Research Highlights

Enhanced Care Coordination Can Benefit Patients with Multiple Chronic Illnesses 

health care staff talking in hallway“Patients with multiple chronic conditions are at an increased risk for hospitalization, need additional coordination of care, and have high health care costs,” explains Dr. Debora Goetz Goldberg, who led the study at George Mason University’s College of Public Health

Goldberg and colleagues found that payer-based patient-centered medical home models with enhanced care coordination may be beneficial to patients with multiple chronic illness. Patients who completed their care plans had more positive experiences than those who did not.
This suggests the care plan is key to the success of this model. Nurse care coordinators—who work closely with patients on developing the care plan and meeting individual goals—also played an important role in the program.

George Mason University Study Finds Digital Divide and Lower than Expected Use of Patient Portals for Electronic Health Records 

woman with tabletIn a new study published in the American Journal of Health PromotionDr. Alicia Hong, Professor at George Mason University’s College of Public Health, and colleagues examined the trends of how Americans used patient portals of
electronic health records (EHR) from 2014 to 2018 using data from national surveys. 
Following the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, most hospitals and clinics have adopted EHR and given their patients access to their patient portals. This allows patients to make appointments, view and
download their testing reports, and communicate with their providers via online secure messaging. The use of patient portals offers the benefits of reducing medical costs, increasing access, and improving health care quality. 

George Mason University Researcher Finds Promise in Digital Interventions for Patient-Provider Communication in Cancer Care 

outside of National Cancer Institute with stethoscope sculpturePatient-provider communication (PPC) plays a critical role in diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of cancer. With the wide adoption of digital technologies in healthcare (eHealth, mHealth, and telehealth) and growing concerns around digital health, an urgent need exists to assess the current evidence on the effectiveness of digital interventions to facilitate PPC, especially in cancer treatment and survivorship. In a new study published in Psycho-OncologyDr. Alicia Hong, Professor at George Mason University’s College of Public Health and colleagues conducted the first systematic review of the studies on digital interventions to facilitate patient-provider communication in cancer care. 

Nurse Care Coordinators are Key to Success of Patient-Centered Medical Home Programs 

nursing student close upGeorge Mason University’s College of Public Health led new research on provider experiences with PCMH programs. To date, few projects have studied provider experiences with these programs.
Providers said that nurse care coordinators (NCC) and individual care plans were key factors for improving health care quality and delivery.  Associate Professor Dr. Gilbert Gimm led the study with CPH colleague Dr. Debora Goldberg
and colleagues from the Peterson Center on Healthcare and Alan Newman Research. 

The study was published in April 2019 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.