Yale To Help U.S. Department of Defense Improve Health Care Quality

Yale researchers have received a $1.2 million contract to assist the U.S. Department of Defense in evaluating and assessing information technology that the government is developing to improve quality in medical care.

The Yale group is working within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense with the director of Tricare Management Activity, which is the organization responsible for executing the Military Health System mission to provide high quality health services.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to work with the military healthcare system,” said Harlan Krumholz, project director and associate professor of internal medicine and cardiology at Yale School of Medicine. “They are committed to excellence in the delivery of healthcare and yet face many of the problems of the civilian sector with regard to the need for better information. They need to determine how their healthcare system performs and develop strategies to use information technology to generate information that will help clinicians, policy makers and administrators to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the system.”

“Yale is a national leader in the area of clinical outcomes research and evaluation,” he added. “We are proud to have assembled a talented and academically diverse clinical and healthcare services research team to focus on military medicine and work to improve quality through innovative use of information technology and the study of clinical data.”

Krumholz said one of the goals of the project is to provide guidance about how to transform health data into useful information and knowledge as a basis for improving accountability, clinical decision-making, consumer choice and quality improvement in healthcare.

“We want to bring timely academic scholarship to questions of what strategies work best in actual clinical practice, what factors explain variations in care and outcomes, and how can better information facilitate the positive evolution of healthcare delivery,” he said.

Another key goal is to develop innovative applications of emerging information technology systems to collect, organize, archive and analyze key information, primarily in the on-going operation of the healthcare delivery system - in a way that minimizes the cost and burden of this activity.

Yale researchers have provided clinical and research leadership to efforts by the Health Care Financing Administration, the Veterans Administration, the Volunteer Hospital Association, the National Committee on Quality Assurance, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. In addition, the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation has provided local leadership in quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, demonstrating how to combine rigorous methodological approaches to the operational needs of a hospital and healthcare system.

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