Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Sharon A. Johnson, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Isa Bar-On, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Diane M. Strong, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Edward Westrick, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Qi Zhou, Committee Member




Health care today harms too frequently and routinely fails to deliver its potential benefits. Significant evidence suggests that high quality primary care can positively affect health outcomes. I explored three related topics mentioned frequently in current United States health reform €“ Electronic Health Records (EHR), physician profiling and Medical Home. An investment in these areas is expected to significantly improve quality of care and efficiency; however, there is only a patchwork of evidence supporting such claims. To achieve EHR promises, my research employed a standardization lens to study the dynamics between EHR embedded structures and primary care processes. Using grounded theory, a standardization dynamics model was created describing the influencers, conditions and consequences of the process state. A matrix of two conditions, information exchange and patient complexity, identified four distinct pathways that require a different balance between standardization and flexibility. The value of such pathways is that they frame choices about how to use embedded IT structures to support effective delivery processes. Physician profiling is an emerging methodology used in health care quality improvement programs. Efforts to measure performance at the individual physician level face a number of challenges, including the need for sufficient sample size to support reliable measurement. A process for creating a physician profiling model was developed, and a model designed for a case study site. Results indicate that reliable physician profiling is possible across care domains using a hierarchical composite model. Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a new care delivery approach for providing comprehensive primary care that seeks to strengthen the physician-patient relationship. This exploratory study utilizes Pearson correlation coefficients to test four hypotheses about relationships between two sources of data: (1) PPC-PCMH Survey results that measure adoption of PCMH structures and (2) patient experience data from Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP). The results showed that the PPC-PCMH structures of access and communication were negatively correlated with the related patient experience measure. This study contributes to the literature by addressing deficiencies in how EHR-enabled processes, physician profiling models and Medical Home constructs are measured, to support improved outcomes.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Manufacturing Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





standardization, electronic health records, primary care, pathways, patient experience, Patient-Centered Medical Home, physician profiling