St. Francis High School sophomore Shubha Raghvendra won the top prize in her category at the California State Science Fair, held May 17 and 18 in Exposition Park in Los Angeles.
The Cupertino resident placed first in the behavioral and social sciences category with her project “Analysis of Unwarranted Variation in Heathcare Costs and Delivery.”
Unwarranted variation defines differences in health-care service that cannot be explained by illness or medical need, such as why heart-attack patients in one county have a better rate of survival than those in a neighboring county.
After researching databases, Raghvendra found that the more complex a system is – the larger the hospital or the more doctors there are – the more likely unwarranted variation would be present.
“This pushes me forward and makes me excited about science,” she said. “I want to expand on my project and see where that goes.”