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    Urmimala Sarkar, MD

    TitleAssociate Professor
    SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
    Address1001 Potrero Ave, SFGH 10
    San Francisco CA 94110
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      Collapse Biography 
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      University of California, San FranciscoResidency Internal Medicine

      Collapse Overview 
      Collapse Overview
      Urmimala Sarkar MD, MPH is Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF in the Division of General Internal Medicine and a primary care physician at San Francisco General Hospital’s Richard H. Fine People's Clinic. Dr. Sarkar’s research focuses on (1) patient safety in outpatient settings, including adverse drug events, missed and delayed diagnosis, and failures of treatment monitoring, (2) health information technology and social media to improve the safety and quality of outpatient care, and (3) implementation of evidence-based innovations in real-world, safety-net care settings.

      Dr. Sarkar is committed to enhancing health information technology approaches to improve primary care and ameliorate disparities in vulnerable populations, through the health-literacy-sensitive, patient-centered approaches such as co-development and usability testing, in partnership with technology development experts. Her current work applies design thinking and interdisciplinary, iterative approaches to characterize and address safety gaps in outpatient settings.

      She has conducted studies which explore the impact of health communication (health literacy, English proficiency) and health information technology on patient safety. Her prior studies on internet-based patient portals demonstrate digital disparities by race/ethnicity and health literacy. Her social media studies use mixed-methods approaches to understand patient perspectives about physician quality and about cancer screening behaviors. Her ongoing work employs varied health information technologies to detect and ameliorate adverse events among outpatient chronic disease populations. She is currently funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Cancer Institute, with prior funding from the California Healthcare Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

      In addition to her research, Dr. Sarkar is Associate Editor for Patient Safety Net , a national web-based resource featuring the latest news and essential resources on patient safety. She serves as the co-director for the San Francisco General Hospital Primary Care Residency’s Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, and Leadership Curriculum with Dr. Claire Horton, and mentors trainees in both research and quality improvement projects. She is responsible for coordinating ambulatory morbidity and mortality conference at the General Medicine Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital, with the UCSF medicine quality and safety chief resident. Dr. Sarkar also serves as co-director for the School of Medicine’s Office of Student Research and Research Allocation Program- trainees, with Drs. Daniel Lowenstein and Mallar Bhattacharya.

      Collapse Interests
      Implementation Science, Older adults, People with limited English proficiency, Socioeconomically marginalized groups, Clinic, Hospital, Motivational interviewing, mHealth, diabetes, post-hospital discharge, Mentoring junior faculty or trainees, Interdisciplinary research collaboration, Brief implementation science training courses

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      Collapse Publications
      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
      List All   |   Timeline
      1. Chan B, Lopez A, Sarkar U. The Canary in the Coal Mine Tweets: Social Media Reveals Public Perceptions of Non-Medical Use of Opioids. PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0135072.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Ratanawongsa N, Karter AJ, Quan J, Parker MM, Handley M, Sarkar U, Schmittdiel JA, Schillinger D. Reach and Validity of an Objective Medication Adherence Measure Among Safety Net Health Plan Members with Diabetes: A Cross-Sectional Study. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2015 Aug; 21(8):688-98.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Lyles C, Schillinger D, Sarkar U. Connecting the Dots: Health Information Technology Expansion and Health Disparities. PLoS Med. 2015 Jul; 12(7):e1001852.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Chao MT, Handley MA, Quan J, Sarkar U, Ratanawongsa N, Schillinger D. Disclosure of complementary health approaches among low income and racially diverse safety net patients with diabetes. Patient Educ Couns. 2015 Jun 25.
        View in: PubMed
      5. Chodos AH, Kushel MB, Greysen SR, Guzman D, Kessell ER, Sarkar U, Goldman LE, Critchfield JM, Pierluissi E. Hospitalization-Associated Disability in Adults Admitted to a Safety-Net Hospital. J Gen Intern Med. 2015 May 19.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Chan B, Goldman LE, Sarkar U, Schneidermann M, Kessell E, Guzman D, Critchfield J, Kushel M. The Effect of a Care Transition Intervention on the Patient Experience of Older Multi-Lingual Adults in the Safety Net: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2015 May 19.
