal has been merged with "Using Smart Phone app as Pagers" We will be working with this team, and the team members are as follows:

John Houston – Project Manager for Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,

Erin Simon – Project Lead for Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,

Timothy Greer – Technical Consultant for Dean's Office, SFGH,



ZR Sounds like a very interesting project. I guess this is related to: Is the technical design and architecture documentation for the ZR application available to be shared with the UCSF community? It will be insightful to learn how/what was done to circumvent or address potential for security and HIPPA breaches this application poses. Few questions (based only upon description): - I page some one #MRNFORVIVEK needs immediate treatment in #SURGERYROOM for #MALIGNANTDISEASE due to #SEVERECOMPLICATIONS. If you do #hastag indexing, how do you prevent anyone within the system from searching these terms and seeing these results? Does the data messaging data get stored on the Salesforce HIPPA compliant ORB? If yes, how long do the patient related conversations are all stored there? Are there roles or group based privileges within the system as well? If yes, how do they differ from what Saleforce offers out of the box? Assuming ZPMC gets developed, what happens if someone's smart phone is lost? Any consumer grade smart phone can be broken into within a few minutes with someone knowledgeable. Is there an encryption requirement on these devices now as well like there is on our laptops/desktops?

Hello Vivek, These are excellent questions! I will happily elaborate on some of the more technical questions at length if you prefer, but might be easiest to explain on the phone. In the mean time, a brief description: 1. Addressing HIPAA: a few ways. First, ZR is based on Chatter and Chatter is HIPAA compliant in the usual ways (secured servers, encrypted communications, audit trails to protect all data centers, etc.) Second, SFDC and UCSF have a BAA negotiated over 6-9 months that ensures that WE (UCSF) own the data even if it's on their cloud. There are a few other points we can discuss at length if you prefer. 2. As to the messaging, patients are inserted a different way than this (i.e. patients are not a hashtag, they are an "object" in SFDC parlance). To see a patient's whole conversational record you have to look by record, and there is an audit trail from you opening their chart or sending/receiving messages about them. 3. Conversations are stored forever. They are or rather will be a part of the record, though not a part of APEX (yet). This is actually true even now in that text pages are "discoverable" for lawsuits--so useful for those suing you but not very useful if you are trying to use them to monitor and improve care. 4. Data is stored on SFDC, yes. 5. There ARE roles/group-based privileges within the system. 6. The primary difference from SFDC's out of the box solution is that (1) patients are "objects" i.e. you don't have to mess with hashtags for them; (2) sending a chat queues what's called an "external message" that our server on the UCSF side can pull in through the Chatter streaming API and pass along to whichever platform the user prefers (pager, email, smart client, etc.) 7. If you lose your smartphone, you call IT security. They wipe your smartphone remotely. 8. There IS an encryption requirement on iphones used for sensitive communications and we will need to determine how best to meet it as we get to that point. Please let me know if you have further questions about the proposal or the system more generally! (

Hello Raman, thank you for ellaborating. I am very interested in knowing more about the technical details of the project and will touch base via email to see when we can meet. Some of the solutions you have developed can be very helpful for what we do in our custom developed Radiology applications.

Vivek - It is indeed one and the same application that is being presented at UC CSC. David Thomson, a former UCSF employee who volunteered for ZipRounds and is now working at the middleware company used for this project, is co-presenting with me. Hope you can attend!

Amazing concept that will bring us closer to the ideal of unified communications! If it can support seamless, secure access from the multiple devices (pager, phone, etc.) and allow the user to user their preferred device, and eliminate several web based services to boot, I imagine that folks will be beating down the doors to use this (and will throw away their pagers!). Additional bonuses are ability to track messaging by patient and a searchable database. Can't wait to try it out!

Thank you Dr. Terrazas! Will keep you posted. Hopefully this will have implications for lab results sent to the nurse/physician/etc. as well... but will have to think about that very carefully to calibrate alerts without inducing alert fatigue.

Commenting is closed.

A scoreboard based smartphone App of self-managed physical moving activities for office workers

Proposal Status: 

1.      Project TitleA scoreboard based smartphone App of self-managed physical moving activities for office workers (Authors: Yi-Chang Li, Chia-Yu Lien and Austin Shieh, Date:Augest 3, 2012. For more information, please read the final submission which has been attached in the PDF format on Aug 3, 2012, 11:20 am)

2.      Description of project

How much physical activity do you need? CDC suggests work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week. (

What is moderate activities? What is vigorous activities? and what activities can be tracking by GPS on a smartphone?

Moderate: While performing the physical activity, if your breathing and heart rate is noticeably faster but you can still carry on a conversation — it's probably moderately intense. Examples include walking briskly* (a 15-minute mile), light yard work (raking/bagging leaves or using a lawn mower), light snow shoveling*, actively playing with children, and biking at a casual pace*.

Vigorous: Your heart rate is increased substantially and you are breathing too hard and fast to have a conversation, it's probably vigorously intense. Examples include jogging/running*, swimming laps, rollerblading/inline skating at a brisk pace*, cross-country skiing*, most competitive sports (football, basketball, or soccer), and jumping rope.

Note:  *  means the activity can be tracked by a GPS on the smartphone

We present a scoreboard app for office workers in UCSF on the smartphone with AGPS. Following users are included: medical professionals in UCSF hospital, as well as students, staffs and faculty in UCSF campus. User will get the score for moving exercises, such as walking, running, skating, running and cycling. A score is reported to user on a weekly basis (thru Monday to Sunday). User will receive a score remind a day (e.g. before 8pm). On Sunday, user will get a summary report and will be encouraged by a symbol of completion if he/she reaches above the baseline (CDC suggestion of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week. ) If his/her score is under baseline, a reminder will be also sent to the smartphone to encourage him/her exercise more in the next week.

Notice: This app is not designed for an office worker who likes exercises.It is for an office worker may use "no time" or "too busy" as a excuse and not move at lease above the baseline. Score is calculated based on the intensity and the time of moving activities. The score formula will be opened after Aug 10.

3.      Deliverables

An iPhone or an Android App will be delivered by free downloading on Apple's Appstore or Google's Market. The app will benefit on UCSF office workers or campus members to improve their fitness. The app will be opened to public free download when the program is well-tested by UCSF users.

Time bond depends on final scope and requirements.

4.      Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community (Expected Contribution of this project)

This project is expected to have a little contribution as one of the pilot studies to prevent individual to become a pre-type-2-diabetes. Physical exercise is a key component of lifestyle modification. The modification can help individuals prevent or control type 2 diabetes (Fowler, 2010). Although diet is probably more important in the initial phases of weight loss, incorporating exercise as part of a weight-loss regimen helps maintain weight loss and prevent regaining of weight (Klein et al. 2004; Bassuk and Manson 2005).

Internet techonologies and mobile technologies introduced innovative way to improve individual fitness and prevent health problems (such as Faghri et al., 2008; Fukuoka et al. 2010, to name a few).

UCSF has been well known by academy and community because of its history and leadership in innovation and a vision of a cure in diabetes. The app presented in this project is a pilot study for presenting an innovative tool in type 2 diabetes prevention. However, the app will not track all kinds of physical activities but moving because of the limitation of GPS capability. After implementation and test of our app, future study is expected to have a pilot trail for evaluating the effectiveness for individual with type 2pre-diabete.


5.      List of team members and their roles

(1)   Yi-Chang Li, Visiting Assistant Professor, Institute for Health and Aging, School of Nursing, UCSF (team leader and part-time programmer)

(2)   Chia-Yu Lien, Master students, School of Nursing, UCSF (as a team member to adapt carlorie conversion and develop a scoreboard for this project)

(3)   Austin Shieh, EECS undergrate student, UC Berkeley, (as a team member and a part-time programer in this project


6.      Estimated time devoted by each team member

Equal devotion is made by each team member.

7.      For staff: pre-approval documentation from your supervisor

No staff at this time


8.      Current progress

The calculation formula for calculation of the score got in each moving activity is under revision by Chia-Yu Lien. Figure 1 demonstrates our prototype which is under construction. Red spot represent the position of individual who is using our app. Orange circle means the distance of half a mile within the individual access.

Please see the figure in our MS word format file attached below.


1. Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD et al. 2011. Compendium of Physical Activities: A Second Update of Codes and MET. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 43(8):1575-1581.

2. Bassuk SS and Manson JE. 2005.Epidemiological evidence for the role of physical activity in reducing risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,Journal of Applied Physiology,99(3):1193-1204.

3. Faghri PD  Omokaro C.  Parker,C.  Nichols,E.  Gustavesen S. and  Blozie E. 2008. E-technology and Pedometer Walking Program to Increase Physical Activity at Work,Journal of Primary Prevention,29(1):73-91.

4. Fowler MJ. 2010. Diagnosis, Classification, and Lifestyle Treatment of Diabetes.Clinical Diabetes. 28(2):79-86

5. Fukuoka Y, Vittinghoff E, Jong SS, Haskell W.  (2010). Innovation to motivation--A pilot study of mobile phone intervention to increase physical activity among sedentary women. Preventive Medicine, 51(3-4), 287-289

6. Klein S, Sheard NF, Pi-Sunyer X, Daly A, Wylie-Rosett J, Kulkarni K, Clark NG .2004. Weight management through lifestyle modification for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: rationale and strategies: a statement of the American Diabetes Association, the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, and the American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Diabetes Care 27:2067–2073


We are welcoming a app programmer or a student who is familiar with iPhone or Android App development. Google mapkit is an easy API. We can study together. If interested please mail to

An interesting concept, but there are other similar fitness apps freely available. It seems that the distinguishing point of this one is that UCSF landmarks would be included by name. Looking at Mission Bay campus on Google, Genentech Hall and others are already listed so would be available to any app using google's map data.

Hi! Dr. Enrique Thank you for your useful comments on my proposal entitled "UCSF New Student/Staff/Faculty Greeting and Campus Run/walk/bike Keeper(UNGCRK)". I come from Taiwan. I am a visiting assistant professor of IHA for three months from July. My Ph.D degree is at degree of information technology. I am a assistant professor teaching in a Taiwanese university for five years. My school is Chung Shan Medical University. ( I teach computer programming language at undergrauate, and healthcare information techonology in graduate school. This is my first time staying at United States more than 10 days. I visited US for conference 3 times in 2005, 2008, 2011. This visit make me learn some interesting concepts and a lot of knowledge (also from your comments). According to your comments and comments from my college in IHA, I am revising my proposal. The target users of the app change to "office workers in UCSF". Some people told me that "unlike UC Berkey, UCSF has just a few FRESHMAN orientation. Most of people in UCSF are professional workers in medicine, nursing, medical sciences, and so on." Their comments remind me maybe my new app should target "office workers" who have not enough time or less interests in execises. Of course, excercises have many types. But GPS can only track on who is moving and his/her speed and distance of the moving. ================================================================= According to CDC's suggestion, How much physical activity do I need? Work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week. ( What is moderate activities? What is vigorous activities? and Which can be tracking by GPS? Moderate: While performing the physical activity, if your breathing and heart rate is noticeably faster but you can still carry on a conversation — it's probably moderately intense. Examples include— •Walking briskly (a 15-minute mile). (can be tracking by GPS) •Light yard work (raking/bagging leaves or using a lawn mower). (can not be tracking by GPS) •Light snow shoveling.(can not be tracking by GPS) •Actively playing with children. (can not be tracking by GPS) •Biking at a casual pace. (can be tracking by GPS) Vigorous: Your heart rate is increased substantially and you are breathing too hard and fast to have a conversation, it's probably vigorously intense. Examples include— •Jogging/running. (can be tracking by GPS) •Swimming laps. (can not be tracking by GPS because of in water) •Rollerblading/inline skating at a brisk pace. (can be tracking by GPS) •Cross-country skiing.(can be tracking by GPS) •Most competitive sports (football, basketball, or soccer). (can not be tracking by GPS) •Jumping rope. (can not be tracking by GPS) ======================================================= I am developing a scoreboard like Input/Output interface on the app. Scores is reported to user on a week basis (Monday - Sunday). One score report is sent to the user every day (e.g. 8pm). On Sunday, the user will be encourged by a perfect symbol if he/she reaches the baseline (150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week. ) If he/she is under baseline, a reminder also encourage them to try to work more in the next week. This app is not for office worker who likes excercise. It is for office worker may use "no time" or "too busy" as a excuse and not move at lease above the baseline. This app will have more contribution if you can give me comments on my thought. I appriciate your comment and look forward to your more comments on the new thought. Best regards Yichang Yi-Chang Li, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor at IHA School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco Tel: 476-1106 also an Assistant Professor at Department of Healthcare Administration Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

For more information, please see the revised propoal in MS word format.

This certainly changes the scope and utility of the app! I'm not familiar with other fitness apps so can't comment on whether there are existing apps with these features, but certainly an app that promotes fitness for UCSF workers would be a welcome addition.

Dr. Terrazas Thank you so much for your useful comments. You change my thoughts toward the right direction.

Hello, I certainly support the concept of using mobile technology to help people stay healthy. Might I also respectfully suggest that you confer with Dr. Yoshimi Fukuoka who has been pioneering mobile interventions for sedentary women through her R01 grant. She has a wealth of knowledge regarding using mobile devices to monitor, motivate and interact with her cohort. My team would be glad to offer assistance and advice as well.

Hi! Jeff Thank you very much. I have read Yoshimi's papers and cited one of the papers. I admired her pioneer project and was looking forward to confer with her soon if she has time. Are you a team member of Yoshimi's? or are you an individual team? Thanks again for your useful comment. Yichang

I feel this app can be very helpful to a lot of people who think they do not have time to exercise and stay healthy. I like the idea of including markers of locations to travel to because it is always more enjoyable to have a destination to go to when doing physical activities. It would also be nice to be able to end running or walking at an interesting location(cafe, library) or a great view. I joined this team because I feel this proposal has a lot of potential to expand if implemented

Some newspaper or health guides reported about 12 exercises office workers can do in their office sites. A few of them might have moderative intensity on physical moving, but most of the exercises in fact are scratch but no moving on their bodies in concept of moving in distance. I should say again the main thoughts in my proposal: the app is not just recommending an individual should move his/her body, it recommends or motivate office works to perform "meaningful moving" above a baseline to keep them health. More people move, more saving future health expenditure, I think. Do you agree on this last sentence, right?

I am very interesting in your idea.I think this app can help more healthy people if you have chance to implement it into practice.I have a question.Do you plan your app being downloaded by open users by charge or by free downloaded?I recommend that your app open to public by free downloaded in apple store to help more healthy people to keep their health.

Hi!Stacey Thank you for your encouragement. About open free download, yes, the app will be free downloaded by not only individual in UCSF but also for general public. Out team's mission is to help healthy people (office workers included) keeping their health by easy-to-use and simple IT tools. This app is one of our presentation based on the mission. Yichang

I feel this project very useful for people who don’t exercise regularly. The app can document the distance of walking every day which will be a reinforcement for me to at list walking for a short distant.

Commenting is closed.

