March 16, 2017

Our DIHI Scholars are graduate students who are designing their own unique paths with the intention of enhancing their personal and professional experience in the fields of healthcare and innovation.  Priscille Schettini is one of our 2016-2017 Scholars and here are some of her insights in regards to her time with DIHI.

Priscille Schettini


-What interested you about Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI) Clinical Research and Innovation Scholarship? Give some background about your interests/experiences so far in medical school (research and career)


As a student in the Primary Care Leadership Track (PCLT), I have had the opportunity to delve deeper into the topics of population health management and health disparities throughout my medical education. During my second year, I engaged in 9 months of outpatient clinical training in Duke Primary Care clinics and was introduced to the challenges of delivering optimal care in that setting. I wanted to use my third year research project as a way to gain a better understanding of the innovative health approaches that are addressing those barriers to patient care, particularly in chronic disease management. DIHI was an excellent way for me to connect me with mentors and projects that matched my interests and would give me the chance to explore ways of improving healthcare access, delivery, and effectiveness.  


-Tell us about the DIHI Project you have been working on. (The project, your role, conferences/meetings, etc.)


I joined the DIHI team working on the “Building a Virtual Medical Neighborhood for Chronic Kidney Disease in Duke Primary Care (DPC)” project. This pilot program, through DIHI's annual RFA creates a new partnership between DPC and Duke Nephrology to implement an electronic consultation program that allows PCPs to request recommendations from nephrologists through EPIC instead of sending traditional referrals. I have been evaluating the current state of referrals within DPC and assessing the impact of the e-consult program on timeliness of specialty care for patients. I am helping to disseminate these findings with the goal of making the program sustainable and promoting its expansion to other subspecialties facing similar barriers to achieving better patient access to care.

We recently had our research accepted at the 12th Annual Duke Health Patient Safety and Quality Conference and the 2017 Annual Scientific Session of the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Physicians. We will be presenting our work on the impact of the e-consultation program, in addition to our analysis of specialty referral completion rates from DPC.  


-What has been the best part of the experience so far? (multidisciplinary team? impacting your career as a physician?)


The best part of this experience so far has been working with really supportive and energetic physician leaders, researchers, and students in the health innovation field. It has been very exciting to see how quickly our research has spread to Duke Health leadership and how our work has the potential to impact change within our health system. This experience has given me the chance to think more broadly about how I can serve as a primary care provider while remaining involved in health innovation and research. 


For info about becoming a DIHI Scholar, please contact us!