The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality plans to study how health IT implementation affects work flow in primary care clinics, according to a notice published Wednesday in the Federal Register, Health Data Management reports (Goedert, Health Data Management, 10/30).
If the Office of Management and Budget approves the project, researchers from RTI International -- an AHRQ contractor -- will study six clinics affiliated with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The clinics all will be at different levels of electronic health record implementation.
During a 14-month period, researchers will:
- Conduct baseline interviews with up to 10 clinical staffers at each site;
- Interview staffers at each clinic again after one year;
- Interview up to 64 patients in total;
- Conduct mid-year staff interviews at two clinics; and
- Collect "spatial data," such as photographs of how health IT systems are laid out in the clinic.
The study is estimated to cost slightly less than $800,000 (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 10/30).
The study aims to help researchers better understand how:
- Health IT-enabled care coordination affects work flow in small community-based clinics; and
- How health IT-related "enablers and barriers to care coordination" affect care for patients with diabetes (Murphy, EHR Intelligence, 10/30).
AHRQ said the project could help it identify:
- Work flow components that ambulatory practices should consider while implementing health IT systems; and
- Issues that should be considered during the design and evaluation of health IT tools (Modern Healthcare, 10/30).