Michelle Odlum

Michelle Odlum




Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Columbia University School of Nursing

Professional Bio

Dr. Michelle Odlum is an adjunct Assistant Professor in Health Information Management (HIM) and the Director of a Health Information Technology (HIT) training program through the City University of New York. Until recently, Dr. Odlum served as an Informatics Evaluator and co-Investigator in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University. In this role, she implemented analytical plans for research and evaluation projects in HIT and conducted data analyses for grants and contractual projects. Her experience includes the oversight of evaluation endeavors, data collection efforts, the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and the dissemination of important findings. Dr. Odlum has over ten years of experience working on a variety of research, evaluation and health promotion activities in special needs populations. Her work includes childhood asthma, tobacco cessation, environmental health, HIT, HIV/AIDS and immunizations.

Project Description

The recruitment and retention of skilled healthcare professionals is recognized as a national priority, as the healthcare needs of the United Sates shift. Therefore, the growth and sustainability of trained healthcare workers that are patient-centered and prevention-focused is important as the need arises for the reduction in health care expenditures5. The ability to recruit the next generation of healthcare workers is critical and understanding their experiences over time impacts outcomes and success. In the same vein, it is widely known that broad adoption of HIT will lead to major reduction in healthcare costs, improve health and reduce errors6; thus the perceptions of technology including the readiness of use by healthcare professionals is critical to effective recruitment, training, retention of workers in primary care fields such as nursing and medical assisting. This project seeks to provide a meta-study of the early professional socialization and the career choices of Nursing and Medical Assistants and to assess the technology use perceptions and readiness of early career professionals. This will be accomplished through the conduct of a qualitative meta-analysis informed by Paterson’s meta-study framework of the personal, organizational and societal influence of career choice. Technology acceptance and technology readiness informed by the Technology Readiness Index (TRI) and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) will be assessed through a quantitative survey administration to current trainees and early professional Medical Assistants and Nurses.


My New Connections Experience

I was confident that the New Connections program would be the perfect opportunity to support the essential areas for my successful academic career development. The New Connections program provides the perfect combination to resources including research funding, mentorship support and skill development, critical for accomplishment. Furthermore, the potential contribution of my project outcomes to assist in meeting the foundations objectives is both profound and honorable.

Research Interests

Health professional trainees and early health career professionals

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2013
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Human Capital
  • Project Name: Studying the impact of societal factors and the influence of health information technology on students’ career choices in health care.

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