University of South Carolina

Health informatics expert to lead new research center

Dr. Rita Snyder, an expert in health informatics, has been appointed as a Center of Economic Excellence (CoEE) Endowed Chair in Health Informatics Quality and Safety Evaluation at the University of South Carolina.

Rita Snyder
Rita Snyder

Snyder, Ph.D., RN, joins the CoEE program to help make South Carolina a leader in the integration of health information technology and simulation to advance the education of the state’s future health care clinicians.

"This state has become a national model in terms of its emphasis on health care quality, safety and interdisciplinary research."

Health informatics involves the use of computerized information technology to gather and manage health care information, a practice that South Carolina health care settings are rapidly adopting to improve health care safety and quality.

The integration of information technology into South Carolina’s state-of-the-art simulation centers will provide a rich and low-risk educational environment for future clinicians to learn how to apply clinical information to complex health care procedures, such as medication administration and central line management.

This educational approach will better prepare clinicians to engage in practices that contribute to patient care quality and safety goals.

“Dr. Snyder’s ability to link education outcomes in the simulation laboratory with hospital-based training for licensed healthcare personnel will advance this research for South Carolina,” says Dr. Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina. “If new health care training methods are developed in South Carolina, the state is more likely to attract companies working in this sector and create high-paying jobs.”


'Sophisticated efforts'

Snyder says that she was drawn to South Carolina by the opportunity to participate in statewide health care initiatives, particularly those supported through the activities of Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC). HSSC is a public-private partnership created to improve health care. The organization is a major partner in the CoEE program.

“Other states have tried to promote and improve health care on a statewide level, but they are not as sophisticated as South Carolina’s current efforts,” Snyder said. “This state has become a national model in terms of its emphasis on health care quality, safety and interdisciplinary research.”

Snyder has served on the faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Nursing, the University of Arizona, the University of Utah and the University of San Diego.

Snyder earned her doctorate from the University of Arizona and completed a three year National Library of Medicine postdoctoral fellowship in health informatics at the University of Minnesota. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from California State University.

She is the second woman and the first registered nurse to be appointed as a CoEE endowed chair, and the third and final appointed endowed chair for the CoEE Center in Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety. The two other center endowed chairs include Dr. John Schaefer from the Medical University of South Carolina, who focuses on patient simulation and research; and Dr. Jihad Obeid from Clemson University, who focuses on biomedical informatics and the development of software and infrastructure to help researchers share data across South Carolina hospitals and universities.


About the CoEE

The CoEE program uses state and non-state funds to create advanced research centers at the state’s three senior research universities (Clemson University, University of South Carolina and Medical University of South Carolina) and to enhance economic and employment opportunities in the state. Leading scientists and researchers, such as Snyder, are recruited to lead the centers.

The CoEE in Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety is supporting the development of a statewide network of simulation centers called HealthCare Simulation South Carolina. The centers provide clinical training to medical, nursing and allied health students as well as continuing education for practicing healthcare professionals.

About HSSC

Health Sciences South Carolina, a public-private partnership created to improve healthcare in the state, is also a major partner in the Health Care Simulation South Carolina network and in the CoEE in Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 05/14/09 @ 4:10 PM | Updated: 06/08/09 @ 2:45 PM | Permalink