AMA Awards Funds to Nine Healthcare Organizations to Study EHRs

July 24, 2023
Almost $600,000 earmarked for studies focused on how health systems can improve the use of EHRs and related data.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has granted $590,000 in funds to nine healthcare organizations to study how EHR data and technology can better assist challenges in healthcare. The awarded funds are from the AMA’s Electronic Health Record Use Research Grant Program, which supports research into how EHRs can help “prevent clinician burnout and turnover, enhance high-quality patient care, and improve workflows, teamwork, and resource allocation at the practice level.”

According to AMA Vice President of Professional Satisfaction Christine Sinsky, M.D., the program allows the AMA to “work with researchers who are leading efforts to expand insight into EHR systems and measure the technologies’ capacity to support or undermine the delivery of efficient and effective clinical work.” 

The AMA has awarded more than $2 million since 2019. The funds supported studies intended to enhance industry impressions of EHR by highlighting the capabilities and advancements that have made the technology more beneficial to end-users. According to the AMA, the nine organizations receiving funding currently from the grant program are:

·      AllianceChicago will use EHR event log data to explore both the prevalence and the facilitators of relational continuity among patients, physicians, and care teams in primary care.

·       Brigham and Women’s Hospital will investigate factors that influence the amount of time spent using an EHR and the impact of inbox messages on EHR burden, all in a primary care setting.

·       MedStar will study primary care physician EHR inbox prioritization.

·       Stanford University School of Medicine will use EHR event log data and other data to evaluate the frequency of text messaging in the inpatient setting; the relationships between team stability and inbox message frequency, and whether higher text message interruptions during order entry is associated with increased order entry errors.

·       University of California San Francisco will assess the impact of e-visit billing on clinician EHR inbox time, work on the EHR after patient scheduled hours and overall EHR burden.

·       University of Colorado School of Medicine will investigate whether inpatient EHR-based audit log data can serve as a useful tool in identifying when work design and workloads are leading to physician burnout and patient harm.

·       University of Wisconsin-Madison will use EHR event log data to investigate the association between team support for medication orders and physician time spent on order entry and time on inbox in primary care.

·       Wake Forest University School of Medicine will assess primary care physician time spent in the EHR during paid time off.

·       Yale University School of Medicine will expand on Yale’s previous research studying physician retention, clinical productivity, and patterns of EHR use in the emergency department. 

Since their introduction to the healthcare industry in 1972, EHR platforms have seen many changes in tools, capabilities, and costs. Changes within the market also play an integral role for health systems when initially purchasing a new platform or transitioning from one to another.