Jacqueline Halladay, Christopher M. Shea, David Reed and Timothy P. Daaleman
Introduction: By forging partnerships among academia, industry and other stakeholders in health care IT, it is hoped that more user-friendly and efficient HIT solutions will become available soon. Although this shared stakeholders approach appears effective and synergistic, there has been minimal prior work that describes such collaborations.Understanding this collaboration is particularly important due to the different perspectives and priorities of academic and commercial stakeholders. In this report we share our collaborative experience of developing and delivering the Geriatric Enhancement Module (GEM), a software application comprised of a 7-item questionnaire designed to generate discussions among staff, providers and patients regarding quality of life issues.
Methods: Our academic-industry collaborators worked cooperatively to select and recruit three practices for the study, iteratively developed the GEM questions and available responses, and devised the method of delivering the questions within our pilot practices by participating jointly in a series of face to face meetings and conference calls during 12 months out of the two year study period.
Findings: One of the most important lessons learned is that despite the vendor’s computer programming aimed at delivering the module in a specific way for a particular set of patients, practices figured out ways to control the delivery of the module or tailor it for their own purposes in ways that certain automated features, such as “popping” up for all patients aged 50 or over, were not being used in the way that the vendor had thought. Therefore, we experimented with free-text software as an alternative method for delivery.