11:35 am - 1:05 pmSaturday, September 28
Plenary Hall
Core Theme 2: Delivering patient-centered care using Health IT: experiences from AHRQ-funded projects
Plenary Hall
Core Theme 2: Delivering patient-centered care using Health IT: experiences from AHRQ-funded projects

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco
Vice President, Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma
Senior Manager of Health IT, AHRQ
There has been increased development of health information technology (IT) interventions to support the consumers in their health and health care. Effective interventions must account for diverse user... Read more


There has been increased development of health information technology (IT) interventions to support the consumers in their health and health care. Effective interventions must account for diverse user needs, and are most successful when delivered as part of a broader care management program. This panel will feature presentations from three successful projects funded under the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Enabling Patient-Centered Care through Health IT grant initiative. Presenters will discuss each of their projects, which feature disease management and preventive interventions that use different platforms and approaches, and lessons learned from each project. Presenters will also discuss how they became established researchers in the field of health IT and health services research, and how others can get involved in the field.

Urmimala Sarkar MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Residence at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Sarkar’s research focuses on (1) patient safety in outpatient settings, including adverse drug events, missed and delayed diagnosis, and failures of treatment monitoring, (2) health information technology and social media to improve the safety and quality of outpatient care, and (3) implementation of evidence-based innovations in real-world, safety-net care settings.

Dr. Sarkar has conducted studies which explore the impact of health communication (health literacy, English proficiency) and health information technology on patient safety. Her prior studies on internet-based patient portals demonstrate digital disparities by race/ethnicity and health literacy. Her social media studies use mixed-methods approaches to understand patient perspectives about physician quality and about cancer screening behaviors. Her ongoing work employs varied health information technologies to detect and ameliorate adverse events among outpatient chronic disease populations. She is currently funded by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, the California Healthcare Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

In addition to her research, Dr. Sarkar applies her patient safety expertise in her role as the Quality and Safety Liaison for the General Medicine Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital, for which her quality-related activities include outpatient case reviews, provider credentialing, and participation in the Medication Error Reduction Plan and Ambulatory Care Committees. Dr. Sarkar serves as the co-director for the San Francisco General Hospital Primary Care Residency’s Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, and Leadership Curriculum with Dr. Claire Horton, and mentors trainees in both research and quality improvement projects. Dr. Sarkar also serves as co-director for the School of Medicine’s Office of Student Research and Research Allocation Program- trainees, with Dr. Daniel Lowenstein.

Paul Tang, M.D., M.S., is an Internist and Vice President, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), Sutter Health, and is Consulting Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University.  Dr. Tang directs the David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation and also oversees PAMF’s electronic health record (EHR) system and its integrated personal health record (PHR) system, MyHealthOnline. Today, 76% of PAMF’s adult primary care patients are actively using MyHealthOnline. Dr. Tang is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and chaired an IOM patient safety committee that published two reports: Patient Safety: A New Standard for Care, and Key Capabilities of an Electronic Health Record System.

Dr. Tang is Vice Chair of the federal Health Information Technology Policy Committee, and Chair of its Meaningful Use workgroup.   He is a member of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), and chair of the NCVHS Quality Subcommittee.   Dr. Tang also chairs the National Quality Forum’s Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.   He is a Past-Chair of the Board of the American Medical Informatics Association.  In 2009, he received the AMIA Don E. Detmer Award for Health Policy Contributions in Informatics.

Dr. Tang is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medical Informatics, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.  He received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco.

Teresa Zayas Cabán leads the research strategy for the Health IT Portfolio at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. At AHRQ she has also led the Enabling Patient-Centered Care through Health IT grant initiative and projects related to consumer health IT and the integration of health IT to clinical workflow. Dr. Zayas Cabán obtained her doctorate in industrial and systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in industrial engineering. While pursuing her doctoral degree, she also worked with Partners Health Care Clinical Informatics Research and Development, Boston Children's Hospital Informatics Program, and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC)'s Cancer Care in Massachusetts (CAMA) project. Before joining AHRQ, she served as a post-doctoral trainee in the Computation and Informatics in Biology and Medicine program in Wisconsin.

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