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AHRQ Funds Study on Impact of EHRs and MU Criteria in ERs

October 31, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has funded a study to investigate the impact of electronic health records (EHRs) and meaningful use criteria on emergency department workflow at two New York City hospitals.

Mount Sinai Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital will participate, in collaboration with Columbia University Biomedical Informatics. The New York Academy of Medicine’s Center for Cognitive Studies in Medicine and Public Health (NYAM) has received a four-year $1 million grant from AHRQ for the study, which will evaluate the impact of MU on clinician workflow, including information seeking, team interaction, and decision making in the context of clinicians’ use of EHRs.

Three data collection methods will be used: clinician shadowing, log-files of EHR use, and sensor-based data collection using RFID technology, a mechanism for tracking movement and interaction patterns of clinicians.

“This study promises to bridge science into practice and to influence policy based on the insights drawn from the investigation into clinician work activities,” Dr. Vimla Patel, senior research scientist and director of NYAM, said in a news release. “Additionally, given that emergency departments are particularly challenging environments for measuring the impact of MU criteria implementations, we believe that our study will provide a benchmark for further extension into other ambulatory care settings.” 

With the widespread adoption of health information technology, including applications in public health and population-based health management, lessons learned in these complex environments generalize across other clinical and educational settings, NYAM says. 

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