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Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP)

National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare

National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare (NCCD), located at the University of Texas - Houston, is a nationwide collaboration established in response to the urgent and long-term cognitive challenges in health IT adoption and meaningful use. NCCD’s vision is to become a national resource that provides strategic leadership in patient-centered cognitive support research and applications in health care.

Program Goals:
National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare has a three part mission:

  1. Bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers from biomedical and health informatics, cognitive science, computer science, clinical sciences, industrial and systems engineering, and health services who focus on patient-centered cognitive support.
  2. Conduct short-term research that addresses the usability, workflow, and cognitive support issues of health IT. Conduct long-term research that can remove key cognitive barriers to health IT adoption and meaningful use.
  3. Maximize health IT benefits for quality, efficiency, and safety by translating research findings to the real world through a cooperative program involving all stakeholders.

National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare will carry out interdisciplinary research projects to address the cognitive challenges identified by ONC. These challenges include: work-centered design, cognitive foundations for decision making, adaptive decision support, model-based data summarization, visualization, and distributed team work. Each of these challenges will be covered by more than one project and each project will cover more than one challenge.

Work-Centered Design of Care Process Improvements in Health IT: Generate a set of EHR-specific metrics which foster usability, best practices, system comparisons, and guide certification. This project aims to provide tools to increase health IT adoption and cost effectiveness by integrating functions and reducing risks associated with variegated user behavior.

Cognitive Foundations for Decision Making: Implications for Decision Support: Form a new approach to clinical decision support (CDS) based on the cognitive constructs of accurate decision making and develop the theoretical basis for clinical summarizations. This project will develop and pilot a small EHR that evolves, adapts, and proactively reacts to patient and provider needs.

Modeling of Setting-Specific Factors to Enhance Clinical Decision Support Adaptation: Develop methodologies which improve the efficacy and applicability of CDS by integrating patient and environmental specific factors.  This project will focus on tailoring CDS to support chronic disease management by incorporating guidance and workflow optimization techniques into EHRs. 

Automated Model-Based Clinical Summarization of Key Patient Data: Develop a stand-alone automated clinical summarization engine that yields condition specific, actionable, 1-2 page summaries which can be integrated into existing EHRs.

Cognitive Information Design and Visualization: Enhancing Accessibility and Understanding of Patient Data: Construct an interface which supports the integration of clinical understanding, decision making, and problem solving. This project will also provide metrics to evaluate and compare the efficacy of this open-source interface as compared to commercial interfaces.

Principal Investigator:
Dr. Jiajie Zhang, University of Texas, Houston

For More Information:
Please refer questions and comments regarding SHARPC to SHARP.Cognitive@hhs.gov.