Rainu Kaushal, MD, MPH, is the Chair of the new Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Director of the Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy, Executive Director of the Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative (HITEC), and the Frances and John L. Loeb Professor of Medical Informatics at Weill Cornell Medical College. She is also the Chief of Healthcare Policy and Research at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Kaushal is engaged in research, patient care, educational, management and operational activities at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, all geared toward optimizing the value of healthcare.
Dr. Kaushal is an expert in researching the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and comparative-effectiveness of healthcare interventions and of new payment and organizational models of healthcare delivery, particularly those supported by health information technology (IT) and health information exchange (HIE). Dr. Kaushal’s research expertise includes the development of novel methodological approaches and metrics for health IT and HIE. For example, she has developed and applied novel quantitative metrics to measure the quality and economic value of health IT and HIE, and novel qualitative frameworks to evaluate the effects of clinical IT applications. She has focused on a variety of outcomes including adoption, usage, cost, quality, patient safety, provider perceptions, consumer perceptions and unintended consequences. Her work has helped establish the value of health IT in the US healthcare system today.
Dr. Kaushal has published over 135 scholarly publications and is a frequent invited speaker at national and international meetings. She has served on numerous national advisory committees focused on health IT and/or patient safety. Dr. Kaushal has formally advised other researchers on methodological issues as well as with policy makers on state and federal issues. Finally, Dr. Kaushal has served on editorial boards for health care journals and on several study sections for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Dr. Kaushal has enjoyed creating and leading multi-institutional collaborations. In 2005, Dr. Kaushal founded and became the Executive Director of HITEC, a unique consortium of four universities in New York State. Its mission is to conduct rigorous evaluations of initiatives being undertaken as part of a novel and ambitious $450 million New York State program called “HEAL NY.” HITEC has been recognized as the New York State-designated entity for HEAL NY evaluation. Under HITEC, Dr. Kaushal has conducted more than 60 different studies.
Most recently, Dr. Kaushal received an award from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for a newly established consortium of 22 organizations, including six medical schools and universities with Clinical and Translational Science Awards, to electronically share clinical data, including patient-reported outcomes and biological specimens, in order to foster research and healthcare improvement.
Dr. Kaushal holds multiple academic leadership positions. Most recently, she has been named the Chair of a new Department of Healthcare Policy and Research building on a previous Department of Public Health. In this shared role between the medical school and the hospital, she will be assembling a team of healthcare economists, healthcare policy experts, medical informaticists, biostatisticians, epidemiologists, comparative effectiveness researchers, implementation scientists, and experts in clinical innovation.
In 2011, Weill Cornell created a new Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy (CHiP) spanning the medical college to express their strong commitment to the field. Dr. Kaushal leads this new center, which is committed to multi-disciplinary and collaborative efforts across many departments to support research, educational and operational medical informatics and associated policy issues. In addition, they focus on innovating novel technologies. CHiP currently has 40 faculty members.
Prior to this, Dr. Kaushal was the Chief for six years of the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics at Weill Cornell, a dynamic new Division established by the Departments of Pediatrics and Public Health to address the importance of health IT as a cornerstone of health care reform. She assembled an extensive team of faculty members (10 full time and 6 part-time), including health service researchers, informaticists, biostatisticians, economists and policy experts, supported by multiple project managers and research coordinators. Dr. Kaushal has secured approximately $25 million in extramural funding over the last six years.
In addition to her current role as Chief of Healthcare Policy and Research at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Kaushal served for 8 years as the Director of Pediatric Quality and Safety at the Komansky Center, striving to translate research learning into operational improvements as well as to measure the changes made by these interventions. In this role, she worked to proactively improve the quality and safety of care delivered to children at NYPH. She also continues to clinically attend on the inpatient pediatric service at the Komansky Center.
Dr. Kaushal is double-board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, having done her clinical training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital, Boston. While at Boston, she had a busy general internal medicine practice based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital during her residency and fellowship, followed by a practice at Uphams Corner Health Center. She currently attends on the inpatient pediatric wards and engages in teaching medical students, residents and fellows.
Dr. Kaushal is a committed educator. She established and directs a health services research fellowship in quality and medical informatics. She secured a federal grant for certification of workforce to successfully deploy EHRs. She has recently established a new Master’s in Health Informatics program. In the past, she has mentored a number of faculty members and fellows in clinical informatics and quality research at WCMC (twelve faculty members, four fellows, three residents), Columbia University (three faculty members), and Harvard Medical School (three fellows, one resident). Three of her fellows have secured formal career development awards for which she serves as the primary mentor.