Tune in to Focus Carolina during morning, noon and evening drive times and on the weekends to hear stories from faculty members at UNC and find out what ignites their passion for their work. Focus Carolina is an exclusive program on 97.9 The Hill WCHL, sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Javed Mostafa acts as a matchmaker for research collaboration at the UNC school of information in library science. He developed the Carolina Health Informatics Program to begin allowing doctors, other caregivers and patients to communicate electronically.

“I’ve always been very interested in processing complex data using different types of techniques, methods, algorithms,” Dr. Mostafa said.

“My specialty is in search engines and information retrieval and I’ve worked on that area for many years and then started to focus on medicine and biomedicine as a applied area to see how we can bring in some techniques and methods to improve information retrieval, to support scientists and practitioners in medicine and healthcare.”

Listen to Mostafa and Khairat on Focus Carolina:

Dr. Saif Khairat works on projects to improve patient conditions using electronic health records.

“Most hospitals in the U.S. have adopted an electronic health record and so that shift in technology has brought a lot of new errors to practice.” Dr. Khairat said.

“One of my areas of research is to investigate ways to minimize medical errors that occur as a result of using a health information technology.”

The two researchers have a passion for their work. When he was first getting into the field, Dr. Mostafa’s father-in-law had a stroke.

“We saw from very close distance upfront the level of engagement necessary from people,” Dr. Mostafa said, “but also within finding the best information quickly in terms of making decision at a personal level.”

For Dr. Khairat, his passions stems from his grandfather who was diagnosed with prostate cancer when he was a graduate student.

“He experienced a medical error,” Dr. Khairat said. “There were complications and then he passed away. That was the pivotal point in my life where I decided I want to investigate medical errors and to eliminate them if possible and also to improve patient safety.”

Listen to Mostafa and Khairat on Focus Carolina: