AHRQ to study health IT impact on ambulatory care workflow

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To improve workflow between ambulatory care and healthcare IT, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality put forth a proposal for a project that will test how providers are using technology.

Their proposed project, "Applying Novel Methods To Better Understand the Relationship Between Health IT and Ambulatory Care Workflow Redesign" was presented for the Office of Management and Budget this week.

According to the AHRQ request in the federal register, the overall goal is "to characterize the relationship between health IT implementation and health care workflow in six small and medium-sized ambulatory care practices implementing patient-centered medical homes, with a focus on the influence of behavioral and organizational factors and the effects of disruptive events."

The project will include interviews with focus groups and clinical and non-clinical staff about their experiences with new healthcare IT in ambulatory facilities. Health IT is important in transitioning an ambulatory practice office to a patient-centered medical home, and if it fails, it can harm patients or create more work, the group says.

The request also states that the specific goals of this study are "to identify the relationship between health IT implementation and ambulatory care workflow; the behavioral and organizational factors and the role they play in mitigating or augmenting the impact of health IT on workflow; and how the impacts of health IT are magnified through disruptive events such as interruptions and exceptions."

Workflow studies have improved speed and quality in other fields, such as medical research, making research times shorter and more efficient.

To learn more:
- read the AHRQ request

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