        View in: PubMed
      7. Lyles CR, Sarkar U. Health literacy, vulnerable patients, and health information technology use: where do we go from here? J Gen Intern Med. 2015 Mar; 30(3):271-2.
        View in: PubMed
      8. Brown RT, Pierluissi E, Guzman D, Kessell ER, Elizabeth Goldman L, Sarkar U, Schneidermann M, Critchfield JM, Kushel MB. Functional disability in late-middle-aged and older adults admitted to a safety-net hospital. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Nov; 62(11):2056-63.
        View in: PubMed PMC4241128
      9. Goldman LE, Sarkar U, Kessell E, Guzman D, Schneidermann M, Pierluissi E, Walter B, Vittinghoff E, Critchfield J, Kushel M. Support from hospital to home for elders: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2014 Oct 7; 161(7):472-81.
        View in: PubMed
      10. Lyles CR, Sarkar U, Osborn CY. Getting a technology-based diabetes intervention ready for prime time: a review of usability testing studies. Curr Diab Rep. 2014 Oct; 14(10):534.
        View in: PubMed PMC4164626
      11. Sarkar U, Simchowitz B, Bonacum D, Strull W, Lopez A, Rotteau L, Shojania KG. A Qualitative Analysis of Physician Perspectives on Missed and Delayed Outpatient Diagnosis: The Focus on System-Related Factors. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2014 Oct; 40(10):461-1.
        View in: PubMed
      12. Greysen SR, Hoi-Cheung D, Garcia V, Kessell E, Sarkar U, Goldman L, Schneidermann M, Critchfield J, Pierluissi E, Kushel M. "Missing pieces"--functional, social, and environmental barriers to recovery for vulnerable older adults transitioning from hospital to home. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Aug; 62(8):1556-61.
        View in: PubMed PMC4134399
      13. Wallace BC, Paul MJ, Sarkar U, Trikalinos TA, Dredze M. A large-scale quantitative analysis of latent factors and sentiment in online doctor reviews. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2014 Nov-Dec; 21(6):1098-103.
        View in: PubMed PMC4215053
      14. Berkowitz SA, Karter AJ, Lyles CR, Liu JY, Schillinger D, Adler NE, Moffet HH, Sarkar U. Low socioeconomic status is associated with increased risk for hypoglycemia in diabetes patients: the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2014 May; 25(2):478-90.
        View in: PubMed PMC4034138
      15. Ratanawongsa N, Handley MA, Sarkar U, Quan J, Pfeifer K, Soria C, Schillinger D. Diabetes health information technology innovation to improve quality of life for health plan members in urban safety net. J Ambul Care Manage. 2014 Apr-Jun; 37(2):127-37.
        View in: PubMed PMC3990277
      16. Sarkar U, Lyles CR, Parker MM, Allen J, Nguyen R, Moffet HH, Schillinger D, Karter AJ. Use of the refill function through an online patient portal is associated with improved adherence to statins in an integrated health system. Med Care. 2014 Mar; 52(3):194-201.
        View in: PubMed PMC4005993
      17. Bailey SC, Wolf MS, Lopez A, Russell A, Chen AH, Schillinger D, Moy G, Sarkar U. Expanding the Universal Medication Schedule: a patient-centred approach. BMJ Open. 2014; 4(1):e003699.
        View in: PubMed PMC3902314
      18. Sarkar U, Bates DW. Care partners and online patient portals. JAMA. 2014 Jan 22-29; 311(4):357-8.
        View in: PubMed
      19. Lyles CR, Aulakh V, Jameson W, Schillinger D, Yee H, Sarkar U. Innovation and Transformation in California's Safety Net Health Care Settings: An Inside Perspective. Am J Med Qual. 2014 Nov; 29(6):538-45.
        View in: PubMed
      20. Detz A, López A, Sarkar U. Long-term doctor-patient relationships: patient perspective from online reviews. J Med Internet Res. 2013; 15(7):e131.
        View in: PubMed PMC3713916
      21. Lyles CR, Sarkar U, Ralston JD, Adler N, Schillinger D, Moffet HH, Huang ES, Karter AJ. Patient-provider communication and trust in relation to use of an online patient portal among diabetes patients: The Diabetes and Aging Study. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2013 Nov-Dec; 20(6):1128-31.
        View in: PubMed PMC3822118
      22. Lyles CR, Schillinger D, Lopez A, Handley M, Ratanawongsa N, Sarkar U. Safety events during an automated telephone self-management support intervention. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2013 May; 7(3):596-601.
        View in: PubMed PMC3869126
      23. Peñaloza RA, Sarkar U, Claman DM, Omachi TA. Trends in on-label and off-label modafinil use in a nationally representative sample. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Apr 22; 173(8):704-6.
        View in: PubMed
      24. Lyles CR, Sarkar U. Additional considerations for 'Harnessing the cloud of patient experience'. BMJ Qual Saf. 2013 Aug; 22(8):698.
        View in: PubMed
      25. Lyles CR, López A, Pasick R, Sarkar U. "5 mins of uncomfyness is better than dealing with cancer 4 a lifetime": an exploratory qualitative analysis of cervical and breast cancer screening dialogue on Twitter. J Cancer Educ. 2013 Mar; 28(1):127-33.
        View in: PubMed
      26. Baxi S, Lakin J, Lyles CR, Berkowitz S, Horton C, Sarkar U. Points for improvement: performance measurement for glycemic control in diabetes patients in a safety-net population. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2013 Mar; 39(3):109-13.
        View in: PubMed
      27. Berkowitz SA, Aragon K, Hines J, Seligman H, Lee S, Sarkar U. Do clinical standards for diabetes care address excess risk for hypoglycemia in vulnerable patients? A systematic review. Health Serv Res. 2013 Aug; 48(4):1299-310.
        View in: PubMed PMC3725526
      28. Schickedanz A, Huang D, Lopez A, Cheung E, Lyles CR, Bodenheimer T, Sarkar U. Access, interest, and attitudes toward electronic communication for health care among patients in the medical safety net. J Gen Intern Med. 2013 Jul; 28(7):914-20.
        View in: PubMed PMC3682038
      29. Cohen S, Sarkar U. Ice cream rounds. Acad Med. 2013 Jan; 88(1):66.
        View in: PubMed
      30. Lyles CR, Grothaus L, Reid RJ, Sarkar U, Ralston JD. Communication about diabetes risk factors during between-visit encounters. Am J Manag Care. 2012 Dec; 18(12):807-15.
        View in: PubMed
      31. López A, Patterson AM, John V, Sarkar U. Electronic health record implementation in outpatient safety-net settings in California. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012 Nov; 23(4):1421-30.
        View in: PubMed
      32. Omachi TA, Sarkar U, Yelin EH, Blanc PD, Katz PP. Lower health literacy is associated with poorer health status and outcomes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Gen Intern Med. 2013 Jan; 28(1):74-81.
        View in: PubMed PMC3539035
      33. Sarkar U, Bonacum D, Strull W, Spitzmueller C, Jin N, López A, Giardina TD, Meyer AN, Singh H. Challenges of making a diagnosis in the outpatient setting: a multi-site survey of primary care physicians. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012 Aug; 21(8):641-8.
        View in: PubMed PMC3680371
      34. Brenner S, Detz A, López A, Horton C, Sarkar U. Signal and noise: applying a laboratory trigger tool to identify adverse drug events among primary care patients. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012 Aug; 21(8):670-5.
        View in: PubMed PMC3402751
      35. Bailey SC, Sarkar U, Chen AH, Schillinger D, Wolf MS. Evaluation of language concordant, patient-centered drug label instructions. J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Dec; 27(12):1707-13.
