2011-2013 Workshop on Health IT and Economics (WHITE) - 2011

Principal Investigator
Funding Mechanism
PAR: HS09-257: AHRQ Grant Program for Large Conference Support (R13) and (U13) (R21)
Grant Number
R13 HS 021022
Project Period
September 2011 - November 2013
AHRQ Funding Amount

Summary: Health information technology (IT) research is being conducted in a variety of fields, including health services research, medical informatics, computer science, public health, business, and economics. Each field brings unique insights into health IT research, yet rarely do these fields collaborate. The annual Workshop on Health IT and Economics (WHITE) promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and communication in health IT research by providing a forum for knowledge creation, sharing, and dissemination. In addition to bringing together academic disciplines engaged in health IT research, the workshop includes health IT funders, policymakers, and practitioners to help promote dialogue between these stakeholders.

WHITE is held annually in October in Washington, D.C., and is hosted by the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems at the University of Maryland, College Park. The workshop is organized and led by a multi-disciplinary committee, including Principal Investigator Ritu Agarwal. WHITE is a 2-day program that includes two keynote speakers, two panel discussions, 30-40 oral presentations, and 20 poster presentations. A board of advisors, including members from both the research community (academic advisors) and the practice community (industry advisors), serves as a source of information and recommendations for health IT-related research issues. The board also advises the workshop organizers on program focus areas. Additionally, a program committee composed of approximately 40 researchers from more than 30 academic research institutions assists with reviewing paper and poster submissions for presentation at the workshop.

A formal evaluation process is used for obtaining feedback from participants about the workshop, and a satisfaction survey is administered to participants at the end of the workshop.

Specific Aims:

  • Build the foundation for a multidisciplinary health IT research community by gathering researchers from medical informatics, computer science, public health, business, and economics. (Achieved)
  • Provide a forum for leading researchers to disseminate cutting-edge findings and knowledge. (Achieved)
  • Afford policymakers and practitioners the opportunity to shape the evolving health IT research agenda. (Ongoing)
  • Develop the next generation of health IT researchers. (Ongoing)

2011 Activities: The second annual WHITE was held on October 21-22, 2011 at the Washington Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. Academy Health and Optimal Solutions Group co-sponsored the workshop. More than 90 participants representing 54 organizations attended. The workshop featured keynote speakers and panelists from government agencies such as the Agency for Research Healthcare and Quality, the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of the Secretary, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; research institutes including the RAND Corporation, Johns Hopkins University, Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Lewin Group; and practitioners from the U.S. Air Force and Miami Children's Hospital. A wide variety of disciplines were represented at the workshop, and attendees demonstrated outstanding engagement that was sustained throughout the 2-day workshop.

Planning is ongoing and underway for the 2012 workshop.

Preliminary Impact and Findings: This project has no findings to date.

Target Population: Not Applicable

Strategic Goal: Not Applicable

Business Goal: Synthesis and Dissemination