SPUR 2021: ReImagine EHR: Enhancing Patient Care and the Provider Experience through Standards-Based, Interoperable Extensions to the Electronic Health Record (EHR)


The University of Utah’s ReImagine EHR initiative is a multi-stakeholder effort to re-imagine how patient care and the provider experience can be optimized in the EHR, including through the development, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative, interoperable extensions of native functionality provided in the electronic health record (EHR). Through ReImagine EHR, we are developing various clinical applications and decision support capabilities that are seamlessly integrated with the rest of the EHR. We are leveraging emerging health IT standards such as FHIR, SMART, and CDS Hooks with the goal of enabling these apps and services to be shared across healthcare organizations and EHR platforms. We are developing apps and services spanning the continuum of care, including prevention, chronic disease management, acute care, and transitions of care. Several of these initiatives are being pursued with the support of research grants, such as a project funded by the National Cancer Institute for identifying and managing individuals with elevated risks of breast and colorectal cancer using standards-based, interoperable, and ultimately widely scalable approaches. Another project, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, focuses on lung cancer screening, which could save more lives than breast cancer screening. The director of the initiative, Dr. Ken Kawamoto, MD, PhD, MHS, has been recognized for this work as a Top 25 Innovator in health care by Modern Healthcare.

Student Role

The student will engage in the design, development, and evaluation of a ReImagine EHR app, service, and/or supportive tooling as a member of a multi-disciplinary project team that includes faculty, physicians, biomedical informaticists, and software engineers.

Student Learning Outcomes & Benefits

The student will gain hands-on experience in an exciting and important field for optimizing health care through the application of information technology and computer science.

Remote Contingency Plan

Even before the pandemic, our lab largely operated virtually, with lab members physically located across the nation. Lab members, including Dr. Kawamoto, are easily accessible on a Microsoft Teams collaboration line that is always on during business hours. The pandemic should therefore have no impact on the student’s SPUR experience.

Kensaku Kawamoto
Associate Professor

Biomedical Informatics
School of Medicine

I believe hands-on problem solving is the best way to learn. Therefore, my focus will be to provide the student with a manageable but challenging scope of work, and to provide an environment in which the student can learn with the help of myself and others on the team while engaged in active problem solving.