David W. Baker, MD, MPH
David W. Baker, MD, MPH received his MD from the UCLA School of Medicine and his MPH from the UCLA School of Public Health. He completed his research training in the UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars’ Program.
His research has focused on access to health care, racial and ethnic disparities in care, health communication, and quality of care for chronic diseases. In the area of access to care and health care delivery for vulnerable populations, his interests include health literacy, language barriers, the effect of lack of insurance on health care use and health outcomes, and racial and ethnic differences in health care use and outcomes. He was Principal Investigator for the Literacy in Health Care Study, the first study of the prevalence of inadequate health literacy, and Principal Investigator for the Prudential Health Literacy Study, the largest study ever conducted of the relationship between literacy, health status, and use of health care services. He conducted one of the largest studies of health outcomes for the uninsured among a national sample of adults in late middle-age. He served on the Institute of Medicine’s Subcommittee on Community Effects of Uninsured Populations. His research currently is examining the relationship between literacy and mortality among the elderly, the relationship between literacy and medication errors, and methods to improve patient education and health communication with patients who have limited literacy.
In the area of quality of care, he served as the Associate Project Director for the AHCPR-funded Heart Failure guideline and was lead author for a series of manuscripts in JAMA on quality of care for patients with heart failure. He has served as an advisor to both the Ohio and the Georgia Peer Review Organizations’ heart failure quality improvement projects, and he was part of the American Heart Association’s working group for measuring quality of care and outcomes for cardiovascular disease. He served on the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Heart Failure Practice Guideline committee and the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Committee for their new Heart Failure Practice Improvement Module. He has led studies examining many aspects of quality, including whether hospital mortality “report cards” lead to changes in market share for hospitals and improvements in outcomes, the effect of disease management programs for patients with heart failure, and an evaluation of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Improving Chronic Illness Care Collaborative. His current work is examining quality measurement and quality improvement using electronic health record systems. He has served as a member of the Health Information Technology Expert Panel’s (HITEP) Quality Date Set subcommittee, the Physicians’ Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI) Measure Implementation and Evaluation subcommittee, and the American College of Physicians’ Performance Measure subcommittee.
Current Research Projects
1R18HS017163 (Baker) 9/1/07-8/31/10
Using Precision Performance to Conduct Focused Quality Improvement
In order to provide the highest level of care possible to all patients, this proposal aims to create systems that improve our quality data and seamlessly link this data to practice-level quality improvement programs and point of care considerations.
R01AG030611 (Wolf) 9/15/07-6/30/10
Health Literacy and Cognitive Function Among Older Adults
The overall objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between health literacy and domains of cognitive function in older adults, and to determine how these factors predict one's ability to perform routine health activities. Role: Co-Investigator
1R18HS017220-01 (Wolf) 9/14/07-8/31/10
Using IT for Patient-Centered Communication and Decision Making about Medication
To improve medication management, this project brings together four vibrant lines of research and development at Northwestern: health communication, health literacy, medication safety, and informatics. The patient-centered information technology interventions in this study are designed to enhance communication and shared decision making about medications, with a focus on increasing patient understanding of essential information and improving the medication management process. Role: Co-Investigator
Northwestern Memorial Foundation
Developing and Testing Culturally Effective Diabetes Education Materials in Plain Language
The aims of this project are to 1) gain feedback from patients regarding understanding of words, preferences, and ideas for improving the concept graphics, flow, and content of a diabetes education program, 2) to pilot test enhanced print and multimedia versions of the materials in order to measure knowledge gain, and 3) to determine which of three educational strategies is better: multimedia, enhanced print materials or a combination of both.
K23HL084177 (Kandula) 4/1/06-3/31/11
Culture-Specific, Multimedia Cardiovascular Disease Education for Asian Indians
This is a Mentored Career Development Award (Dr. Baker primary mentor) focused on developing and evaluating a multimedia Cardiovascular Disease patient education program for Asian Indians.
5R01HL081257-4 (Pignone) 9/1/06-5/31/11
Health Literacy and Self-Management in Heart Failure
The aim is to examine, in a multi-site randomized trial, whether a literacy-sensitive intervention to improve heart failure self-management skills can improve health outcomes for all patients and particularly those with inadequate literacy. The scope of work at Northwestern University consists of recruiting patients into the study, implementing the intervention and helping UNC tract patients. Role: Site PI and Co-Investigator
Tailored Communication to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
This is a Mentored Clinical Scientist Award (Dr. Baker primary mentor). The goals of this project are to design and test preventive cardiology quality improvement interventions integrated into primary care settings using tailored patient communication and information technology.
K23HL085766 (Ruo) 4/1/07-3/31/12
Improved Assessment of Heart Failure Symptoms: Development of a Computerized Tool
This is a mentored Career Development Award (Dr. Baker primary mentor) The focus of the research plan is to use psychometric methods including computer adaptive testing to develop a symptom assessment tool that will allow for rapid precise measurement of key symptoms of heart failure.
