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Implementation of a Health Data-Sharing Infrastructure Across Diverse Primary Care Organizations

Cole, Allison M. MD, MPH; Stephens, Kari A. PhD; Keppel, Gina A. MPH; Lin, Ching-Ping PhD; Baldwin, Laura-Mae MD, MPH

The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: April/June 2014 - Volume 37 - Issue 2 - p 164–170
doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000029
Original Articles

Practice-based research networks bring together academic researchers and primary care clinicians to conduct research that improves health outcomes in real-world settings. The Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho region Practice and Research Network implemented a health data-sharing infrastructure across 9 clinics in 3 primary care organizations. Following implementation, we identified challenges and solutions. Challenges included working with diverse primary care organizations, adoption of health information data-sharing technology in a rapidly changing local and national landscape, and limited resources for implementation. Overarching solutions included working with a multidisciplinary academic implementation team, maintaining flexibility, and starting with an established network for primary care organizations. Approaches outlined may generalize to similar initiatives and facilitate adoption of health data sharing in other practice-based research networks.

Department of Family Medicine, and WWAMI region Practice and Research Network, University of Washington, Seattle (Drs Cole and Baldwin and Ms Keppel); and Institute of Translational Health Sciences, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington, Seattle (Drs Stephens and Lin).

Correspondence: Allison M. Cole, MD, MPH, Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Box 356390, Seattle, WA 98195 (

This publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UL1TR000423. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins