Gail M. Keenan, PhD, RN, FAAN

  • Adjunct Professor

Dr. Keenan's research priorities include:

1. Continuously refining and expanding a simple universal automated method for collecting a “Big Picture” standardized clinical data set (HANDS) for the multiple purposes of:

  • Providing a current and historical summary of care wherever the patient presents that is always in the same format and utilizes standardized terminologies
  • Supporting day to day communication and handoffs (SHARER) of members of the patient’s care team within and across settings
  • Connecting universally to all EHRs
  • Generating standardized data for use in evaluating care, identifying and disseminating best practices, and benchmarking across systems

2. Building and continuously improving methods of analyzing standardized data captured in HANDS and translating this into meaningful and immediately useful decision support at the point of care.

3. Demonstrating the impact of the HANDS “Big Picture” method on reducing the cost of care for chronically ill patients (sickle cell, cardiac, eol and others)

4. Demonstrating the value of HANDS data in identifying nurse training and competency needs as well as providing rationale for appropriate staffing

5. Enabling wide scale diffusion of HANDS into education/practice

She is currently involved in the following research activities:

Dr. Keenan's research focuses on developing and refining a feasible automated methodology for collecting a standardized clinical data set for the purpose of improving the planning, delivery, cost and health outcomes of nursing care across the continuum.  She is currently involved in the following research activities:

HANDS Research Project 
Refinement of a web based software and method for nurses to document their patient care in the electronic health record and communicate with other members of the interdisciplinary team. The Hands-on Automated Nursing Data System (HANDS) is a standardized plan of care method in which the patient's plan is updated at every nurse hand-off allowing the interdisciplinary team to track the story about care and progress toward desired outcomes in a standardized format across time and units.  The HANDS Method includes a standardized interface, database, rules of data entry and rules for use of the plan in hand-offs and in interdisciplinary communication. 

The HANDS related research and researchers have been nominated and received numerous awards. The research agenda is currently funded by NINR for a 4 year R01 focused on thoroughly evaluating HANDS standardized data (through datamining and statistical analyses) and generating best practices and benchmarks for EOL hospitalized patients. Also the research grant is funding the immediate translation of findings into useful and meaningful decision support at the point of care.

Current Research
  • Co-I, Informatics Core Director NINR 1 P30 NR010680 (2007-2012) Center for End-Of-Life Transition Research (CEoLTR) (co-I) tor
  • PI (MPIs) NINR R01 NR012949-01 Describing Contrasting and Visualizing End of Life in the 21 st Century (2011-2015) - Datamining of HANDS Plan of Care (Big Picture) Episodes of EOL care in hospital settings and translation of findings into “meaningful and immediately useful” decision support at the point of care
  • PI (pending) R01. Datamining and statistical analyses of HANDS Plan of Care (Big Picture) episodes of hospitalized cardiac patients.