The research interests of Kathy L. MacLaughlin, M.D., are focused on improving rates of cervical cancer screening and guideline-consistent follow-up of abnormal Pap, human papillomavirus (HPV) and colposcopy biopsy results using an information technology tool called a clinical decision support system (CDSS). The CDSS pulls historical patient data such as age, past test results, surgical history and risk factors from the medical record and applies recommendations from national guidelines to each unique patient scenario to generate appropriate follow-up recommendations.
- Application of CDSS to cervical cancer screening and management
- Patient beliefs and knowledge about recently updated guidelines related to pelvic examination, clinical breast examination and mammography
Significance to patient care
Cervical cancer screening and management guidelines are complex, which negatively impacts rates of appropriate follow-up of abnormal cervical cytology, HPV and colposcopic biopsy results. Most women with cervical cancer haven't had appropriate screening or follow-up of abnormal results.
The goal of Dr. MacLaughlin's work is to apply a CDSS to the electronic medical record to generate point-of-care recommendations for clinicians, improving guideline compliance and patient outcomes. Another application of the CDSS is to identify patients overdue for follow-up of past abnormal Pap tests and provide patient reminders to schedule follow-up appointments.
- Co-investigator, natural language processing (NLP)-enabled decision support for cervical cancer screening and surveillance, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded grant, 2014-2016
- Co-investigator, A Framework to Enhance Decision Support by Invoking NLP: Methods and Applications, National Institutes of Health-funded grant, 2014-2015