April 24, 2020

Regenstrief Institute researcher-clinicians on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

Pictured above are just a few of the Regenstrief researcher-clinicians who are working long hours in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many Regenstrief Institute researcher-clinicians are working exhausting hours under difficult circumstances in emergency departments, intensive care units (ICUs), hospital in-patient units, clinics, nursing homes and virtually via telemedicine to care for people suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to the escalating needs of a large number of patients, Regenstrief researcher-clinicians are focusing on both the sick and those who love them, providing medical care and human comfort to a large number of patients, some of whom are desperately ill and all of whom may be communicating with family members via video chats, voice calls, texts, or a combination of all three.

“It is so wonderful when we see patients improve,” said one researcher-clinician. Another adding that helping patients connect with their families benefits her as well as the patient and family. Another said, “It’s difficult to come home after a mentally and physically grueling day or night at the hospital and not interact with my family. But difficult times require difficult sacrifices and I’m always eager to get back to the hospital to help in any way I can.”

While their immediate goal is to help patients recover and rehabilitate, their future research benefits from real-world experience on the front lines, their patient care skills — competencies critical to dealing with this crisis — have been enhanced by their extensive and varied research.

A researcher-clinician who works on an ICU care team said, “Our proficiency conducting clinical trials, often on tight budgets and in compressed time frames, helps provide us with the experience, tools and objectivity to deal with problems we face when providing patient care, even in times like the present.”

Regenstrief researcher-clinicians have routine clinical responsibilities as part of their Regenstrief faculty appointments, but their current schedules, with extended hours and highly unusual situations, are far from normal. Even some faculty members who typically do not work in clinical settings are re-engaging in this time of need. Physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers, some with inactive careers, have been called upon to assist with the current and anticipated needs as the coronavirus pandemic progresses. The researcher-clinicians have embraced their role in the COVID-19 response, rising to the challenge and helping where they are most needed.

“We are exceptionally proud that so many of our researcher-clinicians are on the front lines helping patients and battling this pandemic,” said Peter Embí, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Regenstrief Institute. “What they are doing in the trenches, fighting to save lives, is the embodiment of the institute’s commitment of service to our community.

“Once the pandemic subsides, we will be faced with wide-ranging and complex challenges,” he adds. “With the on-the-ground experience and knowledge our researcher-clinicians are acquiring today, combined with their extensive research expertise, they will be exceptionally well equipped to provide solutions to local, national and global communities.”

About Regenstrief Institute

Founded in 1969 in Indianapolis, the Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader dedicated to a world where better information empowers people to end disease and realize true health. A key research partner to Indiana University, Regenstrief and its researchers are responsible for a growing number of major healthcare innovations and studies. Examples range from the development of global health information technology standards that enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records to improving patient-physician communications, to creating models of care that inform practice and improve the lives of patients around the globe.

Regenstrief Institute is celebrating 50 years of healthcare innovation. Sam Regenstrief, a successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making healthcare more efficient and accessible for everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute’s research mission.

More about Peter Embí, M.D., M.S.

In addition to serving as the president and CEO of Regenstrief Institute, Peter Embí, M.D., M.S. is the Leonard Betley Professor of Medicine and associate dean for informatics and health services research at Indiana University School of Medicine, associate director of informatics with Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and vice president for Learning Health Systems with Indiana University Health.

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