MedStar to pilot new apps for patient-reported outcome data

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded MedStar Health a contract to develop and test new technology that can gather patient-reported outcome data and put it to use.

The 18-month contract, which was given through AHRQ's Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks, or ACTION III, will support researchers as they seek new ways to collect patient data and incorporate it into electronic health records.

MedStar Health Research Institute will be focusing on two specific standards-based applications, designed to work with EHRs to gather patient-reported data for and make it available to clinicians and researchers.

Usability and unique functional requirements will be key considerations as the apps are pilot-tested and evaluated in 10 different primary and specialty care practices across MedStar Health, each with its own characteristics, according to MedStar officials.

With smartphones and health trackers now commonplace, more and more patients are amassing data – quality of life, ongoing symptoms, daily activities – that can help guide clinicians in their care and treatment. 

As Penn Medicine CIO Mike Restuccia noted in a Healthcare IT News blog post earlier this year, "patient monitoring systems, wearables (and) patient reported outcomes … transmit large streams of data."

Many vendors, he wrote "indicate the technology component can be easily addressed. Simply sign up to procure large amounts of data storage, either through their on-premise or cloud offering, and you have solved your problem. Unfortunately, it’s never that easy."

At MedStar, the new apps will be assessed on how well they're able to collect such data and then integrate it within the EHR so it can be put to work for clinical decision support, quality improvement initiatives and more.

"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," said Neil Weissman, MD, chief scientific officer for MedStar Health and president of MedStar Health Research Institute, 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."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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