Research Areas

People walking on the Gibbs St. bridge

The Department of Family Medicine identifies factors associated with increased risk of developing chronic conditions and best practices for management of chronic disease symptoms. Research projects involve development of effective prevention and treatment programs to promote healthy lifestyles. 

Dissemination and implementation science is the study of how best to integrate evidence-based interventions into clinical and community settings. Dissemination research involves examining the process of spreading knowledge and evidence-based interventions to health and clinical care audiences. Implementation research seeks to understand how healthcare professionals and other stakeholders adopt and implement evidence-based interventions and to identify and address barriers and facilitators to effective implementation. Dissemination and implementation research uses a range of methods to study innovations and accelerate the spread of evidence into practice. 

OHSU's Department of Family Medicine studies access to health care, disparities in care, and how changes in health policy impact population health, using electronic health records, insurance claims, and state databases. Several projects study primary care utilization by uninsured and underinsured populations, particularly relating to the Affordable Care Act. Research findings inform community, practice and policy interventions that improve the delivery of care for vulnerable populations and reduce health disparities.

OHSU's Department of Family Medicine studies how innovation and transformation in primary care works, and how it affects clinical workflow, workforce, and patients' health outcomes. We experiment with new tools and functions in the electronic health record; implementation of care teams; integration of physical, mental and behavioral health; and expansion of new types of services to be more patient-centered. We also pioneer the use of health data to inform innovation and transformation efforts through the use of dashboards and reporting.

The 2004 Future of Family Medicine report and the 2005 Institute of Medicine report on improving medical school education triggered a period of intense innovation in undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education. With the mission of improving the health of patients and populations served by primary care practices, the department of Family Medicine is dedicated to furthering these innovation efforts by promoting and conducting research on educational effectiveness in these settings. 

MedEdNet is an AHRQ-registered research network that provides infrastructure and support for several past and current studies. The network's seminal project was the Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice (P4) study, which tested innovations in the content, structure, location and length of Family Medicine residency training