Here's our latest press release with details on upcoming HITLAB presentations at APHA and GSA. If you'll be at those conferences, please stop by and say hello!

Pharmacists’ Role in PCMH and Recruiting Elderly for Fall Studies Focus of HITLAB Presentations at American Public Health Association and Gerontological Society of America Meetings

New York, NY – The need to use two-way e-prescribing tools to integrate community pharmacists in the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), and strategies to recruit elderly individuals for fall studies will be the subject of two upcoming medical meeting presentations by the Healthcare Innovation and Technology Lab (HITLAB).

HITLAB will present research focused on the nexus of public health and healthcare information communications technology (ICT) at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Exposition Oct. 27 to 31 and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting Nov. 14 to 18, 2012.

“These presentations explore critical junctures in the chain of healthcare delivery. At APHA, we will discuss the need to ensure technology supports the integration of community pharmacists in PCMH models, enhancing pharmacist-to-physician communication to close a critical gap in care coordination,” said Sarika Parasuraman, research manager, HITLAB. “At GSA, our research highlights strategies for recruiting elderly individuals into activity-related fall studies that enable us to gather data on this population’s natural movement. More robust recruitment and research will support the development of wearable monitors and other technologies designed to prevent and detect falls.”

The HIT Lab’s presentations include:
•    APHA: “At the wrong end of meaningful use: The role of community pharmacists on integrated care teams,” oral presentation scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 10:30 a.m. Presenting author: Paloma Luisi, research associate, HITLAB.
•    GSA: “Falling Short: Recruiting elderly individuals for a fall study,” poster presentation scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 15, noon to 3 p.m. Presenting author: Sarika Parasuraman, HITLAB.

Presentation Overviews:

APHA: At the wrong end of meaningful use: the role of community pharmacists on integrated care teams

There is growing recognition that chronic conditions require highly integrated healthcare teams – many in the form of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model – for ongoing disease management. Technology plays a critical role in care coordination, so much so that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has demonstrated leadership in this area by incentivizing use of EHRs. However, the guidelines for demonstrating “meaningful use” of EHRs exclude community pharmacists, a critical component of the clinical support team.

HITLAB will present findings of a pilot program aimed at enhancing the role of the community pharmacist in a PCMH in New York State. Drawing on interviews with pharmacists, one focus group discussion with clinicians and more than 50 hours of observation, researchers describe the pilot’s successes – and major implementation challenges that arose from inadequate IT infrastructure. Specifically, researchers found that while community pharmacists play a valuable role in improving medication compliance, they were on the wrong end of a one-way e-prescribing system, making it difficult to share findings about adherence with integrated care teams.

The pilot makes the case for stronger meaningful use guidelines, calling for e-prescribing technologies capable of exchanging information between pharmacists and physicians.

Find more information about the presentation here:

GSA: Falling short: recruiting elderly individuals for a fall study

Despite the importance of activity indicators in predicting the risk of falls in older adults, activity data on the elderly are limited. This may result from the recruitment and sampling methods of activity-related studies and fall observations in older adults. This presentation addresses recruitment and sampling methodology issues and draws attention to the gap in best practices left by previous literature.

It leverages a systematic review of methods used to recruit elderly subjects for fall studies, highlighting the most effective recruitment strategies across several settings. These findings are further explored in light of the challenges faced by the researchers of one fall study in 2011, particularly in recruiting from the target group of older adults at a sufficiently high risk of falling, yet with the requisite cognitive capacity to adhere to activity protocols.

The analysis suggests several tactics for improving the recruitment of older adults for activity-related studies, including:
•    Recruiting from settings where community-dwelling older adults organize;
•    Utilizing short-term activity protocols to promote involvement among institutionalized elderly;
•    Establishing eligibility criteria that are not overly exclusive of those with lower cognitive functioning, mobility restrictions, and co-morbidities;
•    Employing direct mail recruitment methods to reach community-dwelling participants; and
•    Utilizing intermediaries to recruit institutionalized elderly.

Find more information about the conference here:

HITLAB is a cross-disciplinary public health teaching and research organization that studies and educates others about the impact of healthcare information and communications technology on public health. HITLAB uses statistical and ethnographic evaluative tools to research technologies that improve the access, affordability and quality of medical care worldwide. With sponsorship from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, the HITLAB conducts diverse research in areas such as informatics, epidemiology, genomics, economics, social development, and government policy.Based in New York, NY, the Lab’s team includes faculty, scientists, research scholars and students from top universities around the country. More information is available at