MedStar Health Awarded HHS ONC Funding to Advance Health IT and Clinical Knowledge at the Point of Care

Two Winners Receive Nearly $2 Million Total Over Two Years

Hyattsville, MD —MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare is one of two winners nationally to be awarded nearly $2 million of combined funding over two years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (IT) to accelerate health IT interoperability. Part of the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health IT grant, the Human Factors Center’s work will transform stand-alone Million Hearts® risk calculators for heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease into active surveillance tools that clinicians can use in electronic health records (EHRs) to integrate and improve patient care.

While there are many clinical decision support (CDS) tools that enable providers to calculate and display a patient’s risk for these conditions, the Million Hearts suite of calculators requires clinician activation. Led by the Human Factors Center’s Scientific Director Kristen Miller, DrPH, CPPS, this work will leverage application programming interfaces (APIs), health IT architecture that allows one software application to seamlessly access the services of another, to adapt the Million Hearts stand-alone risk calculators into an active surveillance application that coordinates care across platforms and providers.

“Risk calculators already exist for multiple conditions and contribute to the enormous amount of data available to providers,” says Dr. Miller. “We aim to seamlessly and securely link the many sources of information together in an application to improve provider decision-making and patient outcomes across the spectrum of care.”

Successfully prompting clinicians at the point of care to ensure patients are treated as effectively as possible is a complex problem including technological, policy, and sociotechnical challenges. Current technical barriers include stand-alone applications, interruptive alerts, the inability to coordinate data across care settings, and inefficiencies in maintaining accurate knowledge-based systems. Meanwhile, policies tied to U.S. Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI), Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT), and information blocking present challenges. Additionally, sociotechnical issues involve successful adoption of CDS, care coordination, and shared decision-making.

Deliverables during the two-year award will include application development and refinement, workflow analysis, usability testing with clinicians, and user-centered design with patients. The team’s prototype will be piloted in clinical practice at MedStar Health and evaluated on its ability to improve care structures, processes, and outcomes. Additionally, they will produce pilot, workflow analysis, and usability testing reports; patient-facing educational materials; and a legal and policy landscape assessment.

Ultimately, the Human Factors Center project team seeks to leverage SMART (Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies) on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) to realize the potential for data-driven infrastructures to better support clinical knowledge. The project is formally titled: Mobilizing a Million Hearts: Leveraging Health IT Architecture to Advance Clinical Knowledge and Care Coordination.

Learn more about this award in the HHS press release: HHS Announces LEAP in Health IT Winner. The Human Factors Center’s work is listed under its affiliation with the MedStar Health Research Institute.


About MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
The MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare occupies a unique position in the United States as the largest human factors program embedded within a healthcare system. It brings together human factors scientists, systems safety engineers, health services researchers, clinicians, and other experts to create a safer and more efficient healthcare environment through four core services in research, usability, safety advisement, and education. The center is part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation and is also affiliated with the MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. MedStar Health, the parent organization, is the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region, with 10 hospitals and an extensive ambulatory services network, and is the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University.  

About MedStar Health Research Institute
The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative, and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit MedStarResearch.org

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion, and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Contact:

Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager
Phone: 301-560-2917
Email: [email protected]

Grant Awarded to Spot Urinary Tract Infections among Spinal Cord Injury Patients

 

mnrh_washington_suzanne_groah_physiatrist_200
Suzanne Groah, MD, MSPH

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 16, 2016) Suzanne Groah, MD, MSPH, has been awarded a $500,000 grant by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to support screening for urinary tract infections (UTIs) among patients with spinal cord injuries at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network.

“Urinary tract infection is the most common bacterial infection seen in the outpatient setting and the most common healthcare-associated infection, making it a major worldwide public health problem,” said Dr. Groah. In addition, spinal cord injury patients are at high risk for recurrent UTI, which is known to cause significant pain and discomfort; however, mobility limitations often create barriers to these patients receiving comprehensive care.

The study, “Development of a Urinary Symptom Questionnaire for People with Neuropathic Bladder,” will develop a questionnaire for individuals being treated for bladder dysfunction due to spinal cord injury to assist them in self-assessments of their health. The process of creating the questionnaire is centered on working with patients with spinal cord injuries, focusing on utilizing their feedback to develop usable tools for others through focus groups and interviews. Focus groups will help develop the questionnaire, which will be validated and assessed by a large, diverse, national sample of people living with spinal cord injury.

The goal is that other patients will be able to use the tool to self-assess if their symptoms may be related to a UTI.

 “When the study team surveyed people with neuropathic bladder due to spinal cord injury and spina bifida, we found that UTI is a problem for more than 80 percent of people,” Dr. Groah said.

By creating this tool, Dr. Groah’s research team will have an enhanced diagnostic approach to UTIs within this population that will be useful in future research, clinical care, patient education, and patient and clinical decision-making. This research is building on a study that currently is recruiting patients, “The Impact of Self-Management with Probiotics on Urinary Symptoms and the Urine Microbiome in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury and Spina Bifida,” which was funded by a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute grant in 2014.

Dr. Groah is the director of Spinal Cord Injury Consultation Liaison Service and of Spinal Cord Injury Research at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and associate professor of rehabilitation medicine at Georgetown University. The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s funding is dedicated to supporting both programs and scientific research to improve the quality of life for those affected by and living with spinal cord injury.

 


About MedStar Health Research Institute

The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit MedStarResearch.org.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org

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Contact:

Sara Ellis
301-560-7309
[email protected]