Office Hours with… Cameron Gettel

Cameron Gettel, assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, studies how to provide for older adults as they transition between care facilities.
Cameron Gettel

Cameron Gettel

Cameron Gettel is new to Yale’s faculty but not to the university. He’s been a part of the Yale community since 2019, when he arrived as part of the National Clinicians Scholars Program — an experience that made him want to stick around. Now, he’s an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine studying how to better provide for older adults as they transition between care facilities. When he’s not on campus, he’s hanging out with his family, playing chess, reading, or watching any and all sports.

We caught up with Gettel for the latest edition of Office Hours, a Q&A series that introduces newcomers to the Yale faculty to the broader university community.

Title Assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine
Research interest Improving outcomes for older adult patients transitioning between care facilities
Prior institution Brown University
Started at Yale July 1, 2021

How would you describe your research?

My research lies at the intersection of acute emergency care, geriatrics, care transitions, and patient-reported outcome measures.

With care transitions, missing information can impact a patient’s care. For example, if a person is coming in from a nursing home or assisted living facility, oftentimes the facility will fill out information on paper and then rely on several handoffs to ensure that valuable information gets to the clinician. There's a lot of opportunity there for important information about that patient to fall through the cracks, which can lead to poor outcomes and repeat emergency department visits. Additionally, I also want to improve the care transition for patients after the ED visit, making sure that they have the support, resources, and access to care to recover from their health concern.

You’ve received several grants recently. What sorts of projects do they fund?

The projects mainly build on identifying what truly matters to older adults in the emergency department. Success in the care transition space has typically been defined as whether the person comes back to the emergency department or has a hospital admission within a certain time period. Now, there's been more of a push to identify what matters to older adults, which might be quality of life, functional status — things that aren't as easily captured in electronic medical record data.

In this work, we’ll first do qualitative interviews to identify the outcomes that matter to older adults during the care transition period after the ED visit. Then we’ll develop a new way to capture those priorities through a patient-reported outcome measure tool. From there, we can then think about new care transition interventions that will have a positive impact on patients and those patient-reported outcome measures. Did they change? Did they improve?

This is your first faculty appointment. How’s it going?

It’s going well! The fortunate thing is I am very blessed by incredible mentors in the department and across the institution, and have a great collaboration with the geriatrics group. I came here as a fellow and I stayed here as faculty because Yale offers just such an incredible abundance of resources.

As a sports fan, what’s a sports moment that has stuck with you?

Being a big soccer fan and having played in college, one of the best moments in sports that I've seen, though not firsthand, was the 2005 Champions League Final between Liverpool and AC Milan. Liverpool was my favorite squad growing up. Down 3-0 at halftime, Liverpool scored three unanswered goals in the second half and won on penalty kicks to be crowned champions of Europe — still gives me goosebumps watching their road to the championship that year.

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