The Pap App

Proposal Status: 

Project Description:  The American Cancer Society (ACS), American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) have recently released revised guidelines for cervical cancer screening that downplay the role for annual cytology screening, long a mainstay of cervical cancer prevention. While the two sets of guidelines — one from a joint ACS/ASCCP/ASCP expert panel and the other from the USPSTF — differ in certain details, they are generally similar and likely to cause confusion and concern among women accustomed to older recommendations for more frequent screening. As always, the best course of management is for women, empowered with knowledge of the guidelines and well-informed of the their own test results, to engage in constructive dialog with their providers about individualized management. Factors such as age, results of recent screening tests, and medical history all enter into management decisions. The Pap App will provide a mobile (iOS) database for women to keep track of their test results and see what the guidelines recommend based on their individual results, while encouraging women to engage in dialog with their providers about the best approach.


Project Deliverable:  The Pap App will be a FileMaker-based application that can be loaded onto an iPhone, iPod, or iPad. It will run on top of the free “FileMaker Go 12” iOS database app (available in the Apple App Store), into which it will simply be loaded as a file, via direct download through mobile Safari (hosting site TBD) or through iTunes. On first opening the Pap App, a woman will enter her date of birth and relevant medical history. A “read-me” screen will provide an overview of the app’s purpose, general information about HPV and cervical cancer, and a disclaimer that the Pap App is not a substitute for professional care provided by a qualified clinician, but rather is intended to help the patient understand how the current guidelines apply to her. After each visit at which a cervical cancer screening test (e.g., cytology or HPV testing) is performed, the woman will be able to enter her results and, with a tap, bring up a screen to see what the guidelines would recommend for follow-up testing intervals and approach. Wherever the two sets of guidelines differ, this will be indicated.


Impact:  The Pap App will leverage UCSF’s long-standing role at the forefront of HPV and cervical cancer research and contribute toward the university’s mission to improve health care outcomes. While cytology screening has markedly reduced mortality from cervical cancer in the U.S. and elsewhere, changes in guidelines for cancer screening are often cause for confusion and stress, potentially leading to negotiation between patient and provider that results in overscreening or inappropriate management. By empowering women to understand how the new guidelines apply to their individual histories, it is hoped that the Pap App will contribute toward the guidelines’ goal of “maximiz[ing] protection against cervical cancer while minimizing the potential harms associated with false-positive results and overtreatment” (Saslow D, et al. Am J Clin Pathol 2012;137:516-42.).


Moyer VA. Screening for cervical cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med 2012;156:880-91.

Saslow D, Solomon D, Lawson HW, Killackey M, Kulasingam SL, Cain J, et al. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology screening guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. Am J Clin Pathol 2012;137:516-42.


Team Members:  

Mark Scott, MD, visionary, project coordination, and programming — will provide overall direction as well as database and user-interface design and programming. Dr. Scott is a FileMaker 12 Certified Developer and co-investigator on the “Natural History of HPV in Adolescents” study (NCI).

Anna-Barbara Moscicki, MD, subject matter expert — will provide expert consultation regarding the guidelines and algorithms, as well as critical feedback on the overall app design. Dr. Moscicki co-chaired the “Impact of HPV vaccination on future screening practices” working group of the ACS/ASCCP/ASCP expert panel and is principal investigator on the “Natural History of HPV in Adolescents” study.

Janet Jonte, NP, content creation — will provide consultation, from a provider’s perspective, regarding expression of the guidelines in patient-centric terms as well as critical feedback on the overall app design. Ms. Jonte has extensive experience providing gynecologic care to adolescent and adult populations and has examined and counseled patients in the “Natural History of HPV in Adolescents” study for the past 13 years.

Estimated Time Commitments:

Mark Scott: 115 hours (35 hrs departmental and 80 hrs independent, see attached letter of pre-approval)

Anna-Barbara Moscicki: 30 hours

Janet Jonte: 10 hours (departmental, see attached letter of pre-approval)


I like the idea, but a Filemaker-based solution may have very low usability, given that it requires users to (a) download an apparently-unrelated Filemaker app (i.e. Pap App won't be in the app store), and (b) use an infrequently-used iTunes-based sideloading mechanism (iOS no longer requires users to sync to a computer, so many users won't have iTunes set up). Could this be implemented as a traditional mobile app?

Great questions; thank you for those. Taking them out of order, we should indeed have mentioned other routes for adding a file to FileMaker Go, including emailing it or — perhaps most relevant and appropriate for distributing the Pap App — downloading it into FM Go directly from a web server through mobile Safari ( and We’ll update the proposal accordingly. Re the first point, while true that the FM Go 12 download will be a prerequisite, it’s not different from the familiar (if less common these days) scenario of downloading the free Adobe Reader before downloading a PDF. Much like websites that provide a link to Adobe’s download page next to their PDF download link, a link to the FileMaker Go page in the iTunes Store could be provided alongside the link to download the Pap App. (I just now downloaded FileMaker Go 12 to a new iPad and it took less than a minute.) Thus, we’d argue that the one-time FM Go download step is not likely to be a significant deterrent to adoption. As a bit of an aside, there was also a new method presented just last week at the annual FileMaker Developers’ Conference for creating a custom iOS home-screen “launch icon” that directly launches FM Go into a specific database (once the database is on the device, of course), much like opening a document directly from the desktop on a Mac or PC, vs. first launching FM Go and then navigating internally to the Pap App. This, too, helps contribute to a relatively seamless user experience. As for the last point, FileMaker was chosen due to the team’s expertise and years of experience with that development environment, thus marrying subject-matter and technical expertise. We’d propose that its rapid application development environment allows the development of robust, data-driven applications in a fraction of the time required to do so in a more conventional coding environment combining Objective C and SQLite. The development feature set is ideal for this sort of project and helps to ensure success within the 7-week project timeframe. Also, team members will be able to review beta versions of the Pap App on their iOS devices throughout the development cycle without the onus of creating the provisioning profiles that Apple requires for beta testers of traditional apps.

In general, apps that allow individuals to better participate in their health care should be promoted. Cervical cancer is indeed a major concern for women, and this project has the potential make a large impact. I share some of the concerns about using FileMaker Pro, however, I do agree that it is not a large burden if the installation instructions are simple and easy to follow. Two other concerns should at least be contemplated: (1) notification of updates to the app - how would this be handled? how would existing data migration occur with updates to the database? (2) if user data is resident on their device, would it survive a device reset and reinstall if iTunes was not used to create a backup?

Thanks, Enrique, for the questions. Regarding your first question, my proposed approach entails a “Check for Updates” button on the app’s main navigation screen. This would open a web viewer screen (i.e., right inside that app, not requiring a switch to Safari) to the app download page on which any recent-update notifications would be posted (with link). As this would all happen within the app, the process should be reasonably seamless. There are likely other feasible approaches and I welcome thoughts on this. (Arguably, the best approach to finding out about updates is one that requires no user volition, like Mac OS X’s Software Update or the third-party Sparkle mechanism; the iOS App Store doesn’t even provide a system quite so volition-free, requiring, instead, a periodic trip to the App Store to check for waiting updates.) Existing data migration will be handled by using a two-file schema, with user data held in one file, which is not overwritten in the update process, and all UI and logic components in a second, updatable file. (For initial download and install, the two files would be combined in a folder and zipped for single download.) Regarding a device reset and reinstall sans iTunes, iCloud Backup (as distinguished from iCloud’s “Documents and Data syncing,” the latter working only for “enabled” apps) backs up all apps' data and documents to iCloud.

At this point I think the technology is still secondary to the user experience design. What is the desired interaction with the intended user? How do we motive these women to participate and use the app? What sort of information is needed and how can the app make it easy and quick for the women to enter the information needed? Would embedding videos to explain each guideline make the app more engaging? The resulting design is what then should drive the technical delivery decisions.

Thanks, Jeffrey. I concur that superlative and engaging user-interface design is key (although that’s a bit like saying I like sunshine). Data entry in FileMaker Go uses familiar, touch-based input techniques, such as popovers for selecting values from a list and iOS-style date pickers. While the new screening algorithms are somewhat convoluted—necessitating some well-thought out, logical branching under the hood—the amount and scope of patient data needed is (generally) relatively minimal. One advantage of that fact is that I’m tentatively envisioning one app mode (not the only one) that would allow users to enter data freshly and not store it at all, just to increase the comfort factor for those users not comfortable with storing sensitive medical information on a mobile device (device-level password protection, app password protection, and “Find my iDevice” notwithstanding). At this early stage, I’m not convinced of this option, but I have inclinations in that direction. (The app’s “regular” mode, in contrast, would allow storing a record of cumulative screening results.) Mind you, for many women, these screening tests will now happen only every three years, so again, the volume of user information required is generally not great. I like the video idea and it is certainly feasible, either embedded (while minding file size, of course) or streaming over the internet. On the other hand, in many cases—e.g., a common recommendation of “the guidelines recommend that you should be screened again in three years; be sure to discuss the best personalized approach with your health care provider.”—links to authoritative lay information sources (e.g., ACS’s and similar sites) might be more useful, if less engaging, than video. Either would use FileMaker’s embedded web viewer, a feature I fully envision supporting extensively. To their credit, FileMaker has bundled a robust feature set into the (now-free) FileMaker Go iOS app, including support for charts, web viewers, video and audio streaming, and so on. From a UI-standpoint, there are a lot of attractive options.

Commenting is closed.

Track your water intake

Proposal Status: 

Background: Sufficient water intake is important to health across the lifespan. It has been recommended that adults consume 2.2-3 liters per day of fluids, with “eight glasses per day” considered an acceptable minimal goal for most (Mayo Clinic, 2012). Certain groups have enhanced water intake needs, such as pregnant or breastfeeding women (UCSF Medical Center, 2012), those participating in active exercise (Mayo Clinic, 2012) and those on weight management programs (WebMD, 2012). The importance of adequate water intake has not escaped the attention of “app” developers. However, most available apps require user input of data to generate recommendations and charts. A recent review of readily available applications through the Apple Store® revealed many directed at water intake such as: “Get hydrated”, “Eight glasses a day”, and “Hydrate yourself”. However, all require direct user data input such as weight, goals or actual volume consumed to generate charts or reminders.  

Project description and deliverable: We propose an automatically generated tracker of water/liquid ingestion associated with the container itself. Embedded within a closed-bottom sleeve a weight sensor would measure the weight of liquid in the bottle, and approximate consumption based on weight change without necessitating direct data entry by the user. The sensor would transmit data via low-energy wireless radio technology to a mobile device. Data logging and generation of notifications would take place through a mobile application built using the OpenPATH mobile framework ( The use of a tracking sensor within the sleeve would accomodate use of reusable water containers. This automatic tracking system has universal appeal, including for those who exercise actively or those who participate in weight management programs. It could be especially advantageous in situations when logging of water intake is unintentionally neglected, e.g. the sleep-deprived breastfeeding mother, but for whom sustained adequate water intake is essential.  Our team includes representation from nursing and lactation support, as well as micro-devices and product innovation to create a meaningful deliverable: Track Your Water Intake

Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community: The use and versatility of this deliverable is far reaching, yet consistent with UCSF’s core mission of caring, healing, teaching and discovering. We envision piloting this device in multiple clinical settings, such as a program supporting prenatal or breastfeeding mothers for whom the effect on postnatal milk production could be tracked. This caring and healing approach, merged with teaching and research is but one example of discovery that could be addressed with application of this novel deliverable.

Team Members (and % effort):

  • Annette Carley, UCSF School of Nursing/UCSF Medical Center: Project Coordinator (15%)
  • Fritzi Drosten, Lactation Specialist, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital: Project Consultant (5%)
  • Iana Simeonov, Insights & Innovation, mHealth Group/UCSF School of Medicine, ISU: Project Consultant (10%)
  • Philip Chung, UCSF Biomedical Microdevices Laboratory: Product Developer (35%)
  • Mozziyar Etemadi, UCSF Biomedical Microdevices Laboratory: Product Developer (35%)




While the concept is intriguing, in practice it may prove difficult as users would need to carry the sleeve and remember to use it. It may prove easier to just manually input the information rather than carry around a sleeve. An additional problem is taking the weight of the container itself into account: a plastic bottle has a different weight than a drinking glass.

Thank you for the feedback. Users could carry around the bottle-sleeve unit, with intent to refill...the refilling would be sensed by weight to imply consumption. The sleeve might also offer a measure of insulation, though this is not the primary intent.

If it were cheap/light enough, this seems like the kind of feature a water bottle manufacturer would want to build into their products. Have you considered doing a patent search on this?

Thank you for the feedback. We will consider your suggestion re: a patent search.

Commenting is closed.

Adding convenience to parking with ParkClip UCSF

Proposal Status: 

Background: Convenience in accessing peripherals such as on-site parking may contribute to user satisfaction. Hospitals offering a parking program that suits patient, family and staff needs for convenience may have advantages in a competitive healthcare marketplace (Rich & Burr, 2003). Many UCSF campus initiatives target green/sustainable practices (UCSF Office of Sustainability, 2010), including decreased use of personal vehicles. However, the use of personal vehicles remains the most practical transit solution for many patients, families and visitors. Enhancing  convenience for these users may prove advantageous in terms of patient satisfaction with overall campus services.

Project description: A simple approach to increasing convenience for those relying on the UCSF parking facilities is an automatic payment deducting system similar in concept to the Clipper Card® developed by SF Bay Area BART/Muni (Wikipedia Foundation Inc., 2012). This system could target casual and day users of the UCSF parking facilities, who would preload the card to speed access in and out of parking facilities. The proposed deliverable: ParkClip UCSF would automatically deduct payments using a reloadable card with similar magnet-technology design. The potential advantages for UCSF include reduced costs (e.g. reduced credit charges for occasional users) and decreased paper ticketing; it may also generate improved parking facility use data campus-wide. Selective discounts and incentives could be incorporated, such as preloaded cards provided to regular weekly clinic patients or access to certain areas of parking facilities otherwise restricted.

The existing parking system includes card access (“Cardtrols”) for subscribed monthly users, and it is likely that this system could be expanded to develop ParkClip UCSF reader stations campus-wide.  It is also possible that other current automatic systems (e.g. FastPay/FreedomPay) could be expanded without necessitating access to UCSF ID badges.  Patrons could access kiosks to preload the ParkClip UCSF cards or access online prepayment.

We are currently seeking collaboration especially from UCSF Parking Facilities or Patient Services

Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community: While the ideal solution for campus access would include reduced reliance on parking facilities, in reality parking access is a practical necessity for many who use the UCSF campuses. Enhancing convenience with current parking options is consistent with the UCSF missions as more timely and convenient access to care may be supported, which will likely improve satisfaction.

Team members and roles: (currently seeking collaborators)

  • Annette Carley, UCSF School of Nursing, Project Director
  • Christina Baggott, UCSF School of Nursing, Project Collaborator



Enhancing the patient experience would certainly benefit UCSF. However, I think the users most likely to adopt the system are casual users who are visiting frequently (several closely spaced appointments, family member/friend with extended inpatient stay), so I wonder about the cost/benefit. Most patients will have their credit card with them, but would they remember to bring/find their UCSF ParkClip card? There is a mechanism for discounted parking (various hour parking stickers) but certainly an electronic solution would be more flexible.

