University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH

Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Medicine in Residence, Division of General Internal Medicine and the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Cancer Control

Research Summary

I am an Associate Professor of Medicine in Residence at UCSF in the Division of General Internal Medicine and the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations. I am a general internist and primary care physician at San Francisco General Hospital’s General Medicine Clinic. My research focuses on health information technology and social media to improve the safety and quality of outpatient care. I direct the San Francisco Ambulatory Safety Center for Innovation (ASCENT), an AHRQ-funded patient safety learning laboratory that focuses on missed and delayed diagnosis, monitoring of high-risk conditions, and medication safety. My prior studies on internet-based patient portals demonstrated digital disparities by race/ethnicity and health literacy, and I continue to research ways to increase engagement and use of health technology to improve health outcomes. I am currently the PI of an AHRQ-funded grant, which supports the statewide innovation network for safety-net health care systems, known as Public Healthcare system Evidence Network and Innovation eXchange (PHoENIX). I am also PI of an NCI-funded R01 grant that uses a mixed-methods approach to online social media and social networks for enhancing understanding of cervical cancer screening in order to optimize the spread of health messages and behaviors within online social networks. Given my deep expertise in health information technology among vulnerable patient populations, my future research will leverage existing networks within safety-net health care systems for investigating missed opportunities to reduce cancer disparities among underserved populations.

Education

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, B.S., 06/96, Biology
University of California, San Diego, M.D., 06/02
University of California, Berkeley, M.P.H., 06/00, Epidemiology
University of California, San Francisco, Intern, 06/03, Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, Resident, 06/05, Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, Fellow, 06/08, Medicine
 

Professional Experience

  • 2008-present
    Assistant Professor Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2009-present
    Core Faculty, Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2012-present
    Associate Director, Office of Student Research (OSR) and the Resource Allocation Program - trainees (RAPtr), University of California, San Francisco
  • 2012-present
    Safety and Quality Liaison, General Medicine Clinic, San Francisco General Hospital
  • 2012-present
    Co-curriculum director in Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, and Leadership (QIPSL), San Francisco General Primary Care Residency, San Francisco General Hospital
  • 2012-present
    Affiliate Faculty, Health Delivery Systems Center

Honors & Awards

  • 1992
    David Starr Jordan Scholar Stanford University
  • 1995
    Cap and Gown Honor Society Stanford University
  • 1996
    Ruth Headley Memorial Humanities Award Stanford University
  • 1997
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute Student Grant Award
  • 1998
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Scholarship
  • 2005
    Lipkin Finalist for Abstract, Society of General Internal Medicine
  • 2007
    Lipkin Finalist for Abstract, Society of General Internal Medicine
  • 2010
    Hamolsky finalist for Abstract, Society of General Internal Medicine
  • 2017
    2016-2017 Pathways to Discovery Mentor Award

