Shinyi Wu is an associate professor with a secondary appointment at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. She is also a senior scientist at the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging. Wu brings an engineering approach to research that spans many social work applications, from health, behavioral health, mental health, aging, organization and management, to policy analysis and transformation. With her cross-disciplinary perspective, she identifies, develops and analyzes real-world approaches and technology applications; these approaches have the potential to amplify humanity in health care delivery systems and to improve quality, efficiency and equity of services for disadvantaged populations with chronic illnesses. With a joint appointment in the Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Viterbi, Wu also helps train the personnel needed to ensure that all citizens have access to quality health care.
Wu was the principal investigator of the Diabetes-Depression Care-Management Adoption Trial (DCAT), evaluating an automated technology system that implemented evidence-based depression care management to improve outcomes and reduce disparities among low-income diabetes patients. That work was shaped by three research projects in which she also played a leadership role: a systematic review of the impact of health information technology on quality, efficiency and costs of medical care; an analysis of implementation costs and lessons learned for a national evaluation of innovative language access services for Spanish-speaking patients with limited English proficiency; and an evaluation that used a systems approach to assess the effects of lean management principles implementation in four public hospitals to improve congestive heart failure care.
Wu’s current research focuses on testing interventions to reduce health care disparities. She is contributing to the design of a mobile health technology application for team-based care management in community settings and will evaluate the technology’s effectiveness in stroke care management and coordination from the perspective of multiple stakeholders. In addition, she has a key leadership role in a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) study to test a promotora (community health care worker) intervention for patients with multiple chronic illnesses and depression.
University of Wisconsin-Madison: PhD, Industrial Engineering 2000
Health Systems specialization
University of Wisconsin-Madison: MS, Industrial Engineering 1993
Quality Engineering specialization
Chung Yuan Christian University: BS, Industrial Engineering 1992
Areas of Expertise (7)
Industry Expertise (2)
Outstanding Teacher of the Year (professional)
Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and systems Engineering, University of Southern California
Sterling C. Franklin Award for Distinguished Faculty (professional)
School of Social Work, University of Southern California
Best Poster Paper (professional)
International Conference on Big Data and Analytics in Health Care, Singapore
Honorable Mention (professional)
Preventing Chronic Disease Annual Student Paper Contest, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (With Doctoral student Brian Wu et al.)
Faculty Development Award (professional)
Chinese American Faculty Association of Southern California
- Workshop Leader
Research Grants (5)
Intergeneration Mobile Technology Opportunity Program (IMTOP) in Taiwan
Taipei Fubon Bank Charity Foundation $1,500,000
July 2014–August 2017
To understand the full potential of mobile computing technology to improve quality of life and health outcomes of older adults with disabilities, this project will provide mobile technology training, access, and intergenerational support by young volunteers to adults 50 years old or older with diabetes and disabilities in Taiwan to promote their self-care and self-help. A randomized controlled trial with 350 older adults and 140 young volunteers will be conducted to test the program effectiveness.
Faculty Award for Intergeneration Mobile Technology Opportunity Program
Tsai Family Research Fund for Taiwan Studies Award, USC $5,000
April 2014– August 2014
Hold a public symposium and research workshop in Taiwan to plan a cross-country (US and Taiwan) comparative study of IMTOP that target older people with chronic illness or functional disability and train younger generations to teach these older people to use mobile technology for self-care and self-help.
Promoting Regular Physical Activity among Type 2 Diabetes Safety-net Patients through Personalized Messaging and Social Network
Daniel Epstein Institute $5,000
March 2014–March 2015
Test feasibility of using mobile health automated phone-messaging technology to address the unmet need to improve physical activity among low-income, Spanish-speaking adults with type 2 diabetes.
Predicting Depression Outcomes to Facilitate Large-Scale Depression Management
Autism Intervention Research Network for Behavior Health $14,792)
March 2014–August 2014
Make prediction models from diabetes+depression clinical trial datasets to predict the depression course and to identify predictors among patients with diabetes in order to design a patient-centered, scalable depression management system.
Evaluation of San Francisco Broadband Technology Opportunities Programs
Community Technology Network $43,500
February 2013–September 2013
Evaluate efficacy of the San Francisco Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (SF-BTOP), which aims to increase broadband Internet usage among seniors and adults with disabilities in order to improve their psychosocial well-being and health.
Articles & Publications (6)
Kathleen Ell, María P Aranda, Shinyi Wu, Hyunsung Oh, Pey-Jiuan Lee, Jeffrey Guterman
The study evaluated depression and self-care management among patients with diabetes and/or heart disease in a 12-month randomized trial conducted in Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LAC-DHS) community clinics. We compared LAC-DHS clinic usual care (UC) versus A-Helping-Hand (AHH) intervention in which bilingual promotoras, hired and supervised by the research project, provided 6 weekly psychoeducational sessions followed by boosters. Of 1957 screened, 348 depressed patients (PHQ-9 score ≥ 10) were enrolled, randomized to AHH (n = 178) or UC (n = 170) after baseline interview assessing mental health, treatment receipt, co-morbid illness, self-care management, and environmental stressors. Comprehensive assessments were repeated at 6 and 12 months by an independent interviewer blind to the study group.
Patients (85% diabetes, 4% heart disease, 11% both) were predominantly female (85%), Latino (99%), born outside of the US (91%). Study attrition at 12 months was 30% (AHH 31%, UC 28%, P = 0.51). No baseline characteristics were associated with attrition. Half of AHH patients received 4 or more sessions. Intend-to-treat analysis found study groups did not vary significantly at 6 and 12 months. Before-after paired t-tests showed significant improvements in most measures in each group.
During the trial, LAC-DHS activated healthcare improvements including depression screening, referral to clinic staff including community health workers (with the same role as the promotoras) to improve patient care management. Both patient groups performed equally well which may be a function of the enhanced healthcare model. Future research should replicate the promotora-integrated care model with other groups and care settings with similar comorbid conditions.
Magaly Ramirez, Shin-Yi Wu, Gery W Ryan, Amytis Towfighi, Barbara Vickrey
Beta versions of health information technology tools are needed in service delivery models with health care and community partnerships to confirm the key components and to assess the performance of the tools and their impact on users. We developed a care management technology (CMT) for use by community health workers (CHWs) and care managers (CMs) working collaboratively to improve risk factor control among recent stroke survivors. The CMT was expected to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the CHW-CM team.
The primary objective was to describe the Secondary Stroke Prevention by Uniting Community and Chronic Care Model Teams Early to End Disparities (SUCCEED) CMT and investigate CM and CHW perceptions of the CMT's usefulness and challenges for team-based care management.
Care managers and community health workers expressed that the CMT helped them keep track of patient interactions and plan their work. It guided CMs in developing and sharing care plans with CHWs. For CHWs, the CMT enabled electronic collection of clinical assessment data, provided decision support, and provided remote access to patients' risk factor values. Long loading times and downtimes due to outages were the most significant challenges encountered. Additional issues included extensive use of free-text responses and manual data transfer from the electronic medical record. Despite these challenges, patients overall did not perceive the tablet as interfering with CHW-patient interactions.
Our findings suggest useful functionalities of CMTs supporting health care and community partners in collaborative chronic care management. However, usability issues need to be addressed during the development process. The SUCCEED CMT is an initial step toward the development of effective health information technology tools to support collaborative, team-based models of care and will need to be modified as the evidence base grows. Future research should assess the CMT's effects on team performance.
Magaly Ramirez, Shinyi Wu, Gery Ryan, Amytis Towfighi, Barbara G Vickrey
Background: Beta versions of health information technology tools are needed in service delivery models with health care and community partnerships to confirm the key components and to assess the performance of the tools and their impact on users. We developed a care management technology (CMT) for use by community health workers (CHWs) and care managers (CMs) working collaboratively to improve risk factor control among recent stroke survivors. The CMT was expected to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the CHW-CM team.