Thanks for your comment. My understanding of the discounted stickers is that they need to be ordered which limits their usefulness for quick turnaround. A card would most appeal to those with multiple but short appointments who are low-ticket credit card users I'd suspect...and those wishing for an alternative to the paper tickets.

Many patients and family members may not know how often they need to return, which might inhibit them from investing in a prepaid UCSF parking card. Which populations might benefit the most from these cards?

Thank you for the comment. You are likely very correct about the unknown return hence unknown need for many patients/families. This would best target those who did have regular but short-term needs and especially those desiring to get away from paper ticketing.

Commenting is closed.

Mobile & Web App for Aiding UCSF's Green and Sustainability Initiatives

Proposal Status: 


UCSF has been a leader amongst the ten UC campuses in building sustainable practices. Often times, faculty, staff or students might notice leaky faucets, used paper being thrown away in the garbage instead of the recycling bin or office lights and computer monitors not being shut off after work and are not sure who to report this problem to. This results in not only wasted resources but higher water and energy costs for the campus.

To address this, the SIS team has purposed developing a web and mobile application that would allow custodians (and anyone) to easily report these problems by typing in the information or scanning the barcode (e.g., QR code) with their mobile devices. The application will also:

  • Allow people to see, update and track the status of the problems. For example if someone noticed that an issue has been fixed but the status hasn’t been updated to fix, they could always go to the app to update the status of the problem to fix.
  • Have a reporting interface to provide helpful information such as a reporting listing all leaky faucets that have been reported but not addressed for more than ten days.
  • Allow users to enter helpful suggestion. For example adding a recycling bin to a room since user always noticed that people using the room end up throw their discarded papers into the garbage can because there is no recycling bin in the room.

Each room or hallway will have bar codes that would contain the information to allow users to easily scan the code with their mobile devices to report the problem (or enter it via typing if they prefer).

The main advantage of this app over a regular ticketing system is that it is built specifically and focused on a particular problem which makes it simpler, quicker and easier for users to report and monitor problems. Corollary to this, it is necessary to keep the user interface and functionality of this app as simple as possible so that even people with limited English, such as some of the contractors who clean our offices can use the app to report a problem such as a leaking faucet.



Within the seven weeks allotted, we intend to have a proof of concept available with the following:

  • Design a working version of the web and mobile app with functional user interface.
  • Barcode for people to scan and instantly report a problem using a mobile app or typing it in via the web version of the app.
  • Reporting interface on the web app to provide helpful reporting information such as listing all leaky faucets that have been reported but not addressed for more than ten days.
  • Ability to allow users to enter helpful suggestions via the web version of the app (and perhaps the mobile version as well if time permits).


Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community:

Sustainability and green initiatives are important policies that the University of California system has increasingly focused on in recent years. UCSF had formed the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability to make UCSF more sustainable and achieving UC Office of the President (UCOP) sustainability goals. Not only is sustainability and green initiatives good for the environment but it is also in the best interest of the UC system as it saves cost and reduces waste which is especially important in this budget conscious era we are in. Building this application would assist with the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability and the sustainability goals of UCOP.


List of team members and their roles:

  • Orlando Leon – Director SIS
  • Lisa Dong - Systems Analyst
  • Alex Siu – Programmer
  • Garland Woo – Programmer
  • Kevin Yeung - Programmer/Systems Coordinator
  • Lawrence Roberts - Programmer/Analyst 


Estimated time devoted by each team member:

TBD - Time estimates will depend on final scope and amount of time that each team member is available.


Would it make sense to tweak a preexisting civic problem reporting platform like FixMyStreet? (,

Interesting concept ... by reducing the barrier to report problems, hopefully they can be addressed in a timely manner. I've seen questionable use of QR codes, but this project will use QR codes to solve a problem.

Commenting is closed.

Tablet-based internet/email access and international travel safety management utilizing microSIMs and local mobile telephone networks

Proposal Status: 

Project description. This project has two parts:  (a) In many foreign countries, internet and email access can be slow, expensive, unreliable, or unavailable but can be critical to project success or traveler safety.  However, GSM cellular telephone networks are ubiquitous, and the installation of an inexpensive microSIM (µSIM ) for a local network in a GSM iPad or other tablet provides the user with contract-free mobile internet and email, enabling ready access to web-based resources, expert advice, and emergency communications (e.g., iJet notfications). No special tools are needed to install a µSIM – the tray holding it can be opened using a paperclip.  A 1 GB µSIM costs about as much as one day of hotel internet access, but can provide email access (depending on usage) for up to a month. All iPads with wireless connectivity sold by Apple in the US are not locked or tied to a particular carrier (µSIM access in GSM Android tablets is certainly possible, but will not be addressed in detail to keep the scope of this short project manageable).  The primary barriers to wider adoption of µSIM tablet internet & email appear to be lack of awareness that this can be done and how to do it, and one goal of this project is to make a non-technical audience aware of the availability of this technology and how easily it can be implemented. (b) The tablet can also be used to store or access key travel, safety and academic documents, such as scanned passport pages (critical for rapid replacement of a lost passport), travel insurance documentation, emergency contact and credit card numbers, scanned drug & vision prescriptions, immunization records, student goal sheets/work logs, and so on, creating an invaluable travel resource in a small highly portable package that has a long battery life.  This enables the traveler to avoid having to carry a laptop computer and its associated gear, and/or to avoid having to use a phone interface for long or complex messages. 

Deliverables(a) A non-technical explanation of how and why this works, a short glossary of technical terms, a comparison showing the costs and limitations of other ways to obtain internet and email access abroad (e.g., international 3G plans), assurance that installing a new µSIM does not void the tablet warranty, basic troubleshooting instructions, and similar documents addressing other user concerns. (b) A how-to manual (both online and digital versions) consisting of contact information for network providers that  offer µSIMs provisioned for iPads in various countries, instructions (how to identify a GSM iPad, check network coverage, install and test a µSIM in an iPad, estimate usage over time, turn connectivity off & on, reset the  iPad, and so on).  (c) A package of digital travel links, including those on the Risk Management (RM) website and the SOM Study Abroad (SA) website as well as instructions on creating personalized resources, e.g., a scanned version of essential passport pages.  A sample (redacted) set of such resources will be developed. (d) A list of useful free & low-cost tablet travel resources, such as Google Maps/Earth/Translate, SmugMug (offline picture storage app), and OffMaps2 (offline city maps).  All deliverables will be linked or housed on GHS, SA & RM webpages.  Proof of concept has been independently demonstrated by two project team members, and we hope to be able to test and evaluate µSIM iPad access in Mexico, Central America, and Kenya this coming September (and if so, the travelers involved will provide structured evaluation and feedback on the deliverables – we’d also like to try out sending iPad photos for medical consultation as well as VoIP connections with the iPad).

Impact on UCSF’s mission and community.  This project would directly support UCSF’s vision of Advancing Health Worldwide, and could facilitate inter-professional provision of health care.  Any member of the UCSF community who is travelling outside the US for rotations, research, and/or academic business – particularly, but not limited to, students, faculty and staff in Global Health Sciences (GHS) - in an area with GSM mobile phone service would potentially benefit from this project.  By providing electronic communication 24/7, it would contribute to their safety, security, and mentorship, could enable distance consultation, and might also result in significant cost savings for internet access.

Team members (all will be users/project evaluators): Chris Cullander, Institutional Research, SAA – visionary, subject matter expert/content provision, utilization evaluation; Andrew Sinclair, Risk Management & Insurance Services –subject matter expert/content provision; Scott Barter, ITS- network and phone technologist;  Teresa Moeller, CTSI & GHS – subject matter expert/content provision, dissemination; Mylo Schaaf, Pathways Explore Global Health Advisor - subject matter expert/content provision, supervision of students abroad, utilization evaluation.

Estimated time devoted by each team member   CC – project lead, ~50% time on evenings and weekends (non-worktime), all deliverables.   AS – travel safety management resources, ~10% time, primarily deliverable c. SB – technical advice & explanations,~10% time, evenings, primarily deliverable a.  TM - GHS & CTSI web resources, ~15% time, primarily deliverable c and review of a & b. MS - supervision of students abroad, ~15% time, primarily deliverable c & traveler evaluations, if accomplished.


Why a specific focus on iPads? My understanding is that Apple hardware is hard to service or replace in many developing nations, where Android tablets are often more accessible and often bundled with local mobile data plans. Examples: and

Hello Anirvan - Thanks for your comment. We wrote with a focus on iPads since this is intended for members of the UCSF community, that's what most folks at UCSF seem to have, but as we noted in the proposal, this could work for other GSM tablets as well. With respect to ease of repair, the question is how often a tablet requires service (very rarely) - and in fact that may be another reason to travel with a tablet rather than a laptop. I would NOT advise anyone to purchase a tablet with a data plan abroad, since they are often locked to a particular carrier, and availability of repair may be an issue in the US - but as one of the links in your message makes clear, GSM microSIMs are available in India. Thanks, Chris

A very imaginative use of existing resources and technologies to assist in traveling abroad. This has obvious applicability outside of UCSF community, as I don't see any UCSF specific requirements. I hope this is available the next time I travel abroad! As an iPad owner, I can see the benefits of utilizing this resource.

Thanks, Enrique!

I agree with Anirvan, expand the project to include other tablets, although the iPAD is most common among faculty (especially those who want functionality out of the box). It seems that not all tablets are unlocked, and short of asking people to jailbreak their equipment, we need a short "how to identify if your tablet can do this", as well as an infographic on swapping in a SIM. (for each tablet). I had no idea that the iPAD had this functionality, and I agree that tablets are going to be more broadly adopted in constrained settings as communications devices for diagnostics and epi data collection tools. I am already aware of many faculty who have given up toting their laptops. Giving the tablet increased functionality while abroad, while tailoring some of the UCSF safety and communication information to their format makes sense.

Hi Teresa - Thanks for your comments. Although this should work with any GSM tablet, we intentionally limited the scope of this project to iPads for the reasons given in the response to Anirvan's comments (see below) and so that the project could be completed within the time span specified. All iPads obtained from Apple in the United States that have wireless mobile connectivity (original, iPad2, iPad3) are not locked and not tied to a particular carrier. GSM iPads can be easily identified by their serial number on the back of the device. A short 'how to' about doing this is a good idea, as is an infographic on swapping microSIMs (this would be an improvement on the text description that we anticipated providing). I think we'll also add a short troubleshooting guide (cleaning a microSIM, how to do soft and hard iPad resets, etc.) - Chris

Nice work Chris and colleagues. I do think this project has great potential for supporting a range of interprofessional learning and teaching activities, as the use of this technology allows students and faculty from the different professions to engage with one another and share health care information and insights across countries and time zones. This project is also extremely timely - the use of informatics for enhancing interprofessional education and collaboration is only beginning to emerge in the interprofessional field. This is occurring as the shift moves away from single professional use (e.g. medical informatics) to a focus on how technology can be employed to promote effective synchronous and asynchronous interprofessional interaction.

Thanks, Scott! I like your point about how this technology could facilitate inter-professional provision of health care, and will try to include that in the revised proposal.

This will be an extremely useful innovation for students and trainees doing global health work! I have a few questions/comments: 1. Can this innovation also be used for consultation on difficult diagnostic cases since there is a camera on the iPad? Trainees frequently wish for sub-specialty contact with faculty back at UCSF, for management or diagnostic issues. What would be the cost, for example, for sending several (non-identifiable pictures) with case history back by email from east Africa? Or perhaps a real-time consultation. This would expand the benefit of the innovation, allowing UCSF another way to give back to many of the international sites. 2. How safe is it to store the emergency documents (like passports) on iPad? 3. Could we include student journals/goal sheets on the iPads, with the goal of improving real-time mentoring as UCSF faculty could share the unfolding student projects. 4. Could we test the feasibility of 1 & 3 in the next 2 months, since we have students going to Mexico and Central America? And although I've been writing about medical students, clearly this system could benefit the mentorship of students in any school. Mylo Schaaf Pathways Explore Global Health Advisor

Hello Mylo – Thank you for your comments and questions. Taking them in order: 1. Using the iPad camera for remote real-time or asynchronous medical consultation. Certainly possible, with the major consideration being the amount of data transmitted and the data limit of the particular microSIM purchased (they come in different sizes). Emails typically are 10-100 kB, and one iPad2 photo (using the 0.9 megapixel back camera) is about 300-400 kB, however photos with the 5 megapixel iPad3 back camera will be much larger unless they were compressed before sending them. You’d need to experiment to find what an acceptable image quality was. In other words, you can send lots of short emails, but transmitting big picture files would reach the data limit on the microSIM more quickly. Video represents a huge datastream, and videoconferencing would probably be impractical. There are several voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) apps for the iPad (e.g., iCall, MobileVOIP, etc.), but I haven’t used any of them. Voice data is a relatively thin stream, but would still gradually deplete the chip data allocation (far more slowly than videoconferencing would), however this might be worth it in some circumstances – definitely worth a try! There are presentation apps (such as Fuze Meeting iPad) that might be useful for consultation as well (without using its video features). Given the time difference between Nairobi and San Francisco (10 am here is 8 pm there), real-time interactions would be challenging but are do-able. 2. iPad data security. iPads have very good security features, including a device passcode, hardware-based encryption for emails, and secure network access, and this would probably be sufficient. For more information, see If you want to secure individual documents, there are apps such as Stash, GoodReader for iPad, and WatchDoc, among others. 3. Student journals/goal sheets. Sure. Beyond just using email for this, there are collaboration apps ranging from whiteboards to fairly sophisticated ones such as Huddle (see Some are free, others not – pretty much depends on what you need. 4. Testing feasibility with UCSF students in Latin America. Great idea! From their webpages, it appears that two of the three GSM telecommunications providers in Mexico provide microSIMs for iPads – the next questions are whether either provides coverage in the area that the students will be in, and whether one of the students (or someone accompanying them) has a GSM iPad and is willing to try this out. One of the Mexican providers has network access agreements with several Central American companies, but that probably comes at a price – if you’ll let me know which countries the students are traveling to, I’ll look into GSM networks there. You mentioned East Africa in your first question - Kenya (for example) has two GSM networks, and the providers supply iPad microSIMs as well. And yes, this setup could be used for mentoring students in any program who are doing research or training far away from San Francisco – thanks for pointing this out!

Using the SIM card within the iPAD can provide more comprehensive access to email while traveling. Since the iJET alerts are sent by email, it is invaluable to have email access while in rural areas where much of our research takes place. In addition, when a situation escalates, as determined by iJet, UCSF contacts registered travelers to ensure they are aware of the escalation.(many examples- Ebola this week!) This is also done PRIMARILY through email, although we typically have several routes of recourse if we cannot get hold of one of our people. If we enable people to use their devices cheaply and easily while they are traveling, they maintain their pattern of use, and we have a more predictable communication stream.

Thanks, Teresa. This points out how email access, which we tend to take for granted, can become of critical concern when it's hard to obtain.

I think this would be a convenient and reliable way to communicate with students who are at our remote externship sites in California too. Great idea. Dorothy Perry

Thanks, Dorothy. Just took a look at the Dentistry webpages - I wasn't aware that your School operated so many rural and/or remote clinics!