        View in: PubMed PMC3509294
      36. Hilton JF, Barkoff L, Chang O, Halperin L, Ratanawongsa N, Sarkar U, Leykin Y, Muñoz RF, Thom DH, Kahn JS. A cross-sectional study of barriers to personal health record use among patients attending a safety-net clinic. PLoS One. 2012; 7(2):e31888.
        View in: PubMed PMC3282785
      37. Bailey SC, Hasnain-Wynia R, Chen AH, Sarkar U, Schoua-Glusberg A, Lindquist LA, Schillinger D, Wolf MS. Developing multilingual prescription instructions for patients with limited english proficiency. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012 Feb; 23(1):81-7.
        View in: PubMed
      38. Ratanawongsa N, Handley MA, Quan J, Sarkar U, Pfeifer K, Soria C, Schillinger D. Quasi-experimental trial of diabetes Self-Management Automated and Real-Time Telephonic Support (SMARTSteps) in a Medicaid managed care plan: study protocol. BMC Health Serv Res. 2012; 12:22.
        View in: PubMed PMC3276419
      39. López A, Detz A, Ratanawongsa N, Sarkar U. What patients say about their doctors online: a qualitative content analysis. J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Jun; 27(6):685-92.
        View in: PubMed PMC3358396
      40. Plantinga L, Grubbs V, Sarkar U, Hsu CY, Hedgeman E, Robinson B, Saran R, Geiss L, Burrows NR, Eberhardt M, Powe N. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use among persons with chronic kidney disease in the United States. Ann Fam Med. 2011 Sep-Oct; 9(5):423-30.
        View in: PubMed PMC3185478
      41. Sarkar U, López A, Black K, Schillinger D. The wrong tool for the job: diabetes public health programs and practice guidelines. Am J Public Health. 2011 Oct; 101(10):1871-3.
        View in: PubMed PMC3222377
      42. Seligman HK, Jacobs EA, Lopez A, Sarkar U, Tschann J, Fernandez A. Food insecurity and hypoglycemia among safety net patients with diabetes. Arch Intern Med. 2011 Jul 11; 171(13):1204-6.
        View in: PubMed PMC4230711
      43. Sarkar U, López A, Maselli JH, Gonzales R. Adverse drug events in U.S. adult ambulatory medical care. Health Serv Res. 2011 Oct; 46(5):1517-33.
        View in: PubMed PMC3168717
      44. Moffet HH, Parker MM, Sarkar U, Schillinger D, Fernandez A, Adler NE, Adams AS, Karter AJ. Adherence to laboratory test requests by patients with diabetes: the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). Am J Manag Care. 2011 May; 17(5):339-44.
        View in: PubMed PMC3189790
      45. Sarkar U, Karter AJ, Liu JY, Adler NE, Nguyen R, López A, Schillinger D. Social disparities in internet patient portal use in diabetes: evidence that the digital divide extends beyond access. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2011 May 1; 18(3):318-21.
        View in: PubMed PMC3078675
      46. Sarkar U, Schillinger D, López A, Sudore R. Validation of self-reported health literacy questions among diverse English and Spanish-speaking populations. J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Mar; 26(3):265-71.
        View in: PubMed PMC3043178
      47. Sarkar U, Schillinger D, Bibbins-Domingo K, Nápoles A, Karliner L, Pérez-Stable EJ. Patient-physicians' information exchange in outpatient cardiac care: time for a heart to heart? Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Nov; 85(2):173-9.
        View in: PubMed PMC3116945
      48. Sarkar U, Karter AJ, Liu JY, Moffet HH, Adler NE, Schillinger D. Hypoglycemia is more common among type 2 diabetes patients with limited health literacy: the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). J Gen Intern Med. 2010 Sep; 25(9):962-8.
        View in: PubMed PMC2917655
      49. Sarkar U, Handley MA, Gupta R, Tang A, Murphy E, Seligman HK, Shojania KG, Schillinger D. What happens between visits? Adverse and potential adverse events among a low-income, urban, ambulatory population with diabetes. Qual Saf Health Care. 2010 Jun; 19(3):223-8.
