Diana S.M. Buist, PhD, MPH

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“My research goal is to gather solid evidence and to use it to improve patient care by increasing benefits and decreasing harms.”

Diana S.M. Buist, PhD, MPH

Senior Investigator and Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Twitter: @dianabuist

Biography

Diana Buist, PhD, MPH, is an epidemiologist and health services researcher with extensive experience conducting comparative effectiveness research. Her work focuses on reducing harms and increasing benefits for patients in the area of cancer screening and outcomes spanning across patient, provider, and system factors.

Dr. Buist has an extensive record of practical research that has led to many efforts to improve care, including the development and refinement of national breast cancer screening guidelines and their implementation within Kaiser Permanente Washington. She has been conducting research within Kaiser Permanente Washington for more than 20 years and is a strong believer in patient-centered care and the important role patients play in improving the value and quality of health care. Dr. Buist is involved in several studies aimed at providing high-value health care that provides patients and their providers with information on the expected benefits and harms of cancer screening and treatment strategies.

Dr. Buist also has a long history collaborating with external researchers, including helping lead two large national research consortia focused on improving cancer screening and outcomes: the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium and the Cancer Research Network of the Health Care Systems Research Network. Her extensive experience working with diverse data from these consortia in longitudinal studies and randomized trials in clinical systems puts Dr. Buist in a unique position to examine screening, care, and outcomes in health systems across the country.

As Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships, Dr. Buist works with other Kaiser Permanente regions, our local academic partners, and other external collaborators to build enduring strategic partnerships to enhance KPWHRI’s mission, align with KPWHRI faculty research priorities, and capitalize on our unique strengths in ways that are consistent with our mission.

Dr. Buist contributes to a variety of other projects at KPWHRI, including:

  • conducting a pragmatic clinical trial of home testing for human papilloma virus, or HPV, among women overdue for cervical cancer screening
  • optimizing long-term outcomes among women with a personal history of breast cancer through studying second breast events and second cancers associated with initial breast cancer, and investigating radiation therapy, breast density, tumor biology, and surveillance strategies for these women
  • identifying screening strategies that detect breast cancer early, minimize harms, and reach diverse communities
  • understanding the shared decision-making process for lung cancer screening from the patient and provider perspectives to help inform individuals about the harms and benefits of undergoing screening
  • investigating how artificial intelligence can be used in cancer imaging for risk prediction and/or early detection
  • evaluating the harms and benefits of different work-up intensities for incidentally detected lung nodules
  • training individuals in how to conduct learning health system research.

Dr. Buist is also an affiliate professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and an affiliate member at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She enjoys sharing her expertise by mentoring junior faculty and PhD and MPH candidates and teaching courses.

RESEARCH INTERESTS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Cancer

    Cancer screening and prevention; outreach and primary care prevention; comparative effectiveness; cost transparency; surveillance; secondary prevention; breast cancer treatment; breast cancer screening; outcomes following cancer diagnosis; cancer survivorship; provider variability in care

  • Preventive Medicine

    Cancer prevention and control; quality of care; preventive care; high-value care; consumer engagement in preventive medicine; systematic reviews

  • Women's Health

    Cancer prevention and control

  • Health Services & Economics

     

 

Recent publications

Newton KM, LaCroix AZ, Buist DSM. Do providers encourage HRT use for women at high risk of coronary disease? A focus on attitudes and prescribing behaviors. Circulation. 1997;96(suppl) :131.

LaCroix AZ, Newton KM, Buist DSM, Keenan NL, Anderson LA. What factors account for differences in HRT prescribing by healthcare providers in a health maintenance organization? The EnPower Provider Survey. Menopause. 1997;4:262.

Anderson LA, Caplan LS, Buist DSM, Newton KM, Curry S, LaCroix AZ. Counseling about HRT: perceived barriers and recommendations among primary care providers. Menopause. 1997;4:263.

Newton KM, Anderson LA, LaCroix AZ, Buist DSM, Keenan NL. Healthcare provider characteristics and encouragement to use HRT: the EnPower provider survey. Menopause. 1997;4:263.

Buist DSM, Tiro JA, Thayer C, Beatty T, Miglioretti DL, Lin J, Winer RL. Improving the promise of embedded pragmatic trials: surmountable barriers encountered in an evaluation of home-based HPV self-sampling to increase cervical cancer screening in overdue women. Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2019 Jul 19;15:100413. doi: 10.1016/j.conctc.2019.100413. eCollection 2019. PubMed

Buist DM, Ichikawa L, Wernli KJ, Lee CI, Henderson LM, Kerlikowske K, Bowles EJ, Miglioretti DL, Specht J, Rauscher G, Sprague B, Onega T, Lee JM. Facility variability in examination indication among women with prior breast cancer: implications and the need for standardization. J Am Coll Radiol. 2020 Jan 28. pii: S1546-1440(19)31483-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2019.12.020. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

Cancer screening

Breast density scans

Breast density is a risk factor for older women, too

Findings in JAMA Network Open could help guide decision-making about breast cancer screening for women 75 and older.

CATALyST

CATALyST Scholars

2 new scholars join learning health systems program

Scholars will study in-home oxygen use for COPD and the use of patient portals for adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Cancer screening

An older woman stands in front of a mammography machine, preparing for her scan

Catching breast cancers when mammograms are limited

New study calculates risk-based approach to detect the most cancers with the fewest exams.

Healthy Findings Blog

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Cancer screening in the time of COVID-19

Dr. Diana Buist reflects on the challenges of providing screening during a pandemic — and finds reason for optimism.

Breast Cancer Surveillance

Kaiser Permanente Washington Breast Cancer Surveillance Registry

Kaiser Permanente Washington has been part of the national Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium since 1994. Learn about the Kaiser Permanente Washington Breast Cancer Surveillance Registry here.

news

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CATALyST Program selects 2 new K12 Scholars

The early-career scientists will receive 3 years of intensive training in Learning Health System research.

KPWHRI In the Media

KPWHRI’s Diana Buist, PhD, quoted on one alternative to screening visits

At-home cancer screening could thrive after the pandemic

Reuters Health, published by Medscape, Nov. 24, 2020