Chris, Thanks for letting me know about this innovative project. I imagine that it would be an extremely useful tool for our students working abroad to communicate both with their advisers back in the US and with each other as well. I know that it would be especially well received by our graduate programs in Global Health Sciences, Medical Anthropology, and History of Health Sciences, who regularly have students living and working outside the US. Liz

Thanks for your comments, Liz. Glad to hear that this would be useful for graduate academic students as well as those in the health sciences.

Faculty in Family Health Care Nursing agree this project has great potential benefit for students within our programs involved in distance learning within and outside the US. We would welcome the opportunity to expand such offerings to student and this project would facilitate our ability to do so.

Thanks, Linda - glad to hear that there is Nursing interest in this project!

This is a very well-timed proposal, Chris. Faculty and students in the School of Pharmacy working on global projects would find this particularly useful and it would allow for stronger collaborations with our global partners. We currently have a student working in Uganda during this Ebola outbreak and although she is safe, I think access to this kind of resource would certainly have helped with communications. Because I personally do a lot of work in subSaharan Africa, I am keen to see this advance. I can also say that Apple's change in policy re: the need for a credit card on iTunes has meant that my local partners have been able to embrace these devices to a greater extent as well.

Tina, thanks for your comments, and pleased that this resource would be useful to Pharmacy. Glad to hear that your student is safe!

A critical component should be clear and simple instructions on what to do in case of an emergency while traveling for work related activities. This should include the telephone numbers to our evacuation insurance (and a list of the services they provide such as medical advice), who to contact back home (key numbers in your department as well as at the campus level), and how to access iJet travel advisories.

Absolutely - this information will be part of deliverable (c). Thanks for commenting!

Commenting is closed.

A Paperless Electronic Lab Notebook for UCSF

Proposal Status: 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT. A laboratory notebook is the single most important record of research accomplishments.  For the investigator, keeping an accurate and detailed record of all experiments is essential to document new discoveries and to allow the experiments to be reproduced by others. The lab notebook is used as a crucial legal document to protect intellectual property. As such maintaining a proper paper record is a requirement for all UCSF lab personnel.  However, for a number of reasons outlined below, paper records are rapidly becoming an antiquated format and many institutions are adopting electronic lab notebooks (ELNs).

The vision.  Recent technological advances such as the iPad and related devices promise to promote efficiency, compliance, and security to lab notebooks. We have a future vision where a digital tablet is the mainstay laboratory notebook.  Before that can happen, laboratories need to adopt the routine practice of keeping digital data appropriately archived.  This includes the legally compliant laboratory accreditation criteria found in the ISO 17025 and Title 21 CFR Part 11 standards.

UCSF data are not presently secure.  UCSF is a cutting-edge research institution housing thousands of scientists and has a responsibility to ensure its research data are compliant, secure, and in a format that would foster collaboration across its many labs.  Currently, UCSF lab notebooks are not kept in a standardized format and are subject to data loss by natural disaster, or equally nefarious, falsification.

DELIVERABLE. A secure and user-friendly ELN web application that can be accessed anywhere and anytime, on desktop computers and mobile devices.

Existing solutions.  Over 50 commercial vendors offer ELN services, with expensive contracts. Our solution uses open-source software to develop an ELN that can be shared freely within the UC community. Importantly, it takes advantage of an existing Drupal framework that is central to the UCSF web roadmap. 

Our goal.  In this project, we propose to take an important step and create the first UCSF electronic lab notebook.  The proposed ELN will also offer a fast, user-friendly, and secure ELN web application that facilitates knowledge management and improves collaboration.  Off-site backup and versioning is already part of the existing UCSF:Acquia Drupal contract.



  • Creates a paperless “green” work environment, although labs can print ELN entries for paper notebooks
  • Convenience – easy to use and improves productivity; pull-down SOPs, and relational database structures
  • Direct importation of data which have already been captured elsewhere, such as images, tables, and text
  • Configurable universal formats allows easy searching and interpretation of records; bar-coding possible
  • Space and cost savings – no bulky filing cabinets and no ongoing storage and handling fees
  • Ensures business continuity and data protection in the case of natural disasters like earthquake or fire
  • Improves accessibility – can be accessed anytime and anywhere with desktop, laptop, and mobile devices
  • Facilitate knowledge management and improve collaboration - share information between UCSF labs easily
  • Improves data tracking by saving data with all revisions
  • Improves intellectual property protection by integrating legally compliant laboratory accreditation criteria






Lewis Lanier

Chair, Micro & Immunology

Project Coordination/Adviser/Tester

Michael McManus

Assoc Professor, Diabetes Center

Project Coordination/Adviser/Web Admin/Tester

Khang Nguyen

Programmer/Analyst, Micro & Immunology

Web Admin/Programmer/Tester

Peter Werba

Programmer/Analyst, CMP

GUI designer/Programmer/Tester


ESTIMATED TIME DEVOTED BY EACH TEAM MEMBER. Nguyen, 30 hours; Werba, 25 hours; McManus; 20 hours, Lanier, 10 hours.


Surprising that in this day and age that paper lab notebooks are still standard. For all the reasons mentioned, an electronic alternative is needed at UCSF. Leveraging open source tools and the existing UCSF Drupal environment are key to ensuring widespread adoption and keeping costs down. HIPAA compliant security is a must.

There are some free, open source solutions out there that you may be interested in looking at. In radiation oncology we implemented an elog for each of our treatment machines over a year ago for use by physicists/engineers/therapists. We generally use these for recording details of routine testing and calibration of the machines in place of paper log books, as well as errors encountered by the therapists in daily use. We are using the following open-source elog originally designed for high energy physics experiments:

Hi Lisa, Our ELN solution also uses free open source system. We are taking advantage of the existing Drupal/Acquia UCSF hosting. Regards, Khang

Thanks, Enrique. Yes, we will make it meet the HIPAA policy.

Are there any ELN data formats that are useful to support — either to import existing content, or to prevent lock-in and allow interoperability with the other 50+ ELN vendors?

Hi Anirvan, Our ELN system allows users to import existing content, however, we don't intend to design our system to interact with the other 50+ ELN vendors. We don't have enough info about the systems that the other 50+ vendors are using and are not sure when those online vendors will disappear. Regards, Khang


I wrote an open source electronic lab notebook that fits ALL of the points you are listing :

  • paperless : OK
  • convenient with RDBMS : OK
  • import external data : OK
  • bar-coding possible : OK
  • no fees, of course it's free and open source : OK
  • easy to backup : OK
  • can be accessed anywhere, anytime : OK, it's on a server
  • improve collaboration : OK
  • data tracking : OK (revisions implemented)
  • intellectual property : OK (timestamping of experiments (pdf export) compliant with European standard ETSI TS 102 023 and certified RGS (French General Security Specifications)

Please visite the demo too :



Commenting is closed.

Social Networking to Promote Development of Regional Best Practices in Pediatric Critical Care

Proposal Status: 

Description:  The Northern California Pediatric Intensive Care Network (PICN) is an informal consortium of all 13 Northern California Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs); its mission is to advance and standardize the care of critically ill children in Northern California. This mission will be accomplished through the development of regional standards of care and best practice guidelines via exchange of policies, protocols, and procedure guidelines.  Policies, protocols, guidelines will be shared and discussions will occur on a dedicated PICN site within Salesforce Chatter.  The secure cloud database will allow member doctors and nurses to discuss a wide variety of management issues pertinent to their respective units, and ultimately collaborate to develop regional best practice guidelines. 

The existing PICN site provides a database for collection, distribution and discussion of:

  • (Informal) Guidelines and Recommendations
  • (Formal) Policies and Procedures
  • Order Sets
  • Templates
  • Lectures/Talks

This database can be leveraged for broader clinical, research, and academic endeavors. However, as many bedside clinicians, particularly in non-academic institutions, are not actively involved in collaborative clinical research, engagement/participation in this database has been limited.  

We propose the following to facilitate broad-based clinician engagement through the collaborative development of regional best practice guidelines.

Participants will be identified from each member institution. Small groups will be created, each focused on one of four target clinical topics. Small groups will be able to internally distribute literature and serial drafts of their respective guidelines, while maintaining an ongoing dialogue visible to all group members.  This process would be completed over a 6 week period, resulting in a draft guideline to be shared during a breakout session at the annual PICN meeting at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute on September 28, 2012.  As we will have four guidelines to present at the conclusion of the meeting, four breakout sessions would be held simultaneously in the morning, allowing audience members to participate in further discussion of the respective topic that s/he may be most interested in.  In the afternoon, one representative of each small group will present the final draft to the entire audience, with an opportunity for additional feedback.  (Each participating individual is a member of only ONE small group and works on only ONE guideline.)  At the conclusion of the meeting, each audience member leaves with four guidelines (which, at a maximum are PICN consensus statements, and at a minimum, are thorough reviews of the literature).  Guidelines are then available for application in our respective units.   We hope to close the meeting with an enhanced group appreciation of the power of social networking in developing best practices and standardizing patient care. Additionally, we will systematically seek feedback from our diverse group of clinician participants as to how to improve the Salesforce Chatter platform to be even more conducive to facilitating future collaborative endeavors.


Deliverables: Four evidence-based best practice guidelines developed through the Northern California PICN addressing common management issues in pediatric critical care, available and applicable to every Pediatric ICU in Northern California, with a primary goal of improving patient care efficacy and safety to all critically ill children in Northern California (with our collective ICUs admitting over 10,000 children per year).



Arup Roy-Burman, MD – Medical Director, PICU

Lindsay Lightbody, MA – Project Coordinator

Peter Oishi, MD - Director of Critical Care Quality, Patient Safety, and Clinical Program Initiatives

Each team member will devote an estimated 5 hours per week on this project.



A nice use of an existing resource (Salesforce Chatter) to solve a problem and advance pediatric care. The challenges here are more social (buy in of individuals and education on how to use chatter) than IT (existing deployed solution).

This proposal seems to build on the existing PICN instance of Chatter and is focused on the business goals of use. Is there particular functionality that needs to be enhanced in this instance to promote the delivery of the guidelines?

Thank you for your comment, Nina. In its existing state, the database has been used more as a repository of information, rather than a platform for collaboration. This proposal seeks to promote collaboration in clinical care while simultaneously seeking to engage a broader spectrum of PICU providers. The updated proposal should give you more insight into how we intend to foster engagement. With a critical mass of participants and the associated timeline, we anticipate achieving our initial goal of four best practice guidelines. More important, with the achievement of this goal, we will have helped this large group of clinicians appreciate the power of social networking in the field, and furthermore develop insight into how we can modify our existing platform to promote and enhance ongoing collaborations.

Commenting is closed.

Transforming Teaching and Learning through Technology: Faculty Development Virtual Communities

Proposal Status: 

Description of project

Educators have long recognized the potential value of technologies as tools for improving teaching and learning. However, the integration of technology into teaching and learning is not a simple matter and can be particularly challenging on a decentralized campus.  In this proposal, we ask how to help faculty to develop their teaching with technologies.


One strategy that is deemed promising for promoting faculty to adopt technology for teaching and learning is professional development through the fostering of community of practice.  Here, rather than the traditional model of workshop training, providing faculty with a community will allow them to learn as a group and will provide them with continued support for adopting and utilizing technologies as part of their teaching practice.


The primary goal of Faculty Development Virtual Communities is to provide a safe, supportive, online community wherein faculty across diverse disciplines can interact and share knowledge of incorporating pedagogy, technology, and areas of expertise to explore new approaches to teaching.


Specific objectives:

  • Provide a virtual space for faculty to ask for help, share ideas, and discuss best practices anytime and anywhere
  • Provide a platform for sharing information and resources
  • Promote collaboration among faculty with similar interests and teaching goals
  • Provide a public, virtual space to showcase faculty projects with technology to encourage uptake among other faculty
  • Offer real-time information on campus-wide technology policy and services
  • Offer faculty continued technological support and information on best practices in the field of education technology



Faculty Development Virtual Communities is a forum-based system which will be developed based on Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework (Mishra& Koehler, 2007). This framework emphasizes the importance of simultaneously integrating technology, pedagogy, and content expertise to guide professional development.


Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community:  

This program is aligned with UCSF’s mission to provide superior health sciences training and education by supporting faculty and students with access to advanced educational technologies for teaching and learning.


List of team members and their roles (recruiting programmers)

  • Xinxin Huang, Project lead
  • Sonia Alam,  Project coordinator
  • Annette Carley, Faculty advisor
  • Currently recruiting one or two programmers who has experience of PHP and mysql programming



Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017–1054.


A certainly laudable goal of dissemination of educational technical solutions, however, it appears that Salesforce Chatter has the capability of accomplishing the specific objectives. What are the advantages of using the TPACK framework vs. implementing Chatter for this purpose?

Hi Dr. Terrazas, Thank you for your comments on our proposal. While we recognize that Salesforce Chatter contains some capabilities necessary for our proposal, there are several unique requirements of our model that Chatter cannot accommodate. Our model would be open to the whole UCSF community and would be forum-based using an asynchronous discussion board format (where we view Chatter as more of a social networking model). The platform we envision would host discussions and forums in which faculty could participate, with the possibility of hosting private group discussions as well. Importantly, these discussions would be moderated by a moderator, whose role would also be to archive discussions over a several year period. This archiving feature would allow faculty to search for past discussions. To our knowledge, such features are not available through Chatter. The TPACK framework would form the broader categories of the discussions. However, there may be a way to combine our model with that of Chatter and we intend to research this potential combination further. Thanks again.

Commenting is closed.

A Proposal to Develop a Web-Based Mobile Phone Tool to Facilitate Tracking and Communications Related to Research Mentorship

Proposal Status: 

Impact on UCSF and Conduct of Research: Mentorship is an essential component of research and career development for both faculty and trainees. Inadequate mentee oversight on the one hand, and insufficient mentor recognition on the other, can impact team efficiency, research success, trainee development, usefulness to the team, and matriculation to research careers, and faculty satisfaction, retention, and productivity. Consequently, creating efficient and effective systems to monitor and support mentorship will improve the conduct of research.

Two UCSF-wide needs drive this proposal:

  • Programs that host research training and career development must attempt to assess the degree and impact of mentoring to inform program improvements and track faculty time.

  • UCSF is increasingly committed to the acknowledgment of mentorship as service and a form of teaching to be included in faculty advancement review. The UCSF schools are currently trying to devise mechanisms to collect data and assign value but no universal, efficient, and easy-to-use method now exists.  Since existing methods are not developed for use across the university, we are missing an opportunity to collect comparable data in order to:

    a) create standard units for inclusion in faculty advancement and grant reporting
    b) enable program evaluation
    c) inform the creation of mentor resources and development for specific training programs or career stages

Description: We propose to complete phase 1 of a 2 phase project that would maximize the efficiency and standardize the above data collection: the creation of a mobile-optimized web platform (a mobile 'app'-like program) that would allow mentors and mentees to capture key elements of their encounter via use of a smart-phone. The mobile-optimized web tool would:

  1. allow mentor and/or mentee to quickly capture via pick lists, etc., in consistent units

    • time spent during mentoring sessions
    • goals and topics in lists relevant to UCSF as a whole but also customizable by department or training program
    • action items

  2.  facilitate communication related to the mentoring session or next steps. Use of the tool could have the added benefit of influencing how users perceive and use the mentorship encounter.


