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Teryl Kirsten Nuckols, MD, MSHS
Director, Division of General Internal Medicine

Dr. Nuckols studies strategies for improving the quality and safety of healthcare. In a clinical capacity, she has practiced as a hospitalist for more than a decade. In 2014, she assumed the role of Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. This Division provides inpatient care to a large population of inpatients, and Dr. Nuckols carries administrative responsibilities that include helping to implement interventions designed to improve quality. She has conducted prior work related to the prescribing of opioids for chronic pain, on behalf of policymakers in the California workers’ compensation system.

Dr. Nuckols is currently leading an AHRQ R01 that involved prospectively recruiting individuals with new workers’ compensation claims for carpal tunnel syndrome, and using a set of 45 process-oriented quality measures to assess the association between quality of care and clinical outcomes as well as economic costs. We have found that adherence to the quality measures was relatively high (82%) compared to adherence rates in prior studies of other musculoskeletal conditions, and found limited socioeconomic disparities in adherence to recommendations. Furthermore, adherence to recommended care was associated with significantly larger improvements in symptoms and functional status, but not with time that workers’ spent on modified duty or temporary disability.

In a second AHRQ-funded R01 led by Dr. Nuckols, the research team has systematically reviewed economic evaluations for quality improvement interventions. This project ends in the fall of 2016, and several additional manuscripts are close to submission at the time of this writing.

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