Enabling Patient-Centered Care through Health Information Technology - 2010

Principal Investigator
Contract Number
Project Period
December 2008 – August 2010, Includes No-Cost Extension
AHRQ Funding Amount
Summary Status as of
August 2010, Conclusion of Contract

Target Population: General

Summary: The use of health information technology (IT) has been promoted as having tremendous promise for improving the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, quality, and safety of medical care delivery in our Nation's health care system. Health IT can support patient care-related activities such as order communications, results reporting, care planning, and clinical or health documentation. Customized integration of patients’ information in a health IT application delivered in an accessible, user-friendly format empowers patients and their family members to be active participants in care decisions and in the daily management of their health and illnesses. These are key components of patient-centered care (PCC), which the Institute of Medicine has identified as important to ensuring health care quality and patient safety.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University drafted an evidence report that is part of a three-report series focused on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Health IT Portfolio’s strategic goals. This report focuses on the Portfolio’s goal of developing and disseminating evidence on the impact of health IT that enables PCC. Because of the diversity of health IT applications and the different ways to measure their impact, the review includes peer-reviewed scientific literature, as well as conference proceedings. The report explores the following three specific areas related to PCC:

  • Shared decisionmaking between the patient and/or family (or caregiver) and clinician.
  • Patient-clinician and/or family-clinician communication.
  • Access to medical information.

The review was guided by the conceptual framework based on current models of PCC and focuses on clinical outcomes and delivery process outcomes that impact systems, care providers, and patients. Barriers and facilitators of health IT-enabled PCC are presented from the perspective of clinicians, IT developers, consumers, and their families.

Project Objectives:
  • Conduct a comprehensive literature review regarding the impact of health IT that enables PCC. (Achieved)
  • Develop a final report on the impact of health IT that enables PCC. (Ongoing*)

2010 Activities: The activity throughout the year focused on drafting the final report. After conducting a literature review of over 300 articles, findings on the effectiveness of health IT applications in improving care processes, clinical outcomes, and intermediate outcomes were synthesized. The draft report was submitted to AHRQ and to a technical expert panel for review. The report is being revised to address reviewers’ comments.

Impact and Findings: The findings from this project will be available upon completion of the final report.

Strategic Goal: Develop and disseminate health IT evidence and evidence-based tools to support PCC, the coordination of care across transitions in care settings, and the use of electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of care.

Business Goal: Synthesis and Dissemination

*Work on the report continued beyond the project end date of August 2010. .