Questions:

  • Will the days of the week still have themed topics? For example, currently Wednesday is for surgery and emergency medicine.
    • Yes but we'll have a few more exceptions than at present
  • Who will be monitoring the emails every day or week for T,Th,Fr clients? (from Dan Ayers)
    • This would be handled as now with everyone getting mail to biostat-clinic and statisticians who come to the day in question taking the lead in answering emails
  • It seems odd that investigators would see a short walk to 2525 as a "significant drawback" given that they are getting free statistical advice; I would think those who really need assistance would not be bothered by this. I wonder how much effort we should expend maintaining multiple meeting locations for this subset of investigators. (Chris Fonnesbeck)
    • Agreed, but how about lots of effort, considering that it would also benefit department colleagues who don't have an office at 2525 WEA. Also, if we don't maintain clinics at the MCN conference room, would we risk losing that conference room?
    • Yes we would risk that. Let's monitor attendance at the two locations to learn about this
  • Will Department seminar still be held on Wednesday at MRBIII, room 1220? If yes, it may be more efficient if we keep Wed's clinic at MCN. (Dandan Liu)
    • Definitely worth considering having M Th clinics at 2525 - what do others think? Seminar will remain in the same room; no conference room in 2525 is large enough.
    • I think choosing Wednesdays as one of the days to keep clinics at MCN would be a practical choice because of logistics.

Bryan's Thoughts: Given our move, it seems important to maintain high visibility in the Medical Center, and one of the best ways to do this is with clinic -- and probably keeping the clinic in Medical Center North -- for the majority, if not all, of the days. I would assign a clinic date to one faculty and one staff every day of the month (e.g., Bryan and Svetlana are assigned the 3rd Friday every month). These people could then respond to emails corresponding to their selected day, and if they cannot be there, they are responsible for trading with someone to get a substitute. That guarantees daily coverage, even if people just drop in.

Plan for Clinic Changes With the Move to 2525 West End

  • Monday and Thursday clinics will move to 2525 (Tuesday and Friday clinics draw more basic scientists who are unlikely to be working near 2525)
    • Probably in new large conference room
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday clinics will not be staffed at D2221 MCN unless an investigator has requested a clinic in advance by emailing biostat-clinic@list.vanderbilt.edu by 9am of the morning of the clinic
  • We will monitor attendance on MTh vs TWF to see if we need to move the two days back to MCN because of 2525 being a significant drawback for investigators

Ideas for Improving / Expanding Clinics

  • Clinic email list: if an email discussion persists after scheduling a time, correspond directly rather than emailing the clinic list.
  • Encourage attendence by biostatisticians for their continuing education, improving collaboration skills, and practice making recommendations to researchers
  • Rotate in journal clubs
  • Make an e-mail list of all clinic attendees for each day of the week
  • Send an e-mail inviting people to attend and mentioning who will lead the session and what the topic will be
  • Include a Booster Shot in every email with a short practical biostatistical lesson/update so that people are not annoyed by these e-mails
  • Construct a web survey for assess how well clinics are serving the intended audience
  • Have presentations in each clinics once per month
    • Notify all past attendees a day in advance
    • Point to survey URL
    • Also advertise some of these as "booster shots" for stat knowledge
  • When taking questions, try to transform some of them into demonstrations, to hold the interest of attendees who didn't ask the question
  • Try to solve the persons problem during the clinic so they leave with a solution and also a new skill, rather than simply listing all of their flaws
  • As you talk with investigators, especially fellows and medical students, encourage them to bring their very interesting question to Biostatistics Clinic at noon on X day.
  • Encourage investigators to bring manuscripts that they are about to submit for publication. Put the ms on the large screen and give them ideas for improving.
  • Encourage investigators to bring grant applications before they submit and do the same.
  • Invite Emphasis medical students, MPH students, and MSCI students to attend the clinic - an email once per month might be sufficient.
  • We can get another article in the Reporter if we write a good draft that is interesting and newsworthy. We should also get some good photos - to show how much fun clinic is.
  • Install flat panel screen outside our department office with notices and photos of Clinic.
  • If 10 people come to clinic and 2 bring data sets, the goal should be to solve the problems of the 2, entertain all 10, and make sure everyone leaves with a new tool in their toolbox.
  • To make it more interesting, put the data set up on the screen as soon the clinic begins. It is much more interesting than simply discussing it.
  • Encourage SON, VKC, and IGP faculty and students to come
  • Widely distribute a brochure
  • Survey past clients

