Full speed ahead toward a better health care system

January 28, 2014

School of Medicine faculty and clinician-scientists are leading state policy discussions, patient care quality efforts and research to make our health system better. Here is a round-up of recent happenings and upcoming ways to get involved.

But first, can you name the now-common clinical procedure which was pioneered 50 years ago at OHSU? Find the answer...

OHSU Quality Days Feb. 10-11

The OHSU Performance Excellence System (OPEx) is OHSU's approach to drive rapid performance improvement using a common vocabulary, tools and methods. The first annual OHSU Quality Days are co-sponsored by the Quality Management department and the Division of Graduate Medical Education. All clinicians, staff, students and trainees are encouraged to participate.

OHSU helps to make the electronic health record SAFER

Joan Ash, Ph.D., MBA, professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, was lead author on the SAFER (Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience) guides that were recently released by the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT. These guides are based on the best known research evidence for optimizing implementation of the electronic health record (EHR) safety.

Read more about Dr. Ash's important contribution to EHR use in this blog post from Bill Hersh, M.D., professor and chair of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology.

Center for Health Systems Effectiveness hosts quality's heavy hitters

The health policy community has come a long way in designing and standardizing quality measures. But, work still remains. That was the take-away from a panel discussion of heavy hitters from the quality-measurement scene who met Jan. 14 and reviewed the State of Oregon health care quality metrics.


The panel, part of a series of "Mitch dinners" sponsored by the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness, drew OHSU faculty, researchers and state policymakers to hear comments from four Oregon quality-measurement veterans: Mylia Christensen of Oregon Health Care Quality Corp; Mike Bragg of Providence Health & Services; Lori Coyner of Oregon Health Authority, and guest moderator Dr. David Shute of Greenfield Health. Also present were event namesake Dr. Mitch Greenlick, professor emeritus of public health and preventive medicine and Oregon State Representative (D—Portland), and Tina Edlund of OHA.

Everyone in the room agreed on the need for a set of metrics linked to patient health. The bulk of the discussion focused on how payers, advocacy groups and providers can get there together.

OHSU clinician-scientists inform national screening recommendation

As described in this October 2013 article, the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center works regularly to provide expert reviews for federal agencies. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation on screening for lung cancer in December 2013 – a statement based in part on an systematic review first published by EPC researchers.

In related news, Roger Chou, M.D., associate professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology and EPC director, was consulted for a recent Consumer Reports article about opioids.



  • Dr. Joan Ash
  • CHSE statistician Stephanie Renfro chats with QCorp’s Mylia Christensen while CHSE director John McConnell, Ph.D., associate professor of emergency medicine, listens in