Steve Johnson and Pinar Karaca Mandic Headshots
Steve Johnson and Pinar Karaca Mandic

CTSI-supported project wins national award to help patients report health outcomes, featured in Star Tribune

A multidisciplinary team of experts, including those from CTSI, developed an application that recently won a national award for its design that delivers standardized questionnaires to patients and sends the resulting data to doctors. The application also was recently featured in the Star Tribune.

Steve Johnson, PhD, Director of Informatics Innovation Dissemination for CTSI’s Biomedical Informatics Program and Assistant Professor for the Institute for Health Informatics, co-leads the PRISM app project along with Pinar Karaca Mandic, PhD, Associate Professor in the Carlson School of Management. The project also includes additional multi-disciplinary support from the University of Minnesota’s Medical School, Medical Industry Leadership Institute, Minnesota Innovation Corps, HealthEast Kidney Stone Institute with Fairview Health Services, EMF Consulting, and Perk Motivation.

Helping patients report health outcomes

The PRISM app, which stands for PROMIS Reporting Insight System from Minnesota gives patients a more interactive role when making decisions about their care and enables data to be used to provide insights into a person’s health status, function, and quality of life as well as evaluate the physical, mental, and social health in adults and children. It can show patients how their data compares to the overall population and provide personalized recommendations on how to improve their health.

“Improving healthcare quality can’t happen without the patient,” Johnson said. “This app facilitates the broad implementation of PROMIS measures while integrating the patient’s responses with their medical records so clinicians can easily access the information and see trends during a clinic visit.”

The app took top honors among 50 groups for the national Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Step Up App Challenge, a competition to address the need for greater use of standardized patient-reported outcomes data in clinical care and research. AHRQ has been working to influence how digital health tools can be incorporated into the health care system to bring down costs and improve quality and patient satisfaction.

Nine practice settings affiliated with MedStar Health in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia will pilot the app with pilot results expected later in 2019.

Pulling in subject matter experts

Johnson also tapped another CTSI-supported resource available to University of Minnesota clinical and translational research staff and faculty: the Clinical Research Support Center.

He engaged the clinical research experts in the CRSC to help navigate the study start-up process and the more complex aspects of the IRB application preparation for PRISM. He met with CTSI’s Research Preparatory Group and Regulatory Specialists who helped answer his questions and connect him to helpful resources.

PRISM was developed with funding and support from CTSI’s CTSA grant UL1TR002494, the University of Minnesota Medical School's New Opportunities to Improve Outcomes (NOTIO), and seed funds also were provided by the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management’s Medical Industry Leadership Institute.