  1. a prototype by October as a means to a campus-wide needs assessment for a more functional phase two mobile app if more partners and money are identified
  2. an implementation plan and collaborators who can operationalize the prototype by October
  3. a report on utility to mentors, mentees, training program assessment (including CTSI training programs), and school leadership based on usage eight months out

Team Members and Estimated Time:

The members of this team devote substantial time each week to issues closely related to this project.  The estimates below indicate the average time devoted to prototype development.

  • Alicia Fernandez (2 hrs/week), PI and Director of an NIH-funded UCSF-wide research training program that promotes research careers for UCSF members of health disparities populations
  • Louise Aronson (4 hrs/week), Director of the UCSF-wide research training program, Pathways to Discovery, which hosts mentored projects for learners at the professional, residency, and graduate levels
  • Renee Courey (4 hours/week), Coordinator of Pathways, project manager responsible for delivery and coordination of team members
  • Richard Trott (1-2 hours/week), Director of Academic Information Systems, UCSF Library to consult on sustainability, data storage, and the design of the web tool to ensure that the web tool generates data relevant to the design of a mobile app
  • Christian Burke (1-2 hours/week), Assistant Director, Technology Enhanced Learning, UCSF to consult on technology best practices, prototyping, design and usability in teaching and learning
  • Jeanette Brown (as needed), Director of the UCSF CTSI Comprehensive Mentoring Program, to consult on resources and mentor development

With the participation and support of other research mentorship and information technology leadership:

  • Mitch Feldman, Associate Vice Provost, Academic Affairs and Director, UCSF Faculty Mentoring Program, Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Helen Loeser, Director of the Academy of Medical Educators, prior Dean of Curricular Affairs for the School of Medicine
  • Karen Butter, UCSF University Librarian and Assistant Vice Chancellor

The leadership positions of the collaborators will facilitate launch of the prototype by research mentors with mentees at all levels and across UCSF.  We are seeking partners among research training directors in the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Dentistry to ensure UCSF-wide development and testing.


Although the benefits of mobile are quick and easy access, entering lengthy feedback can be a challenge, and may promote shorter, less helpful feedback as a result. There is an existing evaluation tool (Evalue) that does have its shortcomings however would be able to handle the data collection and reporting. One drawback is that to my knowledge there is no mobile optimized access for input.

Excellent proposal to include a broad range of individuals to work on this. I do think a table format or pick list would be useful and longer comments, minutes, CDP or IDP could be included elsewhere but it should be noted if and when they were done. It also can serve as a means to document mentoring meetings are occurring and how often. This will be a very nice adjunct to the electronic mentor evaluation that is being developed.

Bethany Simmons had a proposal for using accountability tools to support lab management in proposal ( The kind of software she suggests (e.g. was certainly new to me, and might be worth investigating further, to see if there are any concepts applicable to this project.

Thanks Enrique, Jeanette and Arnivan, for the suggestions and advice. It does sound like we should concentrate on the most urgent need -- fast and easy documentation that the encounter occurred. Good idea, Jeanette, to document that a communication or note occurred (via a quick checkbox) rather than to slow the process down and undermine usability for tracking purposes. Arnivan -- I'll look into the software. We need this solution and plan to go forward. I'll do some research and let you know what we come up with. Thanks everyone!

Another thought is that this will serve all faculty- whether they do research or not. Would be helpful for "Career Mentors" as well. Using the mentor definitions at would be helpful. The definitions were developed collaboratively with Mitch Feldman, Associate Vice Provost, Academic Affairs and Director, UCSF Faculty Mentoring Program, Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and his input will be essential. Glad he is on the team!

Commenting is closed.

ImageFlow – A Medical Imaging Data Portal

Proposal Status: 

ImageFlow – A Medical Imaging Data Portal



Medical Imaging data plays an important role in translational research projects across many departments and disciplines. However, there are numerous barriers to accessing this data in a form that is convenient for researchers, imposes minimal impact on clinical systems, and complies with various institutional and legal requirements.


Imaging data from clinical and research modalities, including MR, CT, and Ultrasound devices are sent to the institution’s Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS). Data can be extracted from the PACS, but the process of identifying candidate studies, obtaining approvals, scheduling data transmission with minimal impact on clinical operations, and de-identifying data is more onerous than necessary. Due to the steep learning curve associated with the DICOM protocol there are a number of pitfalls to properly de-identifying data sets, and it can be an overwhelming task to identify the DICOM viewing and editing tools appropriate for a given project.


We propose streamlining this process by developing a web-based system that would address these needs in a convenient and secure fashion.



Web portal with the following capabilities:

  • Integrated with centralized authentication / authorization to enforce role based access to imaging data
  • Search function for identifying studies of interest
  • Interface for scheduling the transmission of imaging data sets
  • Robust data set de-identification capabilities
  • Integration with MyResearch and/or Integrated Data Repository where practical
  • Information resource providing recommendations on effective tools for conducting research utilizing medical images in the UCSF computing environment


Impact on UCSF’s Mission:

  • Improve efficiency of researchers utilizing medical imaging data, particularly those with limited exposure to the field of radiology or the DICOM standard
  • Shorten cycle of translational research projects
  • Enhance utility of existing data repositories with the addition of medical imaging data
  • Improve efficiency of staff currently manually processing image extraction and post-processing requests


Team Members:


Maxwell Cheong: Technologist

Mark Day: Visionary / subject matter expert

David Luth: Technologist

Vivek Swarnakar : Visionary / subject matter expert


We are actively recruiting end-users interested in this project, as well as other technologists that have experiencing working with central UCSF data repositories, including MyResearch and the Integrated Data Repository


Very nice proposal! Clinical systems are very often not amenable to research needs, and putting a front end to PACS to make the information de-identified and discoverable will certainly move the research aims of UCSF forward. Integration with MyResearch and/or IDR will certainly make the system more valuable and usable. Hopefully this will facilitate research involving Radiology images. Parenthetically, PACS systems in the future may also store whole slide imaging data, in which case it would enable matching abilities for Pathology images (once digital workflow becomes commonplace in Pathology - currently used for educational, not diagnostic, purposes).

Commenting is closed.

A mobile image-processing based application for the identification of pills in the Emergency Department

Proposal Status: 

Description of Project: It is estimated that there are more than 30,000 deaths related to accidental poisonings each year. While there are databases of prescription drugs, there have been no robust efforts to automate the identification of medications in clinical practice. We seek to implement and test a mobile application that uses image processing to identify medications.



Deliverables: We will evaluate a mobile application and corresponding platform for the identification of medications in the SFGH ED.


  1. Mobile Application With
    1. Camera functionality to send images to a remote server
    2. A database of common FDA approved medications
    3. The ability to create local drug lists that can be used by individual patients to set reminders and find more information about their medications
  2. A Stand with lighting to optimize image acquisition for precise identification
  3. A Server that receives images and returns a ranked list of pills most likely to match based on shape, color, and character imprint (


Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community: We have estimated that there are approximately 75 events of unidentifiable medications or medications that are brought to the SFGH ED each month. Such image processing can be used in the hospital, at local pharmacies, and by patients themselves to identify and look up information on medications. We believe there is significant opportunity for commercial integration and acquisition.


List of team members and their roles: 
David Ouyang, MS3 – Project Manager (200 hours) 
Aron Yu – Electrical Engineering PhD student – Image Processing Developer (150 hours) 
Dennis Qian – Mobile Developer (50 hours) 
Janet Chu, MS2 – Designer and IRB Approval Facilitator (50 hours) 
Rahul Deo, MD, PhD  (Assistant Professor of Cardiology) – Statistical Analysis Expert (20hr)
Derrick Lung, MD, MPH (Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine) – ER UI Expert (20hr)


This project would certainly fill a need for the ED and can be used by the public at large as well. Nice concept!

Very intriguing project. Naively I assumed that this would have already been done given that the simple shape, color, pattern recognition needs for the app have been solved long time ago. I really liked the YouTube video submission. Appears that you have a working prototype. A quick Google search led to some interesting findings. It appears that most apps out there are simply asking for two of three pieces of information, shape, color or imprint on the pill. Here's a head-to-head comparison of the top ones: I didn't easily find an image based app. However I found a 2010 RFP for developing an image context based pill identification system by the FOB: Some of the vendors on the RFP list may have solved this problem? There is also this NIH project: Which seems to be relevant to what you are proposing. Questions: 1. why limit to only shapes, color? how about attempting an OCR on the pill for the imprint? 2. how about using image content based matching against a database of pills like the one from nih? 3. Do you handle partial or broken pills as well as multiple pills at the same time or is it only for one pill at a time? Assuming this has not yet been done, I hope you guys continue development as it would be an app that someone like might just buy from you, as they have not developed it yet.

Apologies for the miscommunication. We are actively working on the OCR now and have been making good progress, that is why we think it would be reasonable to have a working product by October 1st. The demo video is from Feb, which was earlier in the the development and we have more to show.

In our search, we have not found any functional systems. The research projects have very controlled environments and are very dependent on lighting, these are things we are actively working on and feel like have a handle on. As you have shown, there is no image based system for pill identification on the market. A careful search from any of the solicitors of the FBO do not turn up any viable systems.

The system is currently focused on one pill at a time now, but there is no reason why it cannot scale to more pills - simply a matter of resources and priorities. We currently do not handle broken or partial pills.

For this project, we specifically want to see our app used in the EDs which can validate our approach and be useful for emergency room physicians.

here's a content based system reference that includes imprint recognition and attempts to go beyond prescription drugs with about 80% accuracy on a 15K+ drug sample. The techniques described there as well as database sources might be applicable to your project:

That is a great article Vivek, thanks! We have already been using the databases for FDA approved pills, although we have not tried illicit drugs. That is very interesting and something we should try in the future. We have been using similar approaches, and it will be good to read this thoroughly and see if we missed anything or if they have other insights.

Commenting is closed.

Using Smart Phone app as Pagers

Proposal Status: 

Description of Project:  ***Please note our proposal has been merged with the proposal***

Old traditional pagers are becoming obsolete as newer and better solutions come to market.  Currently the only way to reach UCSF physician’s on the move is via cell phone or pager.  With the rapid advancement of technology in today’s day and age, pagers have become a thing of the past nonetheless this is what we are stuck to use. We have found another, better, HIPAA compliant solution that combines the functionality of the traditional pagers with the power and convenience of a smartphone app.  Our smartphone app offers two way communication, group messaging and full audit trail capabilities.

Traditional Pager vs our App:

-          Our app will track when a message has been sent, delivered, received, read and replied. With Pagers, we only know that the message sent and hope the person gets it.

-          We can create a single device for all communication and eliminate pagers. 

-          With the app there is unlimited global 2 way messaging.

-          The app has the ability to send reply messages.

-          This app is HIPAA compliant with secure encrypted communication.

-          Our app supports rich content message and reply allowing hyperlinks in messages itself. Send phone numbers, email addresses, web urls that can be immediately clicked and opened when someone reads their message.

-          Our app is compatible with Android, Blackberry, Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch).

Implementation: Immediate activation once users download, register and start using the solution. We contacted OnPage and were assured that for UCSF, the OnPage team would work with our lead project team to ensure the easiest transition possible. The accounts and ID’s can be created ahead of time and users can be given instructions on how to download and use the app.  Implementation would begin with the UCSF Department Orthopaedic Surgery and grow to the wider community,

Impact and Deliverables to the UCSF community: A more reliable, secure, immediate and convenient way to send critical messages out.  The UCSF community will be able to know immediately when a message they sent has been delivered and read allowing for reliability and full audit trails and logs of all messages sent. With the implementation of this system, users will be able to respond faster to situations and take real time actions- which in the healthcare industry could save lives.

List of team members and their role: 

John Houston – Project Manager, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,

Erin Simon – Lead, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,

Timothy Greer – Technical Consultant, Dean's Office, SFGH,

Estimated time devoted by each team member:  The team will require 20-40% effort during the ramp up and pilot period.


This is certainly a capability that many folks have desired, especially as the reliability of cell phones has increased and reliability of pagers has subsequently decreased. There are parallels with the ZipRounds Mobile Client project - I wonder if there is an opportunity for collaboration?

I agree with Enrique's comment. Dr. Raman Khanna has piloted ZipRounds at Mt. Zion, and a collaborative approach with him could be worthwhile. ZipRounds uses Salesforce Chatter as a means of tracking the pager "conversations" for the searchability and storing of messages. For this contest, he's looking at developing a mobile application. I suggest a meeting to review the ZipRounds pilot functionality and what is being proposed.

Indeed! Erin, I will email you separately as I think there is significant synergy between our projects and it may make the most sense to work on them together. If you're around now you can call me (415-476-4806) or else you can also email me ( and we can come up with a time to chat.

40 thumbs up! Pagers cost more than $30/ month! think of the potential savings!

There are already a few apps like this on the market, for instance this one:

Commenting is closed.

A Lab Exchange Drupal Module for UCSF

Proposal Status: 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT. Managing unique scientific research materials is a problem faced by almost all labs at UCSF.  In addition, sharing between labs is difficult since there is no common inventory system, or method of keeping potential collaborators up to date on the materials available among UCSF labs. Here we describe an easy solution for sharing lab resources among collaborating labs and larger networks.  In short, we will build a Drupal module that will allow scientists to communicate their sharable reagents. 

Sharing is ‘opt-in’: An important aspect of our proposed Lab Exchange Module is that sharing is based on an “opt in” basis.  In this way, investigators can choose to share what they want, and keep other materials private.  It parallels the UC-wide mouse sharing system developed by Gail Martin.

Building upon a pre-existing infrastructure.  This proposal builds upon an existing infrastructure built by the McManus Lab.  This infrastructure has been in place for over five years and has already been distributed to other labs around UCSF.  It is composed of several simple applications that are used to track information on various lab reagents within a single lab.  These reagents include antibodies, DNA vectors, and cryovial data, all of which are tracked and maintained in an internal database using the Drupal Content Management System. 

A broad impact for thousands of UC scientists. The existing system is currently only developed to share among members within a single lab.  This single-lab system is currently available to all labs at UCSF through an Acquia:UCSF hosting contract.  Our plan is to network this system, and once integrated, it will generate a broad impact among thousands of UCSF investigators.  By nature, this system is scalable, meaning that it can exist outside of UCSF if desired.

How does it work? This project aims to broaden the McManus Lab infrastructure from single lab websites to multiple lab websites by pulling data from a central repository. The contributing lab controls who they share their data with via a “grouping” function.  Specifically, sharing will be on reciprocal basis within groups.  The group founder (owner of a specific reagent) will manage group membership for that reagent.  In addition to groups, information can be shared to all of UCSF regardless of group.  In lay terms, this means a lab can choose to share a specific reagent with one or more of the following: 1) a small project team composed of several UCSF labs, 2) all labs within a program or department, 3) all of UCSF, and 4) potentially among the entire UC network.  For the end user, all of this can be accomplished by simply checking a box on the lab reagent page.

DELIVERABLE. We will build an open source Drupal Lab Exchange module that allows labs to share reagents within their allocated networks.


