$6.3 million NIH grant to spur use of patient reported outcomes in EHRs

Consortium of universities, led by Northwestern, will integrate 'PROMIS' tool with Epic, Cerner, others
By Mike Miliard
10:48 AM

In an effort to advance the use of patient-reported outcomes for research and care delivery, a coalition of nine universities has been awarded a $6.3 million grant by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Patient-reported outcomes surveys pose questions to patients about their physical, mental and social health. By comparing medical information with their responses, providers and researchers can see how clinical care is impacting the health of patients.

This academic project, led by Northwestern University, is called EHR Access to Seamless Integration of PROMIS – or EASI-PRO. It will make it easier for researchers and clinicians to collect patient reported outcomes information and use it to improve clinical care and research.

[Also: Linking patient-reported data to EMRs]

PROMIS – it stands for the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System – is a computerized survey tool that adapts to each patient's answers. It's integrated into the patient's EHR along with their medical information.

"We are very excited to see this multi-institutional project take off," said Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, director of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. "This approach to direct, efficient acquisition and integration of patient-reported information represents the future of patient care and medical research, and this project paves the way to that future."

PROMIS has already been integrated into the Northwestern Medicine EHR and now the EASI-PRO team is building software that will integrate PROMIS with a large number of EHRs including Cerner and Epic, two of the largest vendors, officials say, enabling health systems nationwide to administer the surveys and easily compare results.

University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Kentucky, University of Florida, University of Utah, Harvard Catalyst CTS and Southern California CTSI are also part of this project. Cerner and Epic have signed on as integration collaborators.

"Our experience integrating the PROMIS tools into the EHR at Northwestern has convinced us that tight workflow integration of PROs into the clinical workflow brings many benefits to both quality and clinical research projects," said Justin Starren, director of the Center for Data Science and Informatics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and principal investigator of EASI-PRO.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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