Back to the Future: Past RIV Winners Talk About What the Recognition Meant for Their Careers

Larry Beresford


The Hospitalist. 2013;17(9):1,35-38. 

In This Article

Eduard E. Vasilevskis, MD

Title: Assistant professor of general internal medicine, hospital medicine, and public health

Institution: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Year: 2009

Riv: "Predictors of Early Post-Discharge Mortality in Critically Ill Patients: Lessons for Quality Performance and Quality Assessment" (research)

Citation: Vasilevskis EE, Kuzniewicz MW, Cason BA, et al. Predictors of early post-discharge mortality in critically ill patients: a retrospective cohort study from the California Intensive Care Outcomes project. J Crit Care. 2011;26(1):65–75.

Dr. Vasilevskis has submitted abstracts to the RIV competition almost every year since 2007, when he was completing a fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco's Institute for Health Policy Studies. He was honored in 2009 for a project based on the California Intensive Care Outcomes Project, which drew data from 35 hospitals to demonstrate that shortening ICU length of stay was predictive of early post-discharge mortality in the most severely ill patients.

He has continued to research quality and safety in the ICU, and he has published dozens of journal articles.

"My initial focus was on traditional mortality and length-of-stay outcomes," he says. "I am now pursuing additional outcomes, most notably delirium in the ICU patient. I work with an amazing group of researchers that are trying to better measure, define, and treat delirium in the ICU—an outcome associated with a number of poor patient outcomes."

Dr. Vasilevskis also is researching the causes of hospital readmissions and the development of novel ways to improve care transitions for elderly patients. He is pursuing a master's of public health at Vanderbilt, and is co-principal investigator of an investigation of the Hospital Medicine Reengineering Network to improve transitions of care, supported by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

In addition to his 2009 win, he captured the HM10 and HM12 research categories. His HM12 poster, "Veterans Administration Acute Care 30-Day Mortality Model: Development, Validation and Performance Variation," was singled out by the judging committee for its impressive sample size (1,114,327 patients in a retrospective cohort study of 131 VA hospitals), as well as for how it combined administrative and clinical risk models.

Dr. Vasilevskis says the opportunity to present his research at SHM and the recognition he received encouraged him to continue as a hospitalist engaged in medical research. He has been a member of SHM's Research Committee since 2009, an RIV judge at HM11, and chaired the HM13 RIV competition subcommittee.