  • Saves time and money, since labs don’t need to recreate or repurchase existing UCSF reagents
  • Enhances cooperativity and collaboration among labs at UCSF
  • Improves productivity, since scientists can focus more time on experiments rather than building reagents
  • Distributed reagents are in essence a backup for lost reagents (e.g. lab contamination, natural disasters)


John Kealy              Web Admin/Programmer/Tester

Michael McManus  Project Coordination/Adviser/Web Admin/Tester

Khang Nguyen        Web Admin/Programmer/Tester


ESTIMATED TIME DEVOTED BY EACH TEAM MEMBER. Kealy, 40 hours; McManus; 10 hours; Nguyen, 30 hours.


We welcome input and suggestions.  If you'd like to participate on this team, please contact one of the existing team members.


Very nice outgrowth of an existing system. Would facilitate sharing among researchers, saving time, effort, and reduce duplication of resources.

Would like to hear more about how the inventory is managed and if SOP's have been created if we do scale?

Courtney, The inventory is being managed via a series of web forms that are in the Drupal Content Management System. Data is currently displayed via Drupal views The inventory information is kept in a mysSQL database for the most part with the exception of images other files which are stored on a remote filesystem. We have not documented a Standard Operating Procedure beyond business rules in the existing prototype's code. We would document those procedures as part of the project. The application should be able to scale, as it is hosted on a managed cloud service provider. The service allows us to scale for increased database and web traffic on demand. Thanks for your questions!

Thanks John. I definitely see a value in developing some Standard Procedures especially as this scales we want to make certain that the integrity remains and the trust is established across labs. How do you see communicating this to other labs? Via shared research interest areas?

Courtney, Shared research interest will be the driving factor for participation. Researchers would need to determine the appropriate information to share. The creation of ad hoc groups and coordination within those groups should facilitate the creation of standards among the respective groups.

Great! could this resource be listed with the lab core info?

Teresa, When completed data could potentially be shared with the system. That being said, It appears that the system we are proposing here deals with a different kind of item from that system. That system appears to deal with commercially available items (freezers, microscopes, etc.) while this deals with specific antibodies, DNA vectors, and cryovial data produced by researchers to facilitate their research. We are hoping to scale up the existing application on to create a federated inventory system for research use. Thanks for your question and the link to the site!

UCSF Cores Search ( utilizes the Eagle-i ontology, which supports reagents, antibodies and many more resources that just equipment and services. The current site is heavy on equipment and services because that's the data we had in a legacy database. For an idea of what could be supported, you can see the entire Eagle-i ontology here: and their federated search system here:

Brian, That's good to know. Does that legacy database have any way of importing data? We can organize the data to meet the existing systems basic data requirements and present the public data from the application as an RSS feed or XML format so that the existing application can access the data.

We transferred the data into Eagle-i and deprecated the old database. We are planning to make the search layer in the new system open source. So it could potentially be modified to support more than one data source. Or you could put/house the data in Eagle-i. It has an ETL process to get data in. I don't know if any data feeds in are planned. Anirvan Chatterjee knows the most about the search layer. I'll ask him to comment here too.

We might be able to work with you to get a list of supported reagents in a reasonable format, and advertise the availability on your site to our users. That is: (1) You tell us what reagents you have available (automated import into our underlying Eagle-I database would be best, might be complicated, but we can figure it out). (2) Say some of your users have reagent X. We can then tell users on our Reagent X page to go to your website to get Reagent X.

That sounds excellent. Is there a technical contact in CTSI we should loop in?

Commenting is closed.

IT Innovation – Mobile Platform for Electronic Capture of Patient Reported Information, The UCSF Athena Breast Health Network – Mobile Devices,,iPad & Web Solution

Proposal Status: 

Project Title: Mobile Platform for Electronic Capture of Patient Reported Information, The UCSF Athena Breast Health Network 


We propose to develop a robust mobile platform for electronic capture of patient reported health history information as a catalyst to improve, accelerate and personalize clinical care and research. The prototype will be developed for the intake of breast health history information but designed to allow easy interoperability, “plug and play”.


Patient reported information or “health history intake forms” coupled with clinical examinations have been an essential component of a patients diagnostic and treatment plan. Historically, the method for capturing this information has been paper. In this age of technology, healthcare IT is quickly being left behind with its use of paper-recorded data.

 Advantages to the Athena mobile platform for electronic capture of patient reported information include but are not limited to the following functions


  • Structured and computable data elements
  • Paper-reduction and reduced patient burden
  • Dynamic and improved usability and graphical user interface
  • Information and data entered and stored via Multiple  diverse Mobile devices

 Structured and computable data elements

Clinical data is too often not stored as searchable and structured data elements. The Athena Mobile Platform will facilitate structured data capture, enabling quality measurement and offering capability for integration with value-added tools including real-time and individualized risk assessment, clinical decision support models and automated clinical referrals to aid in the prevention of disease. The structured data will allow for improved accuracy and efficiency of reporting of information to national databases and forums and accelerates research by facilitating the ability to analyze discrete data elements and formulate multi-variable analytics that will in turn, inform and improve clinical care.

Paper-reduction and reduced patient burden

In general healthcare and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) the problem list is a valued tool for care and research with the accuracy and quality of data being of vital importance. Patient reported health history data has been found to be an adequate source of information. This was proven in a study done in a health centre in Diemen-Zuid, a suburb of Amsterdam in the Netherlands where 62% of patient reported problems were found to be significant and were not documented by general practitioners.[i] Currently, a large portion of patient reported health information is not being recorded accurately. The Athena Mobile Platform will optimize collection and utilization of patient reported clinical information, offering the functionality to integrate discrete data into the EHR. This reduces the need for “human-bridging” and data entry and increases the accuracy of patient reported healthcare data.

 The platform not only captures discrete data but also bridges the gap of information sharing across interdisciplinary systems and departments, thereby reducing patient burden. This will allow patients to only enter their health history data once, across interdisciplinary fields also allowing for updates and quality checks.

Dynamic and improved usability

The Athena Mobile Platform will improve usability and personalize the patient experience by being able to cater to diverse audiences with a broad range of user interface graphical “motifs”, multi-language functionality, educational text and support complex questioning with intelligent branching logic. The platform can be adapted to meet the needs of various specialties with the “plug and play” model.

 Impact on UCSF Mission and / or community:

The University of California, San Francisco is a leader in facilitating an atmosphere of rapid scientific discovery that accelerates the need for technical innovation and impacts the delivery of clinical care. The Athena Mobile Platform for capture of patient reported information at UCSF can serve as a catalyst and multi-disciplinary model for UC-wide collaboration through standardized data collection and evidence based knowledge turns, provide improved patient-centered and personalized care by offering real-time interface capability with value-added tools including real-time decision support and risk assessment models that can cater to diverse populations and literacy levels.







  • Athena HQS Screening Questionnaire
  • OAuth Secure Access
  • Authentication
  • Mobile device delivery includes the following:
    • iPAD
    • iPhone - Apple Mobile Phone
    • Android
  • Questions will be associated with graphical images – icons to satisfy low literacy participants
  • Questionnaire data will be stored in a  Force database
  • Leveraging Mobile devices and ipad technology to allow participants and patients to provide data and information about their health, insights, diagnosis and recovery in a secure environment across the network and  can be utilized by other UC’s (UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC San Diego and UCLA) in addition to  UCSF
  • Provide ability and functionality on the mobile device to captured data  that can be Integrated /Interfaced from the force platform to APeX and potentially back to the Force platform
  • Provide Multi-language communication and interfaces between data collection, participant involvement, and data retrieval - Spanish
  • Instant risk assessment
  • HTML5 and Javascript hybrid model



Team Members :

 Alexander Solomon, UCSF Business / program representative, User, QA, GUI

 Terri Spencer,  UCSF, PMO-IT, lead, technologist, PM, QA

 Kymberly Bartlo, UCSF-IT  Developer, QA, Buildmaster

 Lana Milter, UCSF-IT Developer, QA, GUI


  • Members are from UCSF, UCSF ITS, Athena PMO,
  • Cross UCSF collaboration and synergy



[i] Lauteslager M, Brouwer HJ, Mohrs J, Bindels PJE and Grundmeijer HGLM. The patient as a source to improve the medical record. Family Practice 2002; 19: 167–171


Capturing structured data from patients with the ability to upload to Apex would be a huge boon, and would help streamline patient intake procedures as the information could be captured ahead of the appointment time. If this comes to fruition and is in use, perhaps it would afford the opportunity to standardize the various patient forms that are in use at UCSF and avoid multiple reporting of the same information by patients (certainly a patient frustration every time the same information is collected yet again).

Thank you for your comment Enrique. We agree, the potential standardization with a validation method would certainly help to alleviate a lot of patient frustration and clinic wait times.

Enrique. Fortunately the Athena & Medical Center Senior leadership is currently finalizing the requirements for the Apex integration, with the target implementation 4th quarter (Oct - Dec) 2012. Having the opportunity to implement this initiative -to create the Mobile front end patient intake by October 2012, and immediately implementing the Apex integration 4th quarter, an operational end to end solution could be implemented by Dec 2012. This model would benefit UCSF immensely and would accommodate more than 2,000 people

Commenting is closed.

Neuro lesion localizer

Proposal Status: 

Description of project

Localizing a neurological lesion requires an understanding of the human nervous system and complex crisscrossing paths. It is a difficult skill for UCSF medical students and residents to master, and even for non-neurologist attending physicians to maintain, especially for who do not use the skill regularly. However, we believe that some of the complex thought process behind localizing a neurological exam can be captured and executed by a handheld application that can aid both students learning the skill and clinicians providing patient care.


Such an application would take as inputs pertinent positives on a neurological exam, generate a list of possible locations for a neurological lesion, and then display a ranked differential to the user accompanied by explanations behind each item on the list. For providers in a fast-paced environment like the Emergency Department, this would facilitate preliminary localization of a lesion from the exam and guide appropriate imaging.  For students and residents learning neurology, this could be used to reinforce the link between a clinical exam and conceptual pathways.  Although no handheld application can replace human interpretation of a physical exam in the context of a careful patient history, we hope that this tool will support clinician decision-making and improve both education and patient care.



Web application or web application wrapped in native mobile code. User-derived inputs would include pertinent positives on a neurological exam (e.g. right arm and leg weakness, right facial droop, asphasia) and outputs would include likely localizations for the lesion (left precentral gyrus, likely left MCA stroke).


Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community

This would supplement UCSF’s commitment to the education hundreds of medical and nurse practitioner students, as well as neurology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, neurosurgery, and other residents in their training.  Furthermore, attending physicians in the aforementioned specialties might find it useful in expediting care.


List of team members and their roles

Michael Lin, MD (Internal Medicine resident) - visionary, lead programmer

David Ouyang, MS3 – lead designer

Jessica de Leon, MD (Neurology resident) – end-user, subject expert

Amar Dhand, MD (Fellow in Neurohospitalist Care) – subject expert


Estimated time devoted by each team member

Michael Lin: 40 hours

David Ouyang: 40 hours

Jessica de Leon: 8 hours

Amar Dhand: 15 hours


Medical Decision Support certainly has had a long history, but I believe that with increase use of EHR's and mobile computing, user adoption will be increasing. Having a mobile accessible web site for this project would facilitate it's use at the point of patient care. Would certainly be a very valuable educational tool!

Commenting is closed.

Project Reboot: A Resource for Improving Community Response to Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Proposal Status: 

Reboot Cardiac Arrest: A UCSF Community CPR Registry Website



One of the earliest critical links in the “Chain of Survival” for victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is rapid initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by bystanders.


Bystander CPR rates in San Francisco are relatively low. Communities that have invested in improving bystander CPR have shown improved overall survival of victims of SCA. In San Francisco, local efforts to train the public in mass events have resulted in increased awareness, but the actual number of CPR-trained persons in the region is unknown. In particular, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of “layperson” bystander CPR and organizing local community efforts to respond to cardiac arrest.


UCSF is a leader in medical training, emergency and cardiac care, and through its training efforts plays a large role in community response to sudden cardiac arrest. This project will establish a local CPR registry in order to facilitate improved community response to cardiac arrest.



The Project Reboot website will combine CPR registry, social media hub, and aggregate local resources for cardiac arrest response.


Objectives for Project Reboot Website:

  • Provide the public and UCSF community with local resources for CPR training
  • Allow layperson and certified CPR-trained individuals to self-report their skill level
  • Allow CPR instructors to list students that have been trained
  • Remind users of expiration of CPR certification
  • Provide information about recent updates to resuscitation guidelines
  • Coordination of CPR teaching event materials and volunteers
  • Promote CPR awareness using social media networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter


A website of San Francisco specific local CPR resources will have a direct impact on patient care and public safety. A registry of information about CPR trained individuals will be extremely useful to measure the impact of community outreach and inform decisions on strategies to improve overall survival. The website will also serve as a clearinghouse and hub for information about advances in cardiac care, resuscitation protocols and community training events.


Team Members:

Clement Yeh, UCSF Emergency Medicine Faculty: Project lead (40 hours)

Justin Schorr, Paramedic: Website design/programming, Content creation (40 hours)

Alexandra Teng, UCSF Medical Student, Cardiac arrest survivor: Content creation (20 hours)

Julian Villar, UCSF Emergency Medicine Resident: Content creation (20 hours)

Jay Connolly, EMT-B:  Technical expertise, Content creation (20 hours)




Raising awareness of CPR and interest in training would certainly have a positive effect on public safety, and would provide a model for other cities to emulate. "Allow CPR instructors to list students that have been trained" - would need some type of consent process if this information is exposed to the public.

Thanks Enrique. Agreed, a consent process by the users to have their information shared will be part of the database. Users will have the option of how much information that they wish to receive and share. As an online tool, it's an important balance between fostering community and removing any barriers to use by addressing information sharing concerns.

Can you use a "grinder" type app to notify CPR trained individuals when there is another trainee close by? This would foster live interaction/ discovery in the community.

Very good idea. Other communities have used location information to geotag things like public defibrillators (AEDs) but to my knowledge there have not been any similar use for CPR trained persons. It could certainly facilitate interactions and training opportunities, as well as simply encouraging non-trained individuals to get instruction.

You mention using social media to try to bring users to the website, but have you considered a search-based strategy? If that's a good fit, you may want to consider (1) what potentially-regional search terms would you want the site to come up as a top result for, (2) what do you offer that existing top-ranking search results (e.g. don't, and (3) how will you structure your content and attract links to get to that top spot?

Thanks, Anirvan. Search-directed traffic to the website will certainly be important. I think you are absolutely correct that it will be the content that attracts users and therefore affects search rankings. One notable absence in the search results above is the availability of a non-commercial local resource. A common website that aggregates local information for users in the form of a self-reported registry regardless of certification organization (AHA, ASHI, or none of the above) would provide a novel resource and I think would be the driver of visitors to the site. Furthermore, it could be useful to explore link-exchange with other organized sites that get higher traffic, and/or targeted marketing such as Google's AdWords.

Commenting is closed.

UCSF Profiles and Salesforce Chatter at UCSF: the perfect complementary tools. Here’s the answer to: Why aren’t these 2 systems already integrated?

