AHRQ to Study I.T.-Supporting Workflows in Clinics

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will conduct a study on how to implement health information technology in clinics to support care coordination without negatively affecting existing workflow processes.

AHRQ studied existing research about the effect of health I.T. on workflow and clinical acceptance, and found it lacking. Most research did not focus solely on workflow so the quality of evidence varied significantly, and most research was done in large health care organizations, limiting applicability to smaller organizations, particularly primary care sites.

Consequently, AHRQ will conduct the study in six affiliated clinics of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which are in different phases of implementing an electronic health record and participating in a care coordination redesign program.

“The goal of the project is to understand the impact of implementing health I.T.-enabled care coordination on workflow within small community-based primary care clinics in various stages of practice redesign,” according to an AHRQ notice available here. “The focus of this study is the interaction of health I.T. and care coordination workflow in the context of practice redesign. This study will focus on clinic staff caring for patients with diabetes within small primary care clinics to understand enablers and barriers to care coordination workflow through the use of health I.T.”

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