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How can patient-centered research plus consumer technologies improve health decisions?

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC– Electronic Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tools provide doctors with up-to-date evidence and information—often at the point of care delivery—to guide patient care. CDS tools can also deliver evidence from patient-centered research to patients, a goal of the Affordable Care Act.

RTI International and Academy Health today announced a partnership to launch a new, special section in Academy Health’s open access, peer-reviewed on-line journal eGEMs. This special section will focus on patient-centered CDS.

“We hear anecdotes about how consumer health technologies, such as smartphone apps and wearables, can be used to improve health,” said Barry Blumenfeld, M.D., senior physician informaticist at RTI and principal investigator on the project. “There is a lack of evidence and knowledge sharing, however, about what works. How, when and under what conditions these tools improve shared decision making between doctors and patients, or support patients’ health decisions based on personal preferences aren’t well-understood.”

Since 2016, RTI international has led the Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support Learning Network (www.pccds-ln.org), funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Part of that project, the special eGEMS section will now disseminate new methods and strategies that advance the science of patient-centered clinical decision support— from comparative effectiveness research, patient-centered outcomes research, and quality improvement studies— using electronic health data and evidence.

“While patient-centered outcomes research can give patients and providers the power to make more informed health decisions, there is a gap between those research findings and their use in clinical care,” said Blumenfeld. “The new section of eGEMs enables promising patient-centered approaches to spread more rapidly and in a more open and transparent environment.”

eGEMs, the journal for electronic data and methods, aims to accelerate research and quality improvement using electronic health data and is published by AcademyHealth, a non-profit professional organization dedicated to improving health and the health system.  Since its launch in 2013, eGEMs has published more than 200 papers – with more than 180,000 downloads – all featuring cutting-edge work from leaders in the field.

eGEMs fills a void in the academic publishing world, providing practical lessons not often published in other journals.  eGEMs papers are helping transform how health care is delivered by digging into the real-world lessons of those on the front lines,” said the journal’s executive editor, Paul Wallace, M.D.  We’re pleased to welcome RTI International’s especially important perspective to our vibrant community of multi-disciplinary experts and authors all working to improve health and health care.”

The journal anticipates opening the new section’s inaugural call for papers next month. For more information, visit www.egems.org