A Smith professor’s research proposal on how to improve quality transparency in healthcare and inform consumer choice has won a prestigious award from the National Science Foundation.
Guodong (Gordon) Gao, an assistant professor in the Decision, Operations and Information Technologies Department at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, has been selected for an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award.
Gao, also co-director of the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS), will use the 5-year, $417,108 award to investigate innovative mechanisms that can help patients better understand the quality of healthcare providers, especially user-generated doctor reviews on the Internet.
“Findings from this study will have a direct impact on the policy and practice of quality transparency in healthcare, which can also help drive down the costs of care due to medical errors or unnecessary treatments,” said Gao. “They will be particularly beneficial for senior citizens, who require more medical services.”
Ritu Agarwal, founding director of CHIDS and the Robert H. Smith Dean's Chair of Information Systems, said Gao’s work in this area “will significantly advance CHIDS’ research portfolio and is a powerful affirmation of the importance of this research.”
Gao said opportunities in healthcare for technology-mediated collaboration and communication are unprecedented. “Widespread use of mobile devices, a growing penetration of wireless broadband and the uptake of social media is accelerating a ‘health 2.0’ phenomenon by providing consumers with tools to better manage their health.”
The NSF CAREER Program supports “junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research."
Gao’s research on IT's impact on healthcare and innovation, and information asymmetry challenges in service quality, has been published in such leading journals as Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Journal of Management Information Systems, and MIS Quarterly Executive.