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National Multi-Protocol Ensemble for Self-scaling Systems for Health (NMESH)


Because healthcare information systems are developed to meet local institutional needs, an integrated view of regional health events has proven to be difficult to realize and likewise the realization a longitudinal view of the patient's record across institutions has proven equally intractable. The issues of organizational scalability and autonomy and privacy have proven at least as challenging as the technical ones. Preparedness for naturally occurring disaster or terrorism requires network aware, robust systems that provide access to medical record information for clinical care and for public health activity. The National Multi-Protocol Ensemble for Self-scaling Systems for Health (NMESH) seeks to address these problems of scalability and preparedness at multiple levels by leveraging off of prior work on multi-institutional "on-the-fly" data integration, regional patient-controlled medical records, self-describing peer-to-peer networks, cryptographic health identification systems, and a GIS-based biosurveillance toolset. Wireless handsets will be introduced as strong authenticators and “smart card” like storage devices. nmesh will be deployed, demonstrated and independently evaluated across pediatric and adult populations over multiple unrelated and competing New England healthcare delivery systems. nmesh's capabilities, under a variety of scenarios will be demonstrated for both individual patient care and regional bio-surveillance.

Study Aim

The University of Wisconsin-Madison team, under the direction of Patricia Flatley Brennan, will conduct an independent evaluation of the project. The goals of this evaluation activity are to apply medical informatics and economic evaluation strategies to evaluate the two components of the nmesh project. We will characterize the innovation using the Balance Model (Carayon & Smith, 1989), a sociotechnical systems approach to evaluating health services. The evaluation will address the three impact foci identified in the original program announcement: first, the biomedical and social value of the proposed application to the individuals served; second, insight into the potential value of the application to the health delivery, public health or health education enterprise, or disaster management initiative; and third, insight into particular elements of the advanced network capabilities or the network specifications that are required for the support of the application.

Evaluation Documents

  1. Grant Proposal
  2. Human Factors Evaluation
  3. Final Report

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Date last modified: 06/03/2005 12:19:05 PMCST
Date created: 17-Nov-2003
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