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Summaries of Independent Scientist (K) Awards

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Persell, Stephen

Institution: Northwestern University
Grant Title: Tailored Communication to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
Grant Number: K08 HS15647
Duration: 5 years (2006-2011)
Total Award: $630,000

Project Description: This project has four main aims:

  1. Evaluate the accuracy of automated assessments using the coded portions of an electronic medical record (EMR) compared with clinical chart review of the entire EMR for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.
  2. Determine primary care physicians' attitudes about the content and logistical elements of a direct-to-patient CV message system.
  3. Develop tailored print messages that provide patients with individualized CV information.
  4. Test the feasibility and efficacy of a direct-to-patient quality improvement system.

Career Goals: Dr. Persell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. He did his internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The grantee plans on becoming an independent health services researcher and expert in quality improvement for cardiovascular disease prevention and control in ambulatory care.

Progress to Date: Dr. Persell has completed the objectives of Phase 1 of the research protocol by comparing HER-based assessment with manual chart review to determine the accuracy of automated cardiac risk estimation and determination of candidates for antiplatelet or lipid-lowering interventions. The grantee conducted qualitative research using physician focus groups to examine physician attitudes about sending direct-to-patient cardiovascular risk messages. On-going work is addressing the physical message design.

Future Plans: Dr. Persell will complete the refinement of patient messages and begin the physician randomized trial.

Highlights and Specific Accomplishments:

  • Milton W. Hamolsky Junior Faculty Award, Society of General Internal Medicine, 2004.

K-Generated Publications:

Persell SD, Koh AN, Thompson JA, Baker DW. Improving hypertension quality measurement using electronic health records. Medical Care. 2009. 47:388-94.

Persell SD, Dunne A, Lloyd-Jones DM, Baker DW. Electronic health record-based cardiac risk assessment and identification of unmet preventive needs. Medical Care. 2009. 47:418-24.

Persell SD, Zei C, Cameron KA, et al. Potential use of 10-year and lifetime coronary risk information for preventive cardiology prescribing decisions: A primary care physician survey. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2010. 170:470-77.

Persell SD, Dolan NC, Friesema EM, et al. Frequency of inappropriate medical exceptions to quality measures. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2010. 152:225-31.

Persell SD, Bailey SC, Tang J, et al. Medication reconciliation and hypertension control. American Journal of Medicine. 2010. 123:182.e9-e15.

Marma AK, Berry JD, Ning H, Persell SD, et al. Distribution of 10-year and lifetime predicted risks for cardiovascular disease in U.S. adults: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2006. Circulation and Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes. 2010. 3:8-14.

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