Clarissa Hsu, PhD

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“I want to empower individuals and communities by ensuring they have the information and support from health care systems to make decisions and take action to improve their health and well-being. This means directly involving them in the design and testing of health care processes and interventions.”

 

Clarissa Hsu, PhD

Assistant Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Clarissa.W.Hsu@kp.org
206-287-4276

Biography

Medical anthropologist Clarissa Hsu, PhD, has been doing Kaiser Permanente research since 2001, and became an official member of the faculty in 2011. She conducts research using a holistic approach that unites the cultural, social, and political factors that shape health and health care. Dr. Hsu was one of the first researchers to receive funding from the national Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which supports studies on issues that are a high priority for patients, caregivers, and clinicians. PCORI-funded research follows an innovative model, including patient input at all steps in the research process. Dr. Hsu and her team christened her PCORI project LINCC: Learning to Integrate Neighborhoods and Clinical Care.

The LINCC project designed, piloted, and evaluated a new primary care role: connecting patients to community resources. This role has recently been spread throughout Kaiser Permanente Washington. LINCC also resulted in the creation of valuable health care resources, including an article on having patients as co-investigators, as well as a guide and set of care-design templates for engaging a cohort of patients in co-designing care.

Dr. Hsu is also at the forefront of other prevalent health issues, working to document, design, evaluate, and disseminate new approaches and best practices. She seeks to help chronic pain patients taper off and find alternatives to opioids. She also works to improve how care delivery systems interact with patients and family members around sensitive and complex topics such as dementia diagnoses, use of antipsychotics in youth, blood pressure diagnosis and control, cannabis use, and childhood vaccinations.

Dr. Hsu is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Research interests and experience

  • Clinical Quality Improvement

    Primary care; ambulatory care; preventive medicine; health care design and workforce issues; addressing social determinants of health
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research/Patient-Centered Care

    Patient engagement and partnership; shared decision making
  • Chronic Pain

    Using safe and effective methods to treat pain, supporting patients to minimize opioid use, cannabis use, communication about pain
  • Addressing Social Risks in Clinical Settings

    Screening and providing support for patients with social needs 
  • Complementary & Integrative Health

    Patient experiences with complementary and alternative medicine 

  • Evaluation Science and Implementation and Dissemination Science

    Qualitative and mixed-methods approaches

Recent publications

Hofstetter AM, Opel DJ, Stockwell MS, Hsu C, deHart MP, Zhou C, Mangione-Smith RM, Englund JA. Influenza-related knowledge, beliefs, and experiences among caregivers of hospitalized children. Hosp Pediatr. 2021 Jul 16:hpeds.2020-003459. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2020-003459. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Hofstetter AM, Opel DJ, Stockwell MS, Hsu C, Zhou C, Mangione-Smith RM, Englund JA. Associations between healthcare professional communication practices and influenza vaccination of hospitalized children: influenza vaccine communication during hospitalization. Acad Pediatr. 2021 Jul 1:S1876-2859(21)00321-1. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2021.06.014. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Matson TE, Carrell DS, Bobb JF, Cronkite DJ, Oliver MM, Luce C, Ghitza UE, Hsu CW, Campbell CI, Browne KC, Binswanger IA, Saxon AJ, Bradley KA, Lapham GT. Prevalence of medical cannabis use and associated health conditions documented in electronic health records among primary care patients in Washington state. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(5):e219375. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.9375. PubMed

Crabtree BF, Howard J, Miller WL, Cromp D, Hsu C, Coleman K, Austin B, Flinter M, Tuzzio L, Wagner EH. Leading innovative practice: leadership attributes in LEAP practices. Milbank Q. 2020 May 13. doi: 10.1111/1468-0009.12456. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Hsu C, Cruz S, Placzek H, Chapdelaine M, Levin S, Gutierrez F, Standish S, Maki I, Carl M, Orantes MR, Newman D, Cheadle A. Patient perspectives on addressing social needs in primary care using a screening and resource referral intervention. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Dec 2. pii: 10.1007/s11606-019-05397-6. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-05397-6. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Jones SW, Parchman ML, Hsu CW, Austin B, Flinter M, Cromp D, Wagner E, McDonald S. Measuring attributes of team functioning in primary care settings: development of the TEAMS tool. J Interprof Care. 2020 May-Jun;34(3):407-413. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2019.1670628. Epub 2019 Oct 1. PubMed

Gray MF, Sweeney J, Nickel W, Minniti M, Coleman K, Johnson K, Mroz T, Forss B, Reid R, Frosch D, Hsu C. Function of the medical team quarterback: patient, family, and physician perspectives on team care coordination in patient- and family-centered primary care. Perm J. 2019; 23:18.147. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18.147. Epub 2019 Aug 26. PubMed

Parchman ML, Anderson ML, Coleman K, Michaels LA, Schuttner L, Conway C, Hsu C, Fagnan LJ. Assessing quality improvement capacity in primary care practices. BMC Fam Pract. 2019 Jul 25;20(1):103. doi: 10.1186/s12875-019-1000-1. PubMed

Coleman K, Wagner EH, Ladden MD, Flinter M, Cromp D, Hsu C, Crabtree BF, McDonald S. Developing emerging leaders to support team-based primary care. J Ambul Care Manage. 2019 Jun 4. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000277. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Hertel E, Cheadle A, Matthys J, Coleman K, Gray M, Robbins M, Tufte J, Hsu C. Engaging patients in primary care design: An evaluation of a novel approach to codesigning care. Health Expect. 2019 May 27. doi: 10.1111/hex.12909 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

 

New funding

Close-up image of Clarissa Hsu

KPWHRI to launch study on vaccine hesitancy among long-term care workers

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute plans to award $4.75 million to compare ways to raise COVID-19 immunization rates.

Healthy Findings Blog

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Vaccine hesitancy in the time of COVID-19

Can lessons from Immunity Community help build acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines? Clarissa Hsu, PhD, thinks so. 

news

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What defines outstanding primary care leadership?

The MacColl Center’s LEAP project identifies 11 features of effective leadership at primary care practices.

research

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LINCC-ing patients with community resources

Study ends but benefits for Kaiser Permanente members continue — thanks to a new support role in the regions’ clinics, writes Dr. Clarissa Hsu.