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

Associate 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 new community resource specialist role was spread throughout Kaiser Permanente Washington, with a robust evaluation and implementation support co-led by Dr. Hsu through KPWHRI’s Center for Accelerating Care Transformation. 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

Evers S, Hsu C, Gray MF, Chisolm DJ, Dolcé M, Autio K, Thompson EE, Ervin E, Quintana LM, Beck A, Hansell L, Penfold R. Decision-making among adolescents prescribed antipsychotic medications: