Yaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, MPH, MS

Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Informatics
Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatric Endocrinology
2525 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN

Background:  Yaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, MPH, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Pediatric Endocrinology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Dr. Kumah-Crystal’s research focuses on studying communication and documentation in healthcare and developing strategies to improve workflow and patient care delivery. Dr. Kumah-Crystal works in the Innovations Portfolio at Vanderbilt HealthIT on the development of Voice Assistant Technologies to improve the usability of the EHR through natural language communication. She is the project lead for the Vanderbilt EHR Voice Assistant (V-EVA) initiative to incorporate voice user interfaces into the EHR provider workflow. Within VUMC HealthIT, Dr. Kumah-Crystal functions as a Core Design Advisor. In this role, she works across clinical systems, to perform internal reviews on and provide advice about EHR change and integration projects– with the goals of optimizing products and processes. Dr. Kumah-Crystal remains clinically active and supervises Pediatric Endocrine Fellows and sees her own clinic patients. Her research and affiliated publications define the use of technology to improve care and communication for providers and patients.To support the Tennessee Safer at Home policies during the COVID19 Crisis, Yaa Kumah-Crystal MD, MPH, worked in Partnership with the VUMC Telehealth Taskforce as the Clinical Director in HealthIT for Telemedicine to help deploy Telehealth solutions for Outpatient and Inpatient care delivery. This initiative took Vanderbilt from supporting an average of a hundred Telehealth visits a day to about 3000 visits daily to help continue essential care delivery. Yaa Kumah-Crystal continues her efforts with the Telehealth team with new considerations about how to optimize workflows to support sustainable models outside the current crisis to help patients and providers continue to leverage the remote care model's benefits intermixed with in-clinic visits.

Expertise:  Dr. Kumah-Crystal’s area of expertise in Clinical Informatics focuses on the development, implementation, and evaluation of communication and documentation tools to support clinical care. Specific interest lie in exploring workflows for voice interactions with the Electronic Health Record (EHR) and defining best practices and standard workflows for this emerging interaction modality. Dr. Kumah-Crystal also has interest in workflows to support automatically generated clinical documentation and summaries from end-user workflows and EHR metadata. Dr. Kumah-Crystal also has expertise in the evaluation of diabetes technologies for compliance management and problem solving.