Selected Publications

  1. Lyles CR, Nelson EC, Frampton S, Dykes PC, Cemballi AG, Sarkar U. Using Electronic Health Record Portals to Improve Patient Engagement: Research Priorities and Best Practices. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jun 02; 172(11_Supplement):S123-S129.
    View on PubMed
  2. Sharma AE, Lyson HC, Cherian R, Somsouk M, Schillinger D, Sarkar U. A Root Cause Analysis of Barriers to Timely Colonoscopy in California Safety-Net Health Systems. J Patient Saf. 2020 May 26.
    View on PubMed
  3. Nouri SS, Adler-Milstein J, Thao C, Acharya P, Barr-Walker J, Sarkar U, Lyles C. Patient characteristics associated with objective measures of digital health tool use in the United States: A literature review. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2020 May 01; 27(5):834-841.
    View on PubMed
  4. Khoong EC, Rivadeneira NA, Hiatt RA, Sarkar U. The Use of Technology for Communicating With Clinicians or Seeking Health Information in a Multilingual Urban Cohort: Cross-Sectional Survey. J Med Internet Res. 2020 Apr 06; 22(4):e16951.
    View on PubMed
  5. Lyson HC, Haggstrom D, Bentz M, Obeng-Gyasi S, Dixit N, Sarkar U. Communicating Critical Information to Cancer Survivors: an Assessment of Survivorship Care Plans in Use in Diverse Healthcare Settings. J Cancer Educ. 2020 Mar 04.
    View on PubMed
  6. Betjemann J, Hemphill JC, Sarkar U. We Dropped the Reflex Hammer on Hypertension 20 Years Ago-Reply. JAMA Neurol. 2020 Mar 02.
    View on PubMed
  7. Hickey MD, Lisker S, Brodie S, Vittinghoff E, Russell MD, Sarkar U. Customized registry tool for tracking adherence to clinical guidelines for head and neck cancers: protocol for a pilot study. Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2020; 6:16.
    View on PubMed
  8. Yu K, Westbrook M, Brodie S, Lisker S, Vittinghoff E, Hua V, Russell M, Sarkar U. Gaps in Treatment and Surveillance: Head and Neck Cancer Care in a Safety-Net Hospital. OTO Open. 2020 Jan-Mar; 4(1):2473974X19900761.
    View on PubMed
  9. Jonassaint CR, Kang C, Prussien KV, Yarboi J, Sanger MS, Wilson JD, De Castro L, Shah N, Sarkar U. Feasibility of implementing mobile technology-delivered mental health treatment in routine adult sickle cell disease care. Transl Behav Med. 2020 Feb 03; 10(1):58-67.
    View on PubMed
  10. Dixit N, Burke N, Rodriguez G, Sarkar U, Cicerelli B, DeVore JD, Nápoles AM. Knowledge and self-efficacy for caring for breast and colon cancer survivors among safety net primary care providers. Support Care Cancer. 2020 Feb 03.
    View on PubMed
  11. Cherian R, Le G, Whall J, Gomez S, Sarkar U. Content shared on social media for national cancer survivors day 2018. PLoS One. 2020; 15(1):e0226194.
    View on PubMed
  12. Fontil V, Kazi D, Cherian R, Lee SY, Sarkar U. Evaluation of a Health Information Technology-Enabled Panel Management Platform to Improve Anticoagulation Control in a Low-Income Patient Population: Protocol for a Quasi-Experimental Design. JMIR Res Protoc. 2020 Jan 13; 9(1):e13835.
    View on PubMed
  13. Barrett NJ, Rodriguez EM, Iachan R, Hyslop T, Ingraham KL, Le GM, Martin K, Haring RC, Rivadeneira NA, Erwin DO, Fish LJ, Middleton D, Hiatt RA, Patierno SR, Sarkar U, Gage-Bouchard EA. Factors associated with biomedical research participation within community-based samples across 3 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers. Cancer. 2020 Mar 01; 126(5):1077-1089.
    View on PubMed
  14. Rivadeneira NA, Hoskote M, Le GM, Nguyen TT, Nápoles AM, Pasick RJ, Sarkar U, Hiatt RA. Advancing Cancer Control in San Francisco: Cancer Screening in Under-Represented Populations. Am J Prev Med. 2020 01; 58(1):e1-e9.
    View on PubMed
  15. Lee JS, Lisker S, Vittinghoff E, Cherian R, McCoy DB, Rybkin A, Su G, Sarkar U. Follow-up of incidental pulmonary nodules and association with mortality in a safety-net cohort. Diagnosis (Berl). 2019 11 26; 6(4):351-359.
    View on PubMed
  16. Lin SC, Lyles CR, Sarkar U, Adler-Milstein J. Are Patients Electronically Accessing Their Medical Records? Evidence From National Hospital Data. Health Aff (Millwood). 2019 11; 38(11):1850-1857.
    View on PubMed
  17. Avila-Garcia P, Hernandez-Ramos R, Nouri SS, Cemballi A, Sarkar U, Lyles CR, Aguilera A. Engaging users in the design of an mHealth, text message-based intervention to increase physical activity at a safety-net health care system. JAMIA Open. 2019 Dec; 2(4):489-497.
    View on PubMed
  18. Patricia Avila-Garcia, Rosa Hernandez-Ramos, Sarah S Nouri, Anupama Cemballi, Urmimala Sarkar, Courtney R Lyles, Adrian Aguilera. Engaging users in the design of an mHealth, text message-based intervention to increase physical activity at a safety-net health care system. JAMIA Open. 2019 Oct 11.
    View on PubMed
  19. Patterson ES, Su G, Sarkar U. Reducing delays to diagnosis in ambulatory care settings: A macrocognition perspective. Appl Ergon. 2020 Jan; 82:102965.
    View on PubMed
  20. Nouri SS, Avila-Garcia P, Cemballi AG, Sarkar U, Aguilera A, Lyles CR. Assessing Mobile Phone Digital Literacy and Engagement in User-Centered Design in a Diverse, Safety-Net Population: Mixed Methods Study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019 Aug 29; 7(8):e14250.
    View on PubMed

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