Proposal Status: 

Project Description:

Have you ever found a group of experts on UCSF Profiles that you wanted to bring into a conversation, but didn’t want to inundate with long email threads?  Have you ever found someone on UCSF Profiles who is doing work on a topic of interest and you wish you could “follow” them so you’d be notified automatically of any new publications they put out?


In this project, we propose to enable these sorts of tailored communications by completing the first user-facing integration between UCSF Profiles and UCSF Chatter. We will bring together the strengths of the Profiles platform and UCSF Chatter capabilities to create the ability to find who you want and take the conversation to a new collaborative level. 


UCSF Profiles broke new ground for finding various experts and connections quickly and easily.  It is now a well-used, heavily trafficked tool on campus, used for the discovery of experts and people. In its current state, the system displays information about the research expertise and experience of investigators, and additionally, automatically generates networks for these individuals, based on known data such as co-authors, department affiliations etc. Because UCSF Profiles automatically updates profile data with new publications, as well as allows manual curation of information, it is a dynamic source of data for researcher information at UCSF.  As more researchers adopt UCSF Profiles into their personal tool kits, there is growing opportunity to foster these connections into meaningful interaction.


UCSF Chatter is a UCSF-specific tool that promotes collaboration through secured workgroups. The current beta program supports over 2,500 active users across UCSF and is quickly growing. Any Chatter user is able to create a group where she can post comments, files, and links, and share them exclusively with selected users, whether they are internal or external to UCSF.  Native mobile and tablet applications, an intuitive UI for group conversation, file version control, and an opt-in approach to notifications, bring the focus to the message, not the messenger. 



This project will integrate UCSF Profiles and Salesforce Chatter to: 


  1. Allow you to find experts via UCSF Profiles, select people of interest and create a “shopping cart” of those people.
  2. With the click of a button, create a UCSF Chatter group, comprised of the selected individuals.
  3. Send “activity” updates on UCSF Profiles (such as the addition of a new publication to an individual’s profile) to the Chatter stream.
  4. Allow you to “follow” people by pressing a button in Profiles, and via Chatter, display and notify you (if you choose) of any activity.


Impact and rationale:

  1. Integration of these 2 software platforms makes sense for the campus, by leveraging the strengths of both systems, but not re-inventing functionality.
  2. The integration is feasible technically and will take full advantage of MyAccess single-sign-on capability. We will be able to leverage and build upon some existing but not-yet fully functional features of UCSF Profiles.
  3. Creates the foundation of a UCSF-wide social network.
  4. Builds upon Chatter traction, and sets UCSF up to take immediate advantage of upcoming Chatter functionality, including integration with Dropbox & Google docs for document sharing/management.
  5. Provides a pilot model for what we hope will be eventual cross-campus (e.g., UC BRAID and UC Rex) expertise discovery & collaboration efforts. Lessons learned will be shared with other UC campuses, as applicable.


Measures of success and output:

  1. Adoption and usage metrics
  2. Implementation documentation, to be shared with other campuses as applicable


Team members and estimated time commitment:

  1. Eric Meeks – UCSF Profiles Technical Lead (10%)
  2. Nina Jameson – UCSF Salesforce product manager (10%)
  3. Leslie Yuan – UCSF Profiles product manager (10%)
  4. Salesforce developer – software developer (60 hours)


All staff members have received supervisory approval for work time for the project.


Very innovative idea to cross link two resources in a meaningful way, and extend functionality. I can see obvious benefits to the research community!

Excellent idea if we can only get more faculty to transition to using Chatter. Perhaps add an easy to follow set of instructions or a promotion that Chatter is an now available for all faculty and staff via MyAccess. How to use it and the benefits of using Chatter (for the non-FaceBook generation).

Commenting is closed.

Facebook Like service for UCSF Enterprise

Proposal Status: 


Develop a Facebook-like program for UCSF staff, faculty, researchers, post docs, students & affiliates where the site is searchable and displays photos of everyone and their specialties where liniks to their project sites is feasible. A chat and IM feature could be integrated.


 Posted  ALL UCSF community with photos (uploardable), links to expertise, research and projects/grants, searchable and queries for specialties and groups. Chat and IM features as well as email and comments on their walls.


Develop a more cohesive and integrated UC SFcommunity, spirit and feeling of belonging


Because there are so many staff and faculty at UCSF dispersed across the city and many depts., we are pigeon-holed in our own little silos. If nothing else, we need photos of colleagues to be able to recognize them at meetings and/or on campus.

But to improve collaboration and knowledge databases, it would be nice to be able to query (SQL possibly) to search for an individual and learn more about them and their Work & Expertise, their Successes and Discoveries.

Team members:


Time Commitment/Required


Supervisor PreApproval:



Dianne Holmes - Campus Procurement & Contracting 415-502-3025



Dianne, UCSF Profiles ( goes some of the way in this direction, though it's focused largely on faculty, researchers, and post docs. It lets you find people by specialty, view their photos, see their NIH grants, and learn about the work. See for an example of what a Profiles page looks like. Chatter also serves some of this purpose, and offers standard social media tools, including chat, a wall, shared file display, etc,. ( Maybe you could talk to the Profiles or Salesforce/Chatter teams about your idea?

Agree with Anirvan's comment. Dianne - Also take a look the proposal that Leslie Yuan put in. If we extend Profiles to staff and students, AND integrate with Salesforce Chatter, you'd essentially have what you're requesting.

Commenting is closed.

UCSF IDMP (Infectious Disease Management Program) App

Proposal Status: 

Description of the project: The timely initiation of appropriate antibiotics is critical both for individual patient outcomes and institutional goals of reducing antibiotic resistance, shortening hospital stays, and complying with pneumonia and sepsis core measures. However, the correct antibiotic choice for the same indication varies depending on local resistance patterns and hospital formularies, making it challenging to identify the ideal antibiotic in a given circumstance. For instance, the correct antibiotic for community-acquired pneumonia might include Ceftriaxone at Moffitt-Long hospital, but Ertapenem at the VA. Even after the appropriate antibiotic is selected, the dosing must be further individualized to account for a patient’s weight, and renal and hepatic function. Vancomycin, for example, is frequently dosed incorrectly, exposing patients to over- and under-dosing and reducing provider efficiency.


The Infectious Disease Management Program (IDMP) is an interdisciplinary collaboration designed to provide guidance in selecting and dosing the correct antibiotics for various clinical indications specific to each site. We would like to provide this information in a quickly and easily accessible format suitable for point-of-care use. We aim to develop a mobile phone app that will allow physicians to quickly identify ideal site-specific antibiotic choices for commonly encountered infections and to provide preferred dosing regimens.


Deliverables: UCSF IDMP, an application built for Apple's iOS (compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; an Android-compatible version would be considered if there is demand) that will be freely downloadable from the Apple App Store. This app will provide prescribers with recommended empiric regimens for a variety of conditions (e.g. sepsis, UTI, community-acquired pneumonia), suggested dosing for all antimicrobials, and hospital-specific microbial susceptibility data. The app will be built upon the existing recommendations from the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, and Clinical Microbiology Laboratory contained in the IDMP. We anticipate that this free application will be widely adopted by prescribers with iOS devices at UCSF.


Impact on UCSF's Mission:

· Improves quality of care by informing antimicrobial selection and dosing, and facilitating timely prescribing of antimicrobials

· Reduces adverse events by minimizing inappropriate dosing of antimicrobials

· Improves physician productivity by decreasing time spent identifying the appropriate antimicrobial regimen, dosing, and frequency

· Improves productivity of pharmacists, nurses, and support staff by minimizing inappropriate orders

· Decreases cost of care via each of the above effects


Team Member and Project Role:

Matt Cascino, MD App developer/Programmer/Tester (80 hours)

Alvin Rajkomar, MD App developer/Programmer/Tester (80 hours)

Conan MacDougall, PharmD Subject Matter Expert (5 hours)

Brad Monash, MD Visionary (20 hours)



There is a similar app for the iPad however, the advantage of the proposed one is hospital-specific microbial susceptibility data, which would increase the value over the existing one. Would further the goals of patient safety and appropriate treatment.

Commenting is closed.

Videos of Surgical Procedures for Medical Student and Resident Training

Proposal Status: 

We propose the production of a few high quality videos of high-volume procedures in the area of plastic and reconstructive surgery. We plan to use three GoPro HD Hero2 Professional ( with the included head straps for recording 5 surgical procedures from three different points of views, the primary surgeon, assisting surgeon, and medical student. The videos will then be edited and dialogue added to walk the viewer through these procedures. The current repository of surgical procedure videos is limited in both quality, and primarily to endoscopic procedures where there is already video input. This would add high-quality, high-definition videos of non-endoscopic procedures to enhance teaching of students and residents prior to even entering the operating room. It would also provide a starting point for the addition of multiple other surgical procedures in a variety of specialties over time.


Through this project, we will be able to contribute surgical videos to an online repository that will be used for training and dispersing knowledge regarding surgical procedures. This could be delivered either through a UCSF-specific website, or a national repository such as the NIH’s MedlinePlus page of Videos of Surgical Procedures (  The national repository is far from complete and does not include many videos in several specialties. Many of the videos in the repository are also lectures about the procedures without any footage. Furthermore, UCSF’s Department of Surgery frequently performs procedures that are not typically done at other institutions. Thus, UCSF is in a prime position to deliver educational material to a large audience.

Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community

The UCSF mission is Caring, Healing, Teaching and Discovering. It’s vision is to be the best provider of health care services, the best place to work and the best environment for teaching and research.

By implementing this project, we will contribute to the teaching and discovering that occurs both on UCSF campus and nationwide, if the proper permissions can be obtained. By building a repository of high-quality surgical videos, trainees will have a much better understanding of the procedures before stepping foot in the operating room. Once there, they can decrease surgical errors, focus more on details of the procedure, and teach others who have not had the chance to previously see the procedure or watch a tutorial video.

List of team members and their roles

Jason Pomerantz, MD (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, subject matter expert)
Hani Sbitany, MD (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, subject matter expert)
Paul Mittermiller, MS4 (visionary, user)
Ryan Lee, MS4 (visionary, user)
Andrew Ahn, BA (video editor,

Estimated time devoted by each team member

Jason Pomerantz, MD (40 hrs)
Hani Sbitany, MD (40 hrs)
Paul Mittermiller, MS4 (40 hrs)
Ryan Lee, MS4 (40 hrs)
Andrew Ahn, BA (40 hrs)



This project would certainly enhance the teaching of surgical procedures! There are similarities to another proposal: - perhaps some collaboration or shared resources may be possible.

We would definitely be willing to share resources. The cameras we would use are specifically designed for situations requiring a high-definition, low-weight, low-profile device, so they could easily also be used for filming other, less invasive procedures. Creating a repository for the videos would also allow for simplification of filmed procedures even though the audiences and procedures are quite different.

Chris Freise, MD from the UCSF Division of Transplant Surgery has also offered to participate in this project if carried out. This would expand the current specialties to include transplant surgery in addition to craniofacial surgery, microsurgery, and general plastic surgery with continued opportunities for involvement with other surgical fields.

Commenting is closed.

Mobile training to enhance human attention

Proposal Status: 


Attention is a fundamental component process of virtually all aspects of human cognition. The ability to manage the barrage of sensory inputs that we encounter in the world is what allows us to engage in complex, goal-directed behavior. Deficits in attentional control are a core aspect of almost all neurological disorders and are increasingly prevalent in patients suffering from traumatic brain injury.

Because of this vulnerability to disease or trauma, a detailed understanding of the neural mechanisms for how the brain allocates attention is a critical component of our research.

The development of neuroscientifically targeted interventions to remediate cognitive deficits in populations with neurological or psychiatric disease, as well enhance these abilities in healthy individuals, is a critical missing link between basic science and clinical translation.



By the end of the project period we will have a fully developed suite of mobile cognitive training games designed to assess and enhance the limits of human attentional allocation and perception.

This enhancement will be based on our previous cognitive training research in the laboratory, but we will extend these results outside the lab by training attentional allocation and perception suing mobile and console gaming platforms including:

  • Apple iPhone
  • Apple iPad
  • Microsoft Xbox Kinect


Drs. Gazzaley and Voytek will work with expert software developers to translate our in-lab cognitive research tasks into mobile and console gaming platforms. Our ongoing research has shown that we can manipulate attentional allocation by manipulating the amount of information we provide subjects about where to allocate their attention.

Our goal with this project is to provide a fun, engaging at-home version of our laboratory task to train subjects on how to more successfully and more broadly allocation their attention.


Laboratory Results:

Voytek - Lab Results


Preliminary Kinect Results:

Voytek - Kinect Results


Our preliminary Kinect results show that we can capture the same general behavioral effect—that changing the amount of certainty given to the subjects on where to allocate their attention—leads to increases response times. 

This is encouraging that we can reproduce in-lab effects using a popular gaming platform.


Impact on UCSF’s Mission:

UCSF sits at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation. By taking in-lab findings out into the popular application distribution platforms such as Xbox Live and the Apple App Store, which reach millions of users globally, including many underserved populations, we can help keep UCSF as a world leader in translating science into health applications.


Team Members and Roles:

Bradley Voytek, PhD (75% effort): Post-doctoral fellow, UCSF Department of Neurology. Project and neuroscientific lead

Adam Gazzaley, MD/PhD (10% effort): Professor, UCSF Department of Neurology. Faculty advisor and mentor

Jacob Balthazor (100% effort): iPad/iPhone developer, Digital Media Academy

Jeffrey Chamberlain (100% effort): Kinect developer, USC Interactive Media Division


Sounds very interesting! Will your application have the ability to capture measurements of the user activity, their progress over time, etc. to potentially use the data for research? What would be the desired tangible outcomes for the individuals using this app?

Agree that the ability to use and capture the data would be useful, but should include a consent to allow this. I also wonder how improvement in real world tasks (where there are no embedded cues) is assessed ... subjectively? Could this also be tracked with the app?

Capturing performance data can be done with a EULA. Capturing any other data would need a more formal consent, which will certainly be worth applying for as move forward on this project. As far as improvement, one way of tracking such will be via separate pre- and post-training tests on a different attention or cognitive task to see if training leads to more broad improvements. The second way is within the game. Note how response times are slower when the attention information is less. The goal is that, with training, peoples' response times for the less-certain conditions will approach their response times for the more certain conditions.

Commenting is closed.

Invoice Consolidation & Cost-Re-allocation on subscribed wireless communication &/or cellular phone service plan(s) at UCSF

Proposal Status: 

Description of Project –

With the astronomical growth of university-provided wireless communication &/or cellular phone devices used for work over the recent years, and with each department separately managing/processing payment/tracking expenses associated with these disparately subscribed-services with various vendors, it appears providing the campus community an opt-in facility to have department-provided wireless communication and/or cellular phone service for their FTEs incorporated under a UCSF summary account-invoice and electronically/automatically recharged would benefit UCSF in cost-savings all around.  In addition, UCSF may also opt to leverage the anticipated volume increase to obtain optimal government-afforded pricing, too.


