Zoe King: Exploring the Gap between Healthcare Innovation and Implementation

March 25, 2019

“I have always loved having an interdisciplinary approach to life,” says Zoe King ’21, a Robertson Scholar from Sydney, Australia. In her first year at Duke, she took a Bass Connections course through the newly-launched Social Science Research Lab. Now a sophomore, she shares how this experience led to further exploration and a self-designed major.

Zoe King.In Spring 2018, I took a class with Dr. Jessica Sperling called EHD 290 Evaluating Healthcare Innovation, where I was introduced to the cross section of research and health innovation. Throughout the class, I had the privilege of working on a project with the Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI) with Dr. Thomas LeBlanc.

The project was focused on the implementation of a patient-reported outcomes questionnaire into the electronic health record in the Duke Cancer Institute. I continued working on that research project as an Independent Study for the past two semesters with Dr. Sperling and an amazing team of researchers and students from the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) and DIHI. This project has taught me valuable skills from research design to data analysis.

This project, along with Dr. Sperling’s class, introduced me to the field of implementation science, which is the study of methods to promote the uptake of research findings into real-world settings. I wanted to further explore the field of implementation within health care, so this semester I am taking an Implementation Science class at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC.

This semester I am also teaching a House Course at Duke called “Health Care: A Human Right?” I designed the class to explore, alongside my peers at Duke, ideas of how the implementation of health care services is impacted by the perception of health care as a human right.

These experiences led me to want to dedicate my future studies at Duke to the study of implementation within healthcare. Dr. Sperling’s class inspired me to apply to Program II with my area of study called “Implementing Healthcare Innovation.” My Program II major will address the gap between the creation of evidence-based innovations and their implementation into routine health care, including classes in public policy, psychology, global health, statistics, sociology, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

Evaluating Healthcare Innovation course participants.
Faculty, students and community partners in EHD 209 Evaluating Healthcare Innovation, Spring 2018: Jessica Sperling, Kayla Carlisle, Jeremy Yi, Helen Yu, Zoe King, Sahil Sandhu, Tom LeBlanc, Kris Herring (Photo: Courtesy of Duke Service-Learning)

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