A team of researchers from Maryland-based MedStar Health has been awarded an 18-month contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to support the development and testing of technical tools and apps that can be used to collect patient-reported outcome data.
With the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) and the growth of data available to physicians, increased efforts are being made to access more information directly from patients to help clinicians make informed care decisions, MedStar officials noted in the announcement.
As such, this includes the use of patient-reported outcome data, which are any reports of the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation by a clinician. Such patient information captures quality of life, ongoing symptoms, and daily activities, and can help guide clinicians in their care and treatment decisions.
MedStar Health will support the development and testing of two apps using specified health IT requirements and standards for use with EHRs or other health information technology systems to collect patient-reported outcome data for clinical and research use.
As officials stated, the team will work with key stakeholders to collect information on the usability and functional requirements for the apps designed to collect patient-reported outcome data on physical functioning. The apps will be pilot-tested and evaluated in 10 primary and specialty care practices across MedStar Health and eight CAPRICORN primary care sites. The apps will be evaluated on the success of data collection and integration of these data within the electronic health record for clinical decisions, quality improvement, and research, officials said.
“Ensuring that patients have a way to report on outcomes that are meaningful to them is critical to the delivery of safe and effective care. The growth of data science as part of clinical care is helping us at MedStar Health to turn this data into improved quality of life for our patients,” Neil Weissman, M.D., chief scientific officer for MedStar Health and president of MedStar Health Research Institute, said in a statement. “The ongoing collaboration through the ACTION III network will help to advance the health of patients beyond our care sites and community.”
The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. This particular federal contract was awarded through AHRQ’s ACTION III (Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks) funding mechanism.