General Assumptions/Limitation –

  • IT department to offer an (opt-in) centrally managed service specific to routing service set-up  and processing of corresponding monthly recharges associated with the cost of subscribed wireless communication &/or cellular phone service plan(s) – utilizing pre-existing infrastructure (e.g., ServiceNow, BearBuy, MySoft Billing System, etc.);
  • Procurement service to obtain from central AP demographics of currently subscribed wireless communication &/or cellular phone service plan(s) on campus;
  • Procurement service to set-up an (appropriate) service vendor agreement with prospective/participating vendor;
  • IT department and Procurement service to collaboratively have prospective/participating vendor provide an equivalent monthly electronic bill media (intended as source bill data for recharge purposes);
  • IT department will be the ‘bearer’ of the cost-of-goods/service associated with these subscribed wireless communication &/or cellular phone service plan(s) – and, will process corresponding recharges to department-designated expense accounts monthly ( to recoup cost of service delivery).

Deliverables –

  • IT department to define a business process for submitting service subscription,
  • IT department to develop a facility to set-up/modify recharge profiles, electronically process monthly recharges associated with subscribed wireless communication &/or cellular phone service plan(s) under referred UCSF summary account-invoice, and provision an online reporting facility (within the pre-existing IT billing system infrastructure) for easy recharge reference, review, &/or reconciliation purposes.

Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community –

Providing the campus community an opt-in facility to have department-provided wireless communication and/or cellular phone service for their FTEs incorporated under a UCSF summary account-invoice, electronically/automatically recharged, and an online reporting facility for easy recharge reference, review, &/or reconciliation purposes would benefit UCSF in cost-savings all around.  In addition, UCSF may also opt to leverage the anticipated volume increase to obtain optimal government-afforded pricing, too.


List of team members –

- Norman Tesorero

- Darin Clarke

- Maria Tam

- Grace S. Wong

- Bob Blair

- Dianne Holmes (prospective member – subject to notification/acceptance)

- James Shu  (prospective member – subject to notification/acceptance)

- Joanne Gould (prospective member – subject to notification/acceptance)



Estimated time devoted be each member –

- To be determined (TBD)


For staff: pre-approval documentation from your supervisor –

- Not available (at this time).



Centralizing management of this process certainly fits within the aims of OE if it results in simplification and cost savings for the departments.

Commenting is closed.

UCSF Committees Service and Management Portal

Proposal Status: 

Project Description:

This proposal outlines a project for developing, deploying, and supporting a UCSF Committee Service and Management Portal built on the UCSF Salesforce platform and leveraging Chatter capabilities.


Faculty and staff provide support to UCSF’s academic mission by serving on a number of research, clinical, and administrative committees, and their active participation is critical to achieving the institution’s goal of advancing health worldwide.  Currently, there is no single, quick way to determine the number, composition, context, collaborative relationships, and charge of the many committees currently convened at UCSF or what actual impact they have on the success of the enterprise. For example, if one wants to identify existing resources or forums to help move along a specific goal or facilitate a specific decision, there is no existing repository that helps identify that.  UCSF needs a tool that provides quick and easy access to enterprise-wide committee information to senior leadership, committee chairs and members and staff.  The following are key components that such a tool must address:

  • Have committees completed their charge and if so, they should be disbanded?
  • If committees are currently active are they still relevant?
  • Do standing committees make sense or is there efficiency and effectiveness in convening short-lived, task/decision-oriented task forces and/or work groups?  
  • How can a committee’s or committee member’s completion of service and/or work product be appropriately and efficiently acknowledged?
  • How can committee staff work be coordinated more centrally and efficiently?
  • How can ongoing, centralized collaboration be promoted and facilitated?

The UCSF Salesforce platform offers key features to facilitate committee management, such as standardized contact records for all UCSF staff and faculty (fed by EDS), single sign on through MyAccess, Chatter group and activity streams, support for file versioning, and the ability to leverage evolving Salesforce functionality (less need for costly customization).  Building a committee management tool on the UCSF Salesforce platform will allow users to access all relevant data related to committee management in order to efficiently support the organization, maintenance, and decision making processes for Committee Chairs and Managers (staff support) as well as key Executives needing insight about committee efficacy and outcomes at UCSF. 



This project will deliver a web based application using the Salesforce platform that will:

  1. Track relevance of committee charge, purpose, and oversight
  2. View, organize, update, and track tasks and data related to committee management (e.g. agendas, notes, attendance, completed action items, etc.)  
  3. Identify who is currently serving on what committee(s) and in what capacity
  4. Determine how many committees individual members are serving on and from what departments members are being pulled
  5. Track terms of service and manage committee member rotation
  6. Record and report on “credit” for committee service
  7. Manage and archive committee communication
  8. Produce committee analytics
  9. Communicate data with Advance and the Academic Senate’s Service Portal

Impact and Rationale:

A centralized repository and service/management portal will have universal impact and:

  1. Minimize administrative burden on all members of our community
  2. Provide up to date information and documentation Allow committee staff to centrally facilitate and manage administrative functions simultaneously for multiple committees
  3. Assist leadership in evaluating existing committee model as well as individual committees and make data informed decisions regarding the need for further investment and/or action
  4. Classify and convene appropriate groups depending on input needed, decision to be reached, or work to be accomplished
  5. Eliminate duplicate committees
  6. Reduce in-person meetings
  7. Create a foundation for collaboration across departments

Measures of Success:

  1. Stakeholder support and use of the tool
  2. Enterprise-wide acceptance and use of the tool (estimated at 3000+ users)
  3. Reduction in the use of listservs associated with committees
  4. Ability to report on membership and activities across committees 

Team Members and Estimated Time Commitment:

Nina Jameson—Salesforce Product Manager (10%)

Suya Colorado-Caldwell—Chancellor/EVCP Committees and Special Projects Coordinator (20%)

Salesforce Developer—TBD (80 hours)


An excellent tool for committee structures and maintaining continuity across the board. This is a resource I would definitely utilize in my work.

This is a real timesaver on many levels - not only through consolidating information but - even more importantly - enabling informed decision making around committee purpose and value. It will go a long way toward helping to identify duplication of work and also help folks to understand if their committee members' time is better served if the committee is changed to a task force with a more detailed charge and specific end date. If the average committee at UCSF consists of ~20 people, the time savings would be tremendous.

Excellent means to eliminate duplification of work and assess time spent to result.

Non-academic senate committees are already using Chatter for many of the reasons outline in the proposal. Agree that it helps with many of the management and participation aspects of serving on a committee. Having a record of the discussions is also a very valuable feature. Seeing the superstructure and having the ability to drill down to individual committees and subgroups would be very beneficial.

This would be a very excellent tool if information is accessible by department leadership. It could help determine if faculty and staff are over committed (do the same staff and faculty serve on more than necessary -- how many are too many). Mentioned in this proposal is a need to track relevence -- how is this determinec? This is forward thinking as it can help to aggregrate data regarding committee work.

Ditto the supportive comments below. Very helpful to avoid duplication when looking to start a new committee. It would be helpful if historical information on committees that have closed down could be posted, with a contact person, so that departments wanting to start a new committee to resolve an issue could see what work has happened in the past, and know who to contact to find out more, get copies of reports, etc. Having this tool will not only help with identifying individuals who may be overburdened (before we invite them to join yet another committee), but also help to identify others who could be invited instead, who have relevant experience from other committees. This tool could be easily adapted to track and support the wider range of external workgroups and committees that we support. This would be extremely useful. We would love to see this functionality built.

Innovative idea to leverage technology to help us do our jobs in a SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely) manner. Having done this by excel spread sheet and email/phone calls for a long time, this is overdue. So much of what we do is run, reviewed, or considered by committee governance. This would ensure we're selecting from UCSF's broad talent base with a smart approach.

This represents what is possible given the combination of time, human resources, and technology! This has been a historical need that can now be met. I echo the sentiments above and reiterate the multi-faceted benefits to tracking efforts of the several individuals who have volunteered and contributed both expertise and time on campus committees as well as making committee efforts as efficient as possible. This will help avoid over subscribing individuals for committee work.

Salesforce is great way to systematically track and update information - as programs grow, it is way too difficult to keep using excel spreadsheet. Furthermore, it allows us to create reports, which is much needed. Tracking, updating, and reporting system is something that UCSF should have to be more efficient.

Commenting is closed.

UCync - UCSF Collaborative File sharing 2.0

Proposal Status: 

Our goal is to integrate & leverage existing UCSF resources to change (for the better) how our community interacts with its data thereby bringing file sharing and collaboration @UCSF to the future all while minimizing risk exposure.


Existing Resources

Content Creators: Highly innovative, mobile and collaborative Faculty, Staff and PI’s


Storage: UCSF Private Cloud – 654 Minn Data Center: most community members are provided with a:

  • Personal Drive – only they have access
  • Shared Drive – ideally used for lab/group/division or project specific collaboration
  • Department Drive – open to everyone within the department
  • UCync Drive – Proposed addition to file structure

Authentication/Provisioning: SalesForce Chatter (via myAccess): already has ability to share files with

  • Groups
  • Individuals
  • External Customers


  1. Peace of mind
  2. Less frustrating collaborative file sharing experience
  3. Secure store (possibly HIPAA compliant?!?)
  4. Desktop/mobile client and web interface that will allow Data to be:
    1. Brought and accessed anywhere
    2. Shared easily with colleagues, labs, groups, units, departments
  1.                                                                i.      Sitting in the next cubical or Zimbabwe
  2.                                                              ii.      Single files or entire folders
  3.                                                                i.      Version control based on timestamp?!?
    1. Auto-synchronized across your devices
    1. Safely stored within the UCSF Private Cloud
    2. Aligned/compliant with UCSF’s Security and Policies on Data Sharing

Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community

  1. Greater Ability to Advance healthcare worldwide by Facilitating and Simplifying Collaboration:
    1. Across UCSF Departments
    2. Across UC’s
    3. Across other Research Institutions
    4. Across the globe
    5. Reduction in risk exposure based on third party data breaches
    6. Hardware Agnostic work environment
      1. Files are the same no matter where you’re accessing them
    7. Mobility & Flexibility
      1. Productivity is no longer tied to 1 specific computer or location
    8. Minimal downtime when you spill coffee/water/wine on your primary workstation/device
      1. Mission critical files and data are NEVER lost
    9. Reduction in Administration overhead of managing access: Users will self-administer & provision access to their data

Team Members: their Roles & Effort

  1. Andres Elenes: subject matter expert, technologist (15-20% effort)
  2. Raymond Cheung: SME; Technologist (15% effort)
  3. Daniel Sotto: SME; Technologist (15% effort)
  4. Patrick Phelan: Security & Policy (5% effort)
  5. Jonathan Prugh: Interaction Design/User Experience; technologist (15-20% effort)
  6. Sales force Developer to be named later?!?  (15-20% effort)


This is definitely needed at UCSF, especially if HIPAA compliant. There is another project that has similar goals: ... perhaps merging of the two proposals or collaboration?

I agree that there needs to be a standard for file sharing on campus and to external entitities. In my role as campus coordinator for California Public Records Act requests, I can envision a significant benefit as an alternative to email,ftp portals and shared drives. I also agree that HIPAA compliance and institutional, mandated, and industry security requirements are imperative. Thank you for your efforts toward this endeavor!

Commenting is closed.

UCSF Spatial Data entry and Mapping

Proposal Status: 

 Using HTML5 and JavaScript write/implement a web based (intranet) application to view and enter data.


UCSF maintains up-to-date building and floor plans for all University owned buildings. 

These plans are linked to an Access database which is used to populate the location field in various existing UCSF institutional databases.  HR, EHS, EDS, etc.....

UCSF staff have geo-referenced the floor plans.


This tool would allow staff to view institutional databases on individual floor plans mapped on a room-by-room basis.  It would also allow staff to quickly and accurately enter data spatially - such as IT/ENS jacks.


Initially scope would cover Parnassus. 

 Roll-out to additional sites tbd.


Mike Kincaid - 80 hours

Rick Fisher - 80 hours

Paul Franke - 80 hours


This would be very helpful indeed! I wonder if there is some synergy with a mapping proposal: ... if the data were available to the mapping tool would certainly enhance the utility of both projects.

Commenting is closed.

Mouse - Mouse Room Data Collection App

Proposal Status: 

UCSF has a very large population of mice and many hours are spent by
research groups tracking their colonies. Currently, mouse room data
is collected in a variety of ways (by paper, having to use a computer
that is across the room, laptops) none of which is very efficient.

While their is a need for an enterprise solution to mouse room
management, allowing users to use their cellphones, ipod touches,
ipads, etc. to capture the data into a database directly will help
with this front end process.

This app would immiedately be benificial for all the mousers (those that
spend many hours in mouse rooms).

The information that is already collected is stored in a variety of
databases and excel databases. The goal is to provide a flexible
interface such that this app can be used to interface to any of these
storage formats.



Marie Demcho-Wagor - is the admin for one of the CVRI labs and has many
years of experience and exposure to the mouse room data collection issues.

Richard Tabor - is a programmer/analyst

<tbd> an animal tech or a lab end user



Not sure I understand how the app is supposed to work ... if there are existing datasources, those datasources would need to be externally accessible somehow for the app to be able to either connect directly or connect to a server that negotiates the data exchange. This is especially challenging to interface with an excel spreadsheet. A centrally managed database would facilitate this greatly.

Agreed. How the data is stored would not change with this app. So any issues with concurrency or access would be the same. I believe that ODBC would work as a connector for excel spreadsheets.

Richard There is an ongoing development at UCS to develop a mouse iPad colony management App. It's a little more advanced than what you describe above, as it uses a centralized database. Contact me to find out more details.

I understand that there is an ongoing effort and that effort is looking at a much more comprehensive solution. This app would only provide a front-end that would be able to interface to any number of data repositories whether it be mysql, filemaker, or even excel spreadsheets. The plan would be to use ODBC.

Commenting is closed.

Where's the Shuttle

Proposal Status: 

While there are apps to show the shuttle schedule and maps to show where a few
of the shuttles are on maps, there is no useful resource that allows someone
waiting in front of a shuttle stop to really know when the next shuttle will
come or will come at all (just kidding).

Current technology has proven that this is a solvable problem and this app
will allow thousands of shuttle users to gain extra time and not have to
wait for the shuttle and even more importantly, not miss an early shuttle.

An app will be developed so that individual users riding the shuttles who
run the app will contribute to the data that can be used to show more
accurately when the shuttles will arrive.

It is possible that existing infrastructure such as the traffic apps
that the local television stations are using (e.g, ABC's Waze) could be
used for collecing the data.

Richard Tabor - Programmer/Designer

Additoinal team members TBD - ideally someone that is working in the
ucsf mobile apps and specifically the shuttle schedule area would be
most useful.


Crowdsourcing the location data like this is a good idea. I believe that Transportation Services piloted NextBus-type GPS tracking on the Grey shuttle. Not sure if the pilot is to be expanded to all shuttles in the foreseeable future or if the location data is to be made available to developers.

I looked at the pilot and found it interesting but not very useful. What this app would be able to do is "know where you are", "know your schedule", and give one a heads up when to leave the office to catch the shuttle. The Muni moving banners showing the next line as well as the audio button on the platforms works very well. Thanks for the feedback.

Certainly GPS tracking would provide better data, but perhaps crowdsourcing would provide enough data to make this a useful addition. It does provide relief to know when the next shuttle is expected and keeps the frustration level down.

Commenting is closed.