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Description of the video:
[Words appear: Chris Harle, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Health Policy and Management]
Chris speaks: I was going to the University of Florida at the time, in the late ’90s, early 2000s. The Internet boom was happening, and computers were a big deal, and the advent of all of that. I also wanted to apply what I did to what I felt like was an industry that mattered, that had a real impact. And so that wasn’t, for me, finance, or that wasn’t other businesses, right?
[Video: Chris working on a laptop]
Chris speaks: So that’s what got me interested in health care. So I’m working on chronic pain and how primary care doctors and patients interact and how doctors get the information they need to best treat chronic pain. This is critically important because chronic pain is complex.
[Video: Chris sitting at a table talking with others]
Chris speaks: It has physical components, it has mental components, it has social components. And the main medicine that we’ve been using for the past 20-plus years to take care of chronic pain, namely opioids, prescription opioids, have all kinds of risks associated with them.
[Video: Chris writes on a whiteboard]
Chris speaks: And so now doctors are increasingly faced with trying to best weigh the risks and the benefits of opioids versus other medications for chronic pain, all in really short visits, typically. You go to a primary care doctor you get eight, 10 minutes with your doctor. Not a lot of time to parse through all the complexities of chronic pain, all the complexities of potential risks of prescription opioids and the potential abuse of these. And so this makes doctors’ jobs really hard.
[Video: Chris works at a computer in his office]
Chris speaks: So what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to help doctors sift through all of the information.
Information about patients’ symptoms, information about patients’ history, about the other doctors they’ve seen, about their potential risks of misuse or abuse of opioids. We’re trying to help them sift through that by redesigning their computer systems. By setting up their computer systems so they get the right information, the information they need, when they need it.
[Video: Chris walks on the IUPUI campus with two others]
Chris speaks: What excites me about my field is the great potential of computers, of electronic health records, to improve health and health care. We live in a world with massive amounts of information, medical information, health information.
[Video: Chris and another person discuss something on his laptop screen at an outdoor table]
Chris speaks: And computers have the potential to help parse that down to deliver it to the right person at the right point in time to ultimately help us make better treatment decisions and to give patients better outcomes. Receiving the Trailblazer Award is really a great honor for me. I think it’s validation. I think it’s validation on multiple levels. It’s validation of all of the work that I’ve done, all of the work that my team has done. Everything I do is team-based.
[Video: Chris talks with others sitting at a conference table]
Chris speaks: I work with students, I work with faculty collaborators, I work with postdocs, so it’s validation for all of us as a team. And I think most of all it’s validation that the work we’re doing matters and it matters beyond an academic journal. It matters to everyday people, doctors, and most importantly patients.
[Words appear: 2017 Trailblazer Award Recipient]
[Words appear: Brought to you by the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Barnes and Thornburg LLP, btlaw.com]
[End of transcript]