Tulsky awarded PCORI grant for $1.7 million

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

James Tulsky, MD, professor of medicine (General Internal Medicine) and chief of Duke Palliative Care, has been awarded $1.7 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for a communication and dissemination research project.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).The award is one of 46 new funding awards that PCORI’s Board of Governors approved yesterday. Tulsky’s proposal was selected from 490 submissions that responded fully to the funding announcements PCORI issued in February.

Dr. Tulsky's three-year project is Improving Communication Between Cancer Patients and Oncologists Using Patient Feedback on Actual Conversations and the ABIM Maintenance of Certification Program. Tulsky's group has developed a mobile app that allows clinicians to record their patient visits and to have these encounters coded for quality.

"The truth is that I've rarely been more excited about a project," said Tulsky. "This grant allows us to put into practice what we've been working on for years with communication analysis and training."

Tulsky added that the project dovetails well with the recent IOM report, Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life, which recommended that standards be created for "clinician-patient communication and advance care planning that are measurable, actionable, and evidence-based." (See previous post.)

"Dr. Tulsky's work is blazing a path for making changes to health care that will make a real difference in patients' lives," said Ebony Boulware, MD, MPH, chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine. "I'm really proud to see this."