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Research

Sutter Health Research Projects on Patient-Centered Care Receive National Awards

 Palo Alto, Calif., (Feb. 13, 2017) – The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) based in Washington, D.C., recently awarded funding to a study at Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) on improving communication between patients and primary care doctors, and to a PAMF project aimed at improving preventive care for seniors.

A study led by Ming Tai-Seale, Ph.D., MPH, associate director of PAMFRI, received $5.8 million to assess the effectiveness of three different approaches to enhancing patient-doctor communication in a primary care setting.

“We want to enable patients to have a voice in their care from the beginning,” said Dr. Tai-Seale. “This project encourages patients to be better prepared and to engage in shared decision making so that they will get more out of their visit. And it will help doctors and patients choose the best treatment plan for the patient.’’

Dr. Ming Tai-Seale at a conference held by Health Affairs, a leading policy journal.

Dr. Ming Tai-Seale at a conference held by Health Affairs, a leading policy journal.

An award for $50,000 went to the Guzik Family Center for Geriatrics and Palliative Care at PAMF to advance the Fostering Successful Aging project. Established in 2014, Fostering Successful Aging has received funding from PCORI for three consecutive years. The project’s goal is to engage older people, the medical community, researchers and other stakeholders in studying effective strategies to help seniors maintain their health and independence for as long as possible.

“This work focuses attention on value-based preventive care for seniors by discovering how patients can help contribute meaningfully to improving care for seniors both now and in the future,” said Peter H. Cheng, M.D., founder of the project and leader of geriatric medicine at PAMF’s Guzik Center.

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PAMF Research Institute Shares Findings on Open Communication Study

Open Communication Model Increases Patient Engagement & Satisfaction

A recent Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) study looked at ways to improve patient-physician communication through a cluster randomized controlled trial of four primary care clinics at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF). Funding for the study was provided by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI),

Researchers tested two approaches:

The first approach, called “Open Communication,” was co-developed by the PAMF Research Institute team with patients, physicians and clinic staff. It contained three components:

  1. A Visit Companion booklet for patients write down the issues or questions that matter to them most, and bring to their doctor visit
  2. A short animated video that encourages patients and physicians to communicate openly
  3. Physician communication coaching from a standardized patient coach on how to use the booklet with their patients

The second approach was based on the AskShareKnow of the ASK Patient-Clinician Communication Model which prompts patients to ask their doctor three questions about their options and risks.

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Nutrition Myths & Healthy Dietary Advice in Clinical Practice

American Academy of Family Medicine publishes
PAMF, Stanford, Einstein College of Medicine study findings

Much of the dietary information presented as fact is actually myth, according to an article co-authored by a researchers at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI), Stanford and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. An article describing the study findings, is published in the May 1 issue of  American Family Physician, the American Academy of Family Physician’s peer-reviewed and evidence-based clinical journal for physicians and others in primary care.

The researchers studied dietary myths about vitamins and minerals (micronutrients); carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (macronutrients); dietary fibers; and how calories relate to weight loss. They found that the best diets share common features and a consistent theme: limit ultra-processed foods and eat whole or minimally processed foods – as close to what occurs in nature as possible. Read More

Study Finds More Medicare Seniors Get Preventive Care Since ACA Expansion

The number of eligible seniors enrolled in Medicare fee-for-service who went to their doctor for Annual Wellness Visits increased from 1.4 to 27.5 percent in the three years (2011-2013) since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded Medicare coverage to fully cover preventive care visits, according to a study conducted by Sukyung Chung, Ph.D., assistant scientist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) that was published in the January issue of Health Affairs. The study suggests that expanding coverage for Annual Wellness Visits is an effective way of ensuring more seniors get needed preventive care.

The study evaluated primary care patients at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) and assessed the impact of the expansion in coverage on utilization of preventive visits. Among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries, annual preventive visit rates increased by two-fold, from 17 percent in 2007 to 32 percent in 2013. Read More

New Study Investigates Underuse of Generic Drugs

FDA taps PAMF Research Institute & Johns Hopkins Medicine study team

Generic drugs can save millions in health care costs, while providing the same quality, safety and efficacy as brand medications. Yet many doctors still prescribe brand-name treatments for their patients. Why?

To find out, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tapped a team at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) and Johns Hopkins Medicine for a two-year study that will analyze factors that contribute to the underuse of generic drugs. Read More

PAMF Researchers Study Healthiness of U.S. Chain Restaurants

GrellinNew Website Points Consumers to Healthiest Places to Eat Out

In a recent study, researchers at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) ranked the healthiness of 150 national chain restaurants in the United States. The 2013 study was lead by Primary Investigator Lenny Lesser, M.D., MSHS, a family medicine physician at PAMFRI, and funded in part by The California Endowment. Dr. Lesser presented the team’s research – and the launch of a new interactive rating system and website for consumers that shares information on which chain restaurants are healthier than others – on November 19, 2014 at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

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