Download the 2020 Year in Review Report (PDF, 8.5 MB)

AHRQ-Funded Researchers Disseminate Findings in High-Impact Journals

In 2020, AHRQ-funded researchers published over 100 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, including the following:

Displaying Patient Photos in Electronic Health Records Reduces Hospital Order Errors

Adding patients’ photographs to the banner of EHRs enhanced patient identification and significantly reduced wrong-patient order errors in a hospital emergency department, according to Dr. Jason Adelman’s research. The research team evaluated more than 2.5 million nursing, medication, diagnostic, and other orders for about 72,000 hospital patients. They used the rate of retract-and-reorder events as the outcome measure and noted that this rate was 186 per 100,000 orders for patients with no photograph in their EHRs and 133 per 100,000 orders for patients with photographs. Unlike previous interventions that interrupt providers, this solution did not add to providers’ time burden or risk of alert fatigue, according to researchers. To read more, access the article in JAMA Network Open.

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Why do patients choose telemedicine over in-person primary care?

An analysis of over 2 million primary care appointments scheduled after the 2016 rollout of patient self-scheduling of video and phone visits at Kaiser Permanente Northern California showed that patients were more likely to choose telemedicine over an office visit if they were younger, female, or faced logistical challenges, according to an AHRQ-funded study, led by Dr. Mary Reed. These findings suggest that telemedicine has the potential to reach vulnerable patient groups and improve access for patients with transportation, parking, or cost barriers to clinic visits. To read more, access the article in JAMA Network Open.

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Building the evidence base to reduce electronic health record-related clinician burden

In this JAMIA article, Chris Dymek, director of the AHRQ Digital Healthcare Research Program, along with AHRQ Project Officer Janey Hsaio; former AHRQ employee Bryan Kim; and AHRQ-funded grantees Drs. Thomas Payne, Genevieve Melton, and Hardeep Singh share evidence-based informatics approaches, pragmatic next steps, and future research directions to improve three of the highest contributors to EHR burden: documentation, chart review, and inbox tasks. These approaches leverage speech recognition technologies, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and redesign of EHR workflow and user interfaces. The authors also offer a perspective on how EHR vendors, healthcare system leaders, and policymakers all play integral roles while sharing responsibility for making evidence-based sociotechnical solutions available and easy to use. This paper was highlighted as a "notable paper" during the AMIA Clinical Research Informatics Summit Year in Review session.

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Additional research results are available by searching the AHRQ Digital Healthcare Research Database, created to disseminate the work of AHRQ-funded research!