Sharon Hewner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Professor

Sharon Hewner.

School of Nursing
University at Buffalo
311 Wende Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-3079

PHONE: 716-829-2092

My experience in a wide variety of health care settings, ranging from intensive and coronary care to long-term care and home care, led me to employ systems thinking about how to improve care transitions, and to consider the role that technology could play in improving care across settings.

Sharon Hewner is a research professor in the School of Nursing. Her research focuses on the interaction between nurse care coordinators, patients and their caregivers at the time of hospital discharge. Hewner’s team, which includes primary care physicians, nurse researchers, and engineers, examines how technology and health information exchange can improve the delivery of person-centered care during the transition to post-discharge settings.

Hewner recently completed the Coordinating Transitions project (AHRQ funded). The work utilized a health information exchange to alert nurse care coordinators in primary care when the patient is discharged to ensure an outreach phone call within 72 hours of discharge. The technology that the team developed is now used in an eight county region of WNY. Through avoided hospitalization and emergency department visits, this has resulted in a $1,300 reduction in cost of care per adult Medicaid recipient with pre-existing chronic conditions.

Hewner’s current research compares the efficacy of community-based care coordination models for complex and high-need patients. An additional focus is using data mining, cognitive work analysis and natural language processing to develop a conversational assistant to support nurse care coordinators in the development of a comprehensive shared care plan that follows the patient throughout the health care system.

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