Informatics Research Seminar: EHRs and Quality Improvement: Optimizing Effect

 January 23 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Samuel Cykert, MD
Presented from UNC-CH

Broadcast Link: Seminar


This talk will describe the spread of electronic health records (EHRs) in North Carolina practices and the effect on impactful chronic care measures. Although implementing electronic health records can result in improved outcomes, the benefit is blunted unless sound workflows are regularly applied to EHR functionality within the framework of day-to-day care in the practice.


Dr. Samuel Cykert is a Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina. He graduated with Honors from Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed his Internal Medicine residency and fellowship at UNC. He started his medical career as a solo practitioner in Alamance County, NC, and then completed a lengthy tenure as a member of the General Medicine faculty, followed by appointment to Chief of the Internal Medicine Program at the Moses Cone Health System in Greensboro, NC.

Dr. Cykert has been a core leader for the North Carolina Improving Performance in Practice Project since its inception, and is currently the Associate Director for Medical Education for the NC Area Health Education Centers Program (AHEC), while concurrently teaching and maintaining an active practice. He also chairs the North Carolina Healthcare Quality Alliance practice support committee, and has worked to spread measurement and application of rapid cycle quality improvement techniques to the delivery of important chronic care, cancer, and preventive services in NC primary care practices.

Dr. Cykert has 17 years of experience in health services research, during which he has had the opportunity to lead projects with policy implications. These include Lung Cancer: The Anatomy of the Decision, a prospective study funded by the American Cancer Society to identify root causes of disparities in lung cancer treatment (JAMA 2010;303:2368-2376) and assessments of health utility scores that are particularly applicable to health disparities research (J Gen Intern Med 1999;14:217-222; Med Decis Making 2003; 23:167-176).

Dr. Cykert serves as the Clinical Director of the North Carolina Regional Extension Center for Health Information Technology (REC). The REC program focuses on primary care practices reaching meaningful use of electronic health records followed by NC AHEC services that build quality improvement capacity and workflow redesign leading to patient-centered medical home functionality and recognition. Nearly 1,100 practices and 4,000 providers have enrolled in the program to date. He also serves as chair of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Affordable Care Act Quality Committee and sits on the ACA Advisory Board.