Phrase Health Awarded NIH Grant To Align Electronic Health Record Data With Quality Outcomes

The new quality improvement dashboard will facilitate continuous improvement for any healthcare stakeholder interested in pursuing quality or safety initiatives


Phrase Health, Inc, a Philadelphia-based healthcare technology company, was awarded a $224,995 Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), an institute within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The funded proposal aims to facilitate care improvement and safety initiatives within the healthcare setting through the aggregation of quality measures and electronic health record (EHR) system data. As part of the research exploration, the Phrase Health team of clinicians, designers, and engineers are working closely with clinical informaticists and human factors experts at multiple academic health systems.

Health system quality improvement (QI) teams are often siloed from the informatics and information technology groups. “Informatics and quality leaders around the country frequently tell us that the EHR is integral to clinical workflows. However, aligning the EHR with important quality improvement initiatives remains extraordinarily difficult,” says Dr. Marc Tobias, Phrase Health’s CEO and a physician board certified in Clinical Informatics and Emergency Medicine.

The proposed research entails an iterative design process with user testing and evaluation. Early user research has yielded promising results. Participants unfamiliar with QI felt this product could empower them to quickly drive practice improvement. When walking through an onboarding prototype, one physician user remarked, “This is clearly a time saver. In one hour, you can accomplish what may take hours… congratulations, you really have streamlined an intimidating and terrible process.” Another physician trainee valued the reassuring guidance as she set up an initiative, saying “It feels more approachable – I might be able to identify a problem but I wouldn’t know the next steps. It makes it easier to start.”

In addition to development of the product, researchers at the participating institutions have sought to publicly disseminate their findings. Preliminary results, entitled “User and Task Analysis for Evaluation of Clinical Decision Support for Quality Improvement” were accepted in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) Annual Meeting. Furthermore, the project leads will present their work later this Fall at the HFES Annual Meeting and will participate in clinical decision support (CDS) focused presentations at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium.

In the meantime, the Phrase Health team plans on continued iteration of their product over the next year. Dr. Tobias states, “We are thrilled to have this grant support from the NIH and NLM. The support through this grant represents the recognition of a significant problem that has stymied quality improvement. I’m excited to see the progress we’re making every day.”

About Phrase Health

Phrase Health is a healthcare technology company focused on improving the quality of clinical care delivery through the optimization and management of electronic health record data. The award-winning company, founded in 2018 within the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia by several board certified clinical informatics physicians, provides web-based analytics dashboards to better understand clinical processes and electronic interventions like alerts and order sets. The company has customers that span academic health systems, community health networks, and stand-alone pediatric hospitals. Learn more at

Early findings reported in this press release were supported by the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health under award number R41LM013317. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Phrase helps you drive quality improvement and clinical outcomes through our advanced healthcare technology.