1R21 CA132771-02 (Wolf) 4/15/08-3/31/10
Promoting Health Literacy for Newly Prescribed Medications via the EMR
The overall objective of this study is to improve patient understanding and use of newly prescribed drugs via distribution of ‘enhanced print’ instructions generated by the electronic medical record. Role: Co-Investigator
115403 (Makoul) 7/1/08-6/30/11
Tools for Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates: Multimedia vs. Print
The overall objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness of multimedia and print tools designed to provide patients at safety-net clinics with comprehensible information about colorectal cancer screening and motivate them to complete screening. Role: Site PI and Co-Investigator
1R21 AG031470-01 (Cameron) 8/1/09-7/31/10
The Effect of Fact versus Myth Messages on Receipt of Influenza Vaccination
Many public health messages use a “Facts & Myths” format to refute false information. However, researchers disagree as to the wisdom of this approach: some are concerned that individuals, particularly as they age, misremember myths as facts; others suggest that a well-crafted message that includes a refutation of any myths presented can be effective. The proposed research will test these competing claims on individuals 50 and older through a randomized trial using messages about influenza and influenza vaccination. Role: Co-Investigator
Baker DW, Parker RW, Williams MV, Coates WC, Pitkin K. Use and effectiveness of interpreters in an emergency department. JAMA. 1996; 274: 783-8.
Baker DW, Parker RM, Williams MV, Clark S, Nurss J. Functional health literacy, self-reported health status, and use of health services. American Journal of Public Health. 1997; 87; 1027-30.
Gazmararian J, Baker DW, Williams MV, Parker RM, Green D, Scott T, Fehrenbach SN, Ren J, Koplan J. Health literacy among Medicare enrollees in a managed care organization. JAMA. 1999; 281: 545-551.
Baker DW, Williams MV, Parker RM, Gazamararian JA, Nurss J. Development of a brief test to measure functional health literacy. Patient Education and Counseling. 1999; 38: 33-42.
Baker DW, Shapiro M, Schur C. Health insurance and access to care for symptomatic conditions. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2000; 160: 1269-1274.
Baker DW, Gazamararian JA, Sudano J, Patterson M. The association between age and literacy among the elderly. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. 2000: 55B; S368-S374.
Baker DW, Sudano JJ, Albert JM, Borawski EA, Dor A. Lack of health insurance and the risk of a decline in self-reported health and physical functioning among older adults. N Engl J Med 2001; 345: 1106-1112.
R Tamayo-Sarver JH, Hinze SW, Cydulka RK, Baker DW. Racial and ethnic disparities in emergency department analgesic prescription. Am J Public Health 2003:93:2067-73
Wolf, M; Gazmararian JG; Baker DW. Health literacy, self-reported health and functional status among Medicare Enrollees. Arch Intern Med. 2005; 165:1946-52.
Baker DW. The meaning and the measure of health literacy. J Gen Intern Med. 2006 Aug;21(8):878-83.
Baker DW, Cameron KA, Feinglass J, Thompson JA, Georgas P, Foster S, Pierce D, Hasnain-Wynia R. A system for rapidly and accurately collecting patients' race and ethnicity. Am J Public Health. 2006 Mar;96(3):532-7.
Baker DW, Wolf MS, Feinglass J, Thompson JA, Gazmararian JA, Huang J. Health literacy and mortality among elderly persons. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Jul 23;167(14):1503-9.
Kripilani S, LeFevre F, Phillips CO, Basavia P, Williams MV, Baker DW. Deficits in communication and information transfer between hospital-based and primary care physicians: Implications for patient safety and continuity of care. JAMA 2007; 297:831-41.
Baker DW, Persell SD, Thompson JA, Soman N, Burgner K, Kmetik K. Automated Review of Electronic Health Records to Assess Quality of Care for Outpatients with Heart Failure. Ann Intern Med 2007; 146: 270-7.
Baker DW, Hasnain-Wynia R, Kandula, N, et al. Attitudes Towards Health Care Providers In California Collecting Information About Patients’ Race, Ethnicity, And Language. Medical Care 2007; 45: 1034-42.
Baker DW, Wolf MS, Feinglass J, Thompson JA. Health literacy, cognitive abilities, and mortality among elderly persons. J Gen Intern Med. 2008 Jun; 23 (6): 723-6.
Kandula NR, Nsiah-Kumi PA, Makoul G, Sager J, Zei CP, Glass S, Stephens Q, Baker DW. The relationship between health literacy and knowledge improvement after a multimedia type 2 diabetes education program. Patient Educ Couns. 2009 Jun;75(3):321-7.
Persell SD, Dunne AP, Lloyd-Jones DM, Baker DW. Electronic health record-based cardiac risk assessment and identification of unmet preventive needs. Med Care. 2009 Apr; 47 (4): 418-24.
O’Leary KJ, Liebovitz DM, Feinglass J, Liss DT, Evans DB, Kulkarni N, Landler MP, Baker DW. Creating a better discharge summary: improvement in quality and timeliness using an electronic discharge summary. J Hosp Med. 2009 Apr; 4 (4): 219-25.
Wolf MS, Feinglass J, Thompson J, Baker DW. In search of 'low health literacy': Threshold vs. gradient effect of literacy on health status and mortality. Soc Sci Med. 2010 Feb 12.
Persell SD, Dolan NC, Friesema EM, Thompson JA, Kaiser D, Baker DW. Frequency of inappropriate medical exceptions to quality measures. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Feb 16; 152(4):225-31.