Notes from 2014 January 14 meeting

  • Meeting goals
    • avoid unstaffed clinics
    • consider clinic locations and topics
  • Making sure clinic is staffed
    • We agree (for now) that we want to have at least 2 (3?) (any level) biostatisticians signed up in advanced for every clinic that will come if an investigator signs up.
    • Have short-term goal of clinic coverage. Later we may consider a more formal leadership role.
    • Agreed that we want some sort of calendar so that we can easily find out whether a particular day is covered.
    • considered whether to have a sign up calendar on wiki or an exchange calendar.
    • Ways to "allocate" biostatisticians/ have biostatisticians "allocate" themselves
      • Require everyone to commit to cover a certain day every month for four months. For example, a person could choose to cover the first Friday of the month for one quarter.
      • Require everyone to sign up for at least 12 days per year. (and they can't sign up for a day that already has two people)
      • ask people to sign up for one day (eg. Wed) for a month (has disadvantage that it is a big commitment up front for the person)
    • if a person could not cover a day s/he signed up for, it would be his/her responsibility to switch with someone else.
    • should we have a person who is in charge of making sure clinic is staffed? overall or by month? by day of week?
  • Clinic conduct
    • Not interrupting investigators in the first five minutes for other than clarification questions.
    • Improve management of advice from multiple statisticians.
    • Make sure notes are taken on wiki at every clinic.
    • How to handle debate (about statistical topics) among statisticians during the clinic.
    • Have someone summarize the advice toward the end.
  • Daily themes
    • Discussed having Wednesday and Monday be more general in terms of topics.
    • Value in having flexibility for the investigators
  • Clinic location
    • Seriously considered having the Thursday and/or Monday move to 2525. (Not sure if we decided on this?)
    • Currently, the clinics are at MCN 5 days per week. We discussed having it at 2525 two days per week, but that was voted down because of desire to maintain presence on the central part of campus. Could be Clinical/Health Services/Population (Epi and Health Policy) Research, Patient-oriented Research, Patient-centered Research, Public Health Research, Human Subjects Research. Frank wants to stick with Human Subjects Research, and asks everyone to to think about it and get back with him if we have thoughts.
    • If a clinic day were moved to 2525 for a day, we might consider having the 'topic' for that changed to a topic that would pertain to the groups that are located at 2525. *Brainstorming and other ideas
    • Should we have one person at each clinic who is the moderator? This person would not necessarily need to be faculty or have strong expertise. The role would be more of starting the conversation and wrapping up the session to move on if there is more than one investigator and summarizing the advise verbally at the end of each investigator's session.
    • Should we have one person who is the overall leader of clinics?
    • Discussed whether the sign up sheet should be for attendance or leadership.
    • Should we formalize this group as a committee?
    • appeal of having the clinic drop-in vs. email ahead
    • Having people 'on-call' for using a conference call, especially if they didn't register ahead. Or we could have a sign saying that they could walk over to 2525 if none of us are here.
    • Could post the shuttle schedule on the door. It is convenient for one direction, but not convenient for the other direction because it goes out of the way to Crystal Terrace.
    • Discussed having the lunches catered again. Vanderbilt is forbidding sponsoring lunches.
    • Proposed specifically inviting members of the other departments to clinics.
    • Frank also wants us to think about revising(?) the wiki notes about tips for statisticians and for clinic presiders/moderators.
  • Joann and John will summarize and schedule another meeting.
Topic revision: r14 - 14 Jan 2014, JoAnnAlvarez
 

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