Reaching the Research Community Through Web Conferences
AHRQ convenes web-based conferences to highlight recent developments in digital healthcare research to disseminate the impact of innovative research. In 2019, AHRQ convened two national web conferences where research findings and impacts were presented.
A National Web Conference on the Clinical Decision Supporting Authoring Tool
On February 7, 2019, the Digital Healthcare Research Program hosted a national web conference with CDS Connect project leads at MITRE to provide training on the AHRQ-funded Clinical Decision Support Authoring Tool, an application that assists in the development and deployment of standards-based CDS. There were 321 individuals who attended this session, including CDS developers, informaticists, and clinical staff. The following are some highlights:
- Sharon Sebastian provided an overview of the AHRQ-funded CDS Connect Project and the knowledge translation resources used in the development of decision support. She described the two primary systems that contribute to the project—the Repository and the Authoring Tool—and reviewed the knowledge translation methodology used in building the application.
- Chris Moesel conducted a demonstration of the Authoring Tool, first describing the technical languages (HL7) used in the web-based application. He presented an example of a CDS artifact in the Repository, demonstrating the navigation and functionality of the web-based database. His presentation, which used synthetic data, included a detailed demonstration of the application’s navigation.
A National Web Conference on the Role of Health IT to Improve Care Transitions
On Thursday, September 26, 2019, AHRQ held a web conference to discuss how technology can be used to improve care transitions in clinical settings for patients with complex conditions. Transitions from hospitals and healthcare facilities can be a challenging process for patients and clinicians, and the lack of communication about patient discharge information has been shown to cause confusion, stress, and overall dissatisfaction for those involved. There were 578 individuals who attended this session, including clinical staff, researchers, administrators, and vendors. The following are some highlights:
- Dr. Anuj Dalal’s research explored implementation of the Patient-Centered Discharge Toolkit (PDTK) in clinical practice. The PDTK includes a discharge checklist, a web-based video for patients to view 24 hours before the expected discharge date, and a post-discharge text messaging service. The results of the study indicated a high degree of acceptance by patients, with the finding that the PDTK is a potentially useful strategy for preparing patients to transition, but would require clinical improvement to be routinely used.
- Dr. David Liss’ research employed smartphone location tracking technology to facilitate care coordination following a patient’s hospital encounter. The app’s location technology detected an ED visit, which prompted a notification to the patient's PCP to conduct followup. The study’s findings demonstrated that, while the app faced technical barriers such as operating system updates, it resulted in an overall positive user experience.
- Dr. Sharon Hewner’s research on patients with chronic conditions aimed to reduce low-value utilization of inpatient or ED visits and increase outpatient followup after discharge. The algorithm developed by the study facilitated the identification of patients with chronic conditions during a HIE. This prompted a Care Alert notification to the discharged patient’s PCP that included details regarding the patient’s discharge and followup requirements. The study’s findings showed statistically significant changes in patients’ use of inpatient and ED services, resulting in the reduction of unnecessary visits.