Rapid Assessment of Clinical Information Systems in the Healthcare Setting

Carmit K. McMullen, Joan Ash, D. F. Sittig, A. Bunce, K. Guappone, R. Dykstra, J. Carpenter, J. Richardson, A. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Recent legislation in the United States provides strong incentives for implementation of electronic health records (EHRs). The ensuing transformation in U.S. health care will increase demand for new methods to evaluate clinical informatics interventions. Timeline constraints and a rapidly changing environment will make traditional evaluation techniques burdensome. This paper describes an anthropological approach that provides a fast and flexible way to evaluate clinical information systems. Methods: Adapting mixed-method evaluation approaches from anthropology, we describe a rapid assessment process (RAP) for assessing clinical informatics interventions in health care that we developed and used during seven site visits to diverse com-munity hospitals and primary care settings in the U.S. Setting: Our multidisciplinary team used RAP to evaluate factors that either encouraged people to use clinical decision support (CDS) systems or interfered with use of these systems in settings ranging from large urban hospitals to single-practitioner, private family practices in small towns. Results: Critical elements of the method include: 1) developing a fieldwork guide; 2) carefully selecting observation sites and participants; 3) thoroughly preparing for site visits; 4) partnering with local collaborators; 5) collecting robust data by using multiple researchers and methods; and 6) analyzing and reporting data in a structured manner helpful to the oraganizations being evaluated. Conclusions: RAP, iteratively developed over the course of visits to seven clinical sites across the U.S., has succeeded in allowing a multidisciplinary team of informatics researchers to plan, gather and analyze data, and report results in a maximally efficient manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalMethods of Information in Medicine
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Information Systems
Process Assessment (Health Care)
Delivery of Health Care
Medical Informatics
Anthropology
Clinical Decision Support Systems
Research Personnel
Informatics
Family Practice
Electronic Health Records
Private Practice
Urban Hospitals
Legislation
Motivation
Primary Health Care
Research Design
Observation

Keywords

  • Clinical informatics
  • Computerized medical record systems
  • Ethnography
  • Healthcare evaluation mechanisms
  • Qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

Cite this

McMullen, C. K., Ash, J., Sittig, D. F., Bunce, A., Guappone, K., Dykstra, R., ... Wright, A. (2011). Rapid Assessment of Clinical Information Systems in the Healthcare Setting. Methods of Information in Medicine, 50(4), 299-307. https://doi.org/10.3414/ME10-01-0042

Rapid Assessment of Clinical Information Systems in the Healthcare Setting. / McMullen, Carmit K.; Ash, Joan; Sittig, D. F.; Bunce, A.; Guappone, K.; Dykstra, R.; Carpenter, J.; Richardson, J.; Wright, A.

In: Methods of Information in Medicine, Vol. 50, No. 4, 2011, p. 299-307.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McMullen, CK, Ash, J, Sittig, DF, Bunce, A, Guappone, K, Dykstra, R, Carpenter, J, Richardson, J & Wright, A 2011, 'Rapid Assessment of Clinical Information Systems in the Healthcare Setting', Methods of Information in Medicine, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 299-307. https://doi.org/10.3414/ME10-01-0042
McMullen, Carmit K. ; Ash, Joan ; Sittig, D. F. ; Bunce, A. ; Guappone, K. ; Dykstra, R. ; Carpenter, J. ; Richardson, J. ; Wright, A. / Rapid Assessment of Clinical Information Systems in the Healthcare Setting. In: Methods of Information in Medicine. 2011 ; Vol. 50, No. 4. pp. 299-307.
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