Health IT

Upcoming AHRQ challenge will focus on integrating patient data into EHRs

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has plans to host a competition that addresses patient data integration issues. The contest will take place this fall.

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This fall, HHS — or more specifically, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality — has plans to host a competition that addresses patient data integration issues.

Through the contest, AHRQ challenges developers to create user-friendly tools (based on AHRQ implementation specifications) that allow for patient-reported outcomes to be shared with researchers and clinicians.

Overall, the focus is to integrate patient data into electronic health records or other health IT tools, thereby making it easier for physicians to interpret patient conditions. From a provider perspective, the tools would also improve the consistency of data interpretation.

As a notice in the Federal Register states:

Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) critically inform patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and can inform clinical management of individuals, shared decision making, patient self-management support, care planning, goal setting and goal attainment.

The limited inclusion of PRO data in electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technology (IT) solutions reduces the understanding and use of the patient’s perspective in research and clinical care.

The winners of each phase of the competition will advance to the next level, so to speak. A panel of yet to be named judges will oversee the contest and assess entries.

The forthcoming challenge isn’t the only federal competition that’s been in the news recently.

In November, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released the winners of its Patient Matching Algorithm Challenge. The purpose was to encourage the development of algorithms that match patients with the correct information. Palo Alto, California-based Vynca nabbed the top spot, securing a prize of $25,000. PICSURE came in second, earning $20,000, and Information Softworks got third place and $15,000.

Photo: from2015, Getty Images