AHRQ report summarizes health IT grant initiative's efforts

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently released its findings from enabling patient-centered care through a health IT grant initiative, outlined in a report.

The report highlights key findings from the experiences of 16 projects awarded in 2007, which aimed to investigate approaches for using health IT to enhance patient-centered care and ambulatory care. The four main areas of interest in the analysis were: patient self-management, providing access to medical information, patient-clinician communication and shared decision making.

"The projects funded under the PCC initiative demonstrated significant progress toward understanding  the effective use of health IT to create or enhance patient-centered models of care in the ambulatory setting," the report states. "Several projects showed a positive impact on process outcomes related to the provision of preventive and chronic care services."

The findings add to the evidence that health IT has a positive impact on healthcare outcomes in applications designed to support patient-centered types of care. The studies also highlight barriers and facilitators in health IT, such as integrating new systems and how that can interrupt work flow, a common issue in implementing health IT across the sector.

A recent, similar project proposed by AHRQ will include interviews with focus groups and clinical and non-clinical staff about their experiences with new healthcare IT in ambulatory facilities. Health IT is important in transitioning an ambulatory practice office to a patient-centered medical home, and if it fails, it can harm patients or create more work, the group said.

To learn more:
- read the report from AHRQ

Related Articles:
AHRQ to study health IT impact on ambulatory care workflow
Busy docs, inadequate IT systems hinder shared decision-making
Researchers: EHRs can improve ICU patient flow