Objective: The primary objective was to describe the Secondary Stroke Prevention by Uniting Community and Chronic Care Model Teams Early to End Disparities (SUCCEED) CMT and investigate CM and CHW perceptions of the CMT’s usefulness and challenges for team-based care management.
Results: Care managers and community health workers expressed that the CMT helped them keep track of patient interactions and plan their work. It guided CMs in developing and sharing care plans with CHWs. For CHWs, the CMT enabled electronic collection of clinical assessment data, provided decision support, and provided remote access to patients’ risk factor values. Long loading times and downtimes due to outages were the most significant challenges encountered. Additional issues included extensive use of free-text responses and manual data transfer from the electronic medical record. Despite these challenges, patients overall did not perceive the tablet as interfering with CHW-patient interactions.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest useful functionalities of CMTs supporting health care and community partners in collaborative chronic care management. However, usability issues need to be addressed during the development process. The SUCCEED CMT is an initial step toward the development of effective health information technology tools to support collaborative, team-based models of care and will need to be modified as the evidence base grows. Future research should assess the CMT’s effects on team performance.
Shinyi Wu, William Vega, Jason Resendez, Haomiao
Unless a medical breakthrough is discovered that prevents, cures or slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the incidence and cost of Alzheimer’s on U.S. Latinos will grow exponentially by 2060, according to the report.
Abdullah Alibrahim, Shinyi Wu
Accountable care organizations (ACO) in the United States show promise in controlling health care costs while preserving patients’ choice of providers. Understanding the effects of patient choice is critical in novel payment and delivery models like ACO that depend on continuity of care and accountability. The financial, utilization, and behavioral implications associated with a patient’s decision to forego local health care providers for more distant ones to access higher quality care remain unknown. To study this question, we used an agent-based simulation model of a health care market composed of providers able to form ACO serving patients and embedded it in a conditional logit decision model to examine patients capable of choosing their care providers. This simulation focuses on Medicare beneficiaries and their congestive heart failure (CHF) outcomes. We place the patient agents in an ACO delivery system model in which provider agents decide if they remain in an ACO and perform a quality improving CHF disease management intervention. Illustrative results show that allowing patients to choose their providers reduces the yearly payment per CHF patient by $320, reduces mortality rates by 0.12 percentage points and hospitalization rates by 0.44 percentage points, and marginally increases provider participation in ACO. This study demonstrates a model capable of quantifying the effects of patient choice in a theoretical ACO system and provides a potential tool for policymakers to understand implications of patient choice and assess potential policy controls.
Paul Di Capua, Brian Wu, Renee Sednew, Gery Ryan, Shinyi Wu
Health care technology promises to improve quality and decrease costs while improving the patient experience. A recent trial tested a novel health technology that sought to reduce barriers to guideline-recommended depression care by coupling automated telephonic patient assessment with provider notification and decision support. This study compares the intended effects and the end users' experience with using this technology. Responses to semi-structured interviews with the leadership and design team (the intention group) were compared with responses from health professionals in clinics using the technology (the implementation group). Qualitative methods were applied to compare perspectives on the role of technology in care delivery and on the technology's impact on barriers to providing guideline-recommended care. Four members of the intention group and 17 members of the implementation group were interviewed. The 2 groups had similar notions of technology's role in care delivery. The technology increased provider awareness, empowered midlevel providers, and facilitated collaboration among care team members. However, the implementation group identified gaps in care processes and in the informatics system that the technology did not address, and for which providers remained responsible. The 2 groups had comparable perspectives on the value and limits of technology in improving adherence to guideline-recommended care. However, the intention group did not discuss many of the shortcomings identified by the implementation group. Also, the interviews suggest that although some barriers persisted and a few new ones arose, the technology succeeded in reducing barriers to guideline-recommended care.