Delivering Usable Information

Physicians need nearly a decade of training to understand complex patient data such as lab results and genomic data. New research recently published in AcademyHealth’s “eGEMS” open access peer reviewed journal, highlights how this information can be delivered to patients and providers in ways that they can understand and use.

“The inaugural papers in the new “Better Decisions Together” section, emphasizes the potential for patient-centered clinical decision support to address broad issues in the U.S. healthcare system regarding quality and safety while achieving better outcomes and better patient and provider satisfaction,” said Section Editor, Jessica Ancker, PhD, M.P.H, Associate Professor of Health Informatics in the Department of Healthcare Policy & Research at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

RTI’s Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support Learning Network with funding from AHRQ is building a community dedicated to developing and implementing solutions that leverage clinical decision support technology and patient-centered evidence to improve care decisions.

The section’s inaugural papers include:

  • Delivering Patient Data to Patients Themselves—Dr. Ancker’s introductory commentary provides context around the sections inaugural papers and emphasizes that we should not underestimate patients’ needs for information or their interest in learning.


  • The Imperative for Patient-Centered-Clinical Decision Support (PCCDS)—Authored by members of the Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support Learning Network, outlines a framework referred to as the “Analytic Framework for Action (AFA)”. AFA is used to organize thinking and activities around PCCDS. The article also discusses activities that the PCCDS Learning Network is engaging in to inform and connect stakeholders


  • Methods for Patient-Centered Interface Design of Test Result Display in Online Portals—Researchers from the VAs in Houston and Salt Lake City, University of Texas Health Science Center, University of Utah, and the Baylor College of Medicine are aware that providing information isn’t enough even when the research is based on patients and their information needs. The article discusses the importance of user-centered design in patient portals to help patients interpret lab tests in order to make informed decisions


  • Generation and Implementation of a Patient-Centered and Patient-Facing Genomic Test Report in the EHR—Researchers from Geisinger found that creating helpful patient-facing tools may require additional information found in genomic reports. Researchers found that early substantial and direct engagement of patients in the design and development of patient-centered clinical decision support tools can make a significant difference in their effectiveness


“Better Decisions Together” section will continue to disseminate innovative methods and strategies to advance the science of patient-centered clinical decision support and accepts submissions on a rolling basis.

For more information or to submit your work, go to

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