MedStar Health’s New Projects

Recently, MedStar Health received funding for several research projects from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) The first contract was awarded through AHRQ’s ACTION III funding mechanism.

With the implementation of EHRs and the growth of data available to physicians, increased efforts are being made to access more information directly from patients to help clinicians make informed decisions.

This includes using patient-reported outcome data which consists of reports on the status of a patient’s health condition coming directly from the patient without interpretation by a clinician. The data from the patient can capture quality of life issues, ongoing symptoms, and daily activities to help guide clinicians in their treatment decisions.

This pilot project will support the development and testing of two apps using specified health IT requirements and standards and will be used with EHRs or other health IT systems to collect patient reported outcome data for clinical and research use.

The research team will work with stakeholders to collect information on the usability and functional requirements for the apps designed to collect patient-reported outcome data on physical functioning. The apps will be pilot tested and evaluated in ten diverse primary and specialty care practices across MedStar Health and eight primary care sites.

The second funding consists of a large grant from AHRQ to design a safer system for managing medication administration records while identifying current safety issues and the needs of clinicians. Raj Ratwani PhD, Director and Scientific Director at MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, is the lead researcher on the project.

The research team will analyze a diverse set of nearly two million patient safety event reports to identify hazards to help the healthcare team use the software. The team will also design, develop, and test options to help improve a better flow of information among clinicians using wireframes and prototypes to simulate potential solutions. This analysis will point out potential safety hazards found in electronic medical administration systems and help vendors as they are developing new systems.

In a third news item, MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare has received a U.S. utility patent for a novel system they developed to analyze eye-tracking data. Eye tracking is a proven technology that consumer marketers and researchers have used for years but it has not been widely used in healthcare because this type of data can be difficult to analyze.

MedStar researchers have been leaders in applying the science of eye tracking to study how clinicians can more safely and efficiently interact with their environment to deliver the best care. This can include designing and redesigning computer interfaces and also helps when developing and building complex environments like new operating rooms.

By making the eye tracking analysis process much simpler and less time consuming, the MedStar invention should make the increased use of eye tracking technology very likely which will result in greatly helping clinicians’ process information.

The MedStar team is ready to begin the process of licensing their invention to a commercial partner. Companies interested in collaborating or licensing this technology may contact MedStar Inventor Services at


Share Button