        View in: PubMed
      50. Sarkar U, Karter AJ, Liu JY, Adler NE, Nguyen R, Lopez A, Schillinger D. The literacy divide: health literacy and the use of an internet-based patient portal in an integrated health system-results from the diabetes study of northern California (DISTANCE). J Health Commun. 2010; 15 Suppl 2:183-96.
        View in: PubMed PMC3014858
      51. Schillinger D, Sarkar U. Numbers don't lie, but do they tell the whole story? Diabetes Care. 2009 Sep; 32(9):1746-7.
        View in: PubMed PMC2732161
      52. Sarkar U, Wachter RM, Schroeder SA, Schillinger D. Refocusing the lens: patient safety in ambulatory chronic disease care. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2009 Jul; 35(7):377-83, 341.
        View in: PubMed
      53. Casalino LP, Dunham D, Chin MH, Bielang R, Kistner EO, Karrison TG, Ong MK, Sarkar U, McLaughlin MA, Meltzer DO. Frequency of failure to inform patients of clinically significant outpatient test results. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Jun 22; 169(12):1123-9.
        View in: PubMed
      54. Sarkar U, Ali S, Whooley MA. Self-efficacy as a marker of cardiac function and predictor of heart failure hospitalization and mortality in patients with stable coronary heart disease: findings from the Heart and Soul Study. Health Psychol. 2009 Mar; 28(2):166-73.
        View in: PubMed PMC2764522
      55. Sarkar U, Schillinger D. Does lower diabetes-related numeracy lead to increased risk for hypoglycemic events? Ann Intern Med. 2008 Oct 21; 149(8):594; author reply 594.
        View in: PubMed
      56. Omachi TA, Iribarren C, Sarkar U, Tolstykh I, Yelin EH, Katz PP, Blanc PD, Eisner MD. Risk factors for death in adults with severe asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 Aug; 101(2):130-6.
        View in: PubMed PMC2767233
      57. Sarkar U, Handley MA, Gupta R, Tang A, Murphy E, Seligman HK, Shojania KG, Schillinger D. Use of an interactive, telephone-based self-management support program to identify adverse events among ambulatory diabetes patients. J Gen Intern Med. 2008 Apr; 23(4):459-65.
        View in: PubMed PMC2359521
      58. Sarkar U, Piette JD, Gonzales R, Lessler D, Chew LD, Reilly B, Johnson J, Brunt M, Huang J, Regenstein M, Schillinger D. Preferences for self-management support: findings from a survey of diabetes patients in safety-net health systems. Patient Educ Couns. 2008 Jan; 70(1):102-10.
        View in: PubMed PMC2745943
      59. Sarkar U, Carter JT, Omachi TA, Vidyarthi AR, Cucina R, Bokser S, van Eaton E, Blum M. SynopSIS: integrating physician sign-out with the electronic medical record. J Hosp Med. 2007 Sep; 2(5):336-42.
        View in: PubMed
      60. Gardner RL, Sarkar U, Maselli JH, Gonzales R. Factors associated with longer ED lengths of stay. Am J Emerg Med. 2007 Jul; 25(6):643-50.
        View in: PubMed
      61. Sarkar U, Ali S, Whooley MA. Self-efficacy and health status in patients with coronary heart disease: findings from the heart and soul study. Psychosom Med. 2007 May; 69(4):306-12.
        View in: PubMed PMC2771191
      62. Sarkar U, Fisher L, Schillinger D. Is self-efficacy associated with diabetes self-management across race/ethnicity and health literacy? Diabetes Care. 2006 Apr; 29(4):823-9.
        View in: PubMed
      63. Sarkar U, Nascimento SF, Barbosa R, Martins R, Nuevo H, Kalofonos I, Kalafanos I, Grunstein I, Flannery B, Dias J, Riley LW, Reis MG, Ko AI. Population-based case-control investigation of risk factors for leptospirosis during an urban epidemic. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2002 May; 66(5):605-10.
        View in: PubMed
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