Dr. Abujarad’s primary research area is in digital health. Currently, Dr. Abujarad is utilizing Digital Health to improve patient health outcomes while decreasing costs and unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits. His specific research interests focus on the area of Digital Health, Gerontechnology, Elder Mistreatment, Informed Consent, and systems that provide real-time background searches. His overarching aim is to apply his in-depth knowledge and methodological expertise to address major health disparities in the older adult population by developing technologies that optimize the human interface of complex systems.
Currently, his research is focused on developing and testing elder mistreatment screening and identifications tools as well as a web-based patient-centered virtual multimedia interactive informed consent tool to enhance the quality of care and patient safety. This research was recently funded by AHRQ, CMS, and NIH.
Specialized Terms: Gerontechnology, Elder Mistreatment, Digital Informed Consent, Digital Health, Digital Background Checks.
Dr. Abujarad is currently the Principal Investigator (PI) on the "Virtual cOaching in making Informed Choices on Elder Mistreatment Self-Disclosure" (VOICES) project funded by NIA/NIH. He is also the PI on the grants “Patient Centered Virtual Multimedia Interactive Informed Consent (VIC)” funded by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), “Health Information Technology to Prevent Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation” and the “Michigan Workforce Background Check-Enhancement Project” from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He is also a Co-Investigator grant for Testing of a Community Complex Care Response Team to Improve Geriatric Public Health Outcomes fund by RWJF. Also, he is a Co-Investigator on the grants “Automated Bilingual Computerized Alcohol Screening & Intervention in Latinos” from National Institutes of Health (NIH), and “Clinical Decision Support for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury” from Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ). He also serves as co-investigator on an R01 funded randomized control trial in the Yale Emergency Department. The tool will be used to reduce emergency department recidivism and to determine the impact of HIT in a high volume emergency department.
On the “Patient Centered Virtual Multimedia Interactive Informed Consent (VIC)” project, Dr. Abujarad leads this AHRQ-funded study to develop a digital health tool to enhance the traditional informed consent process by presenting the informed consent to patients and clearly explaining the purpose, process, risks, benefits and alternatives to medical procedures. VIC was successfully evaluated in a research study to demonstrate that it can facilitate the study of complex interventions in real-world settings, and will be explored in future research opportunities.
To this end, Dr. Abujarad has successfully secured a grant on the very important topic of patient safety and quality of care. He is the Principal Investigator on the Michigan Workforce Background Check – Enhancement grant from Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded for utilizing the web-based applications to better protect patients receiving long-term care. The system he is currently developing will save time and money for health care facilities and will vet healthcare worker backgrounds to better protect patients. A similar system he designed for a Department of Health and Human Service pilot study continues to be used for five years after the end of the study. This project has been named the national model for best design practices for a comprehensive background checks to protect vulnerable adults receiving long-term care services.
Dr. Abujarad's work focuses on both the theoretical aspects of the software development as well as on building patient-centered tools. His work has been motivated by an important observation in distributed computing called fault-tolerance. Moreover, as part of software engineering, it is often necessary to modify a program to add fault-tolerance to faults that were not considered in the original design. With this understanding, he developed new algorithms for automated synthesis in addition to parallelizing existing algorithms. He has done a significant advance in the field of automated synthesis. He co-authored a book chapter titled Stabilizing Interference-Free Slot Assignment for Wireless Mesh Networks in Guide to Wireless Mesh Networks. He has published and presented widely in the top engineering journals on automated model revision topics.
He published and presented widely on human-computer interaction and automated model revision topics. He was the principal investigator on a federally funded research project that applied engineering principles to improve the safe administration of opioids in patient-controlled analgesia in both inpatient and home-based primary care settings. Also, he was the Yale-PI on the development of the Delaware Background Check System for the Delaware Health and Social Services Department, the Criminal History System (CHS) for the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services, and the State Of Maine Department of Health and Human Services to develop the Maine Background Check Program (MEBCP).
Medical Informatics; Mobile Health Units; Quality of Health Care; Software Design; Public Health Informatics; Patient Safety
Aging; Behavioral Health; Bioinformatics; Clinical Trials; Ethics; Health Care Management