Rapid Research Outcomes

Healthcare organizations must move quickly to assess the clinical and financial efficacy of their programs and product solutions. Trajectory offers a rapid research study design that can make this happen!

Dr. Wilson has conducted rapid epidemiological studies since 1989 in the West Indies, Africa, and the United States. After initial planning and sign-offs, these studies were completed- including data collection, analysis, report writing and presentation – in just 2 to 6 weeks. One study used cluster random sampling to detect prevalence of diabetes, heart disease and hypertension in an island nation in the Caribbean; a second examined salt intake (via 24 hours urine sample), blood pressures and BMI in one country in Sub-Saharan Africa; a third looked at cardiovascular risk factors in a work place in a self-insured employer group. The third program morphed into virtually instant reporting based upon an iPad generated Health Risk assessment; with yearly reports on the relationship between “heart age,” cardiovascular risk factors, and cost of care.

Once a study is designed, metrics described, and data prepared in a structured format, a full report based on retrospective data can be analyzed and a report delivered very quickly. This is accomplished by software that has been developed based on over two decades of real-world experience in the health care space.

Case Example: Does the Age of Imaging Equipment Impact Quality?

A nationally recognized accreditation agency partnered with a national health plan to assess how the age of the ultrasound machine could affect quality. To test the validity of this hypothesis, our researchers looked at regulations, peer-reviewed literature, expert opinion, and then completed an analysis by studying trends in claims database. The findings from a regulatory survey, literature review, and expert opinion supported the hypothesis that there was a correlation between the increasing age of an ultrasound machine and a decrease in quality of the ultrasound images.

Research Methodology

Trajectory was engaged to conduct a study to analyze the impact of information both in the accreditation agency and the health plan’s databases. The study used claims data to look at the number of ultrasounds that were done twice on the same person over a short period of time based on the age of the ultrasound machine. The researchers used the frequency of repeat scans within a short period of time as the primary indicator of quality.


The Rapid Response study did find a correlation between the quality of the image and the age of the machine. While the analysis data did not indicate a clear cut-off point that results in a large increase of repeat scans, there was a trend suggesting machines older than nine years had the highest repeat rates, which was detected in both parts of the study.


Once this retrospective study was designed the results were completed within weeks. The overall findings of this research paper supported the premise that the age of ultrasound equipment can impact image quality. Based on the study results, the accreditation agency and health plan updated their imaging certification program to adjust for machine age. The findings also highlighted the need to track related variables that might impact quality, such as the upgrades to the transducer probe, frequency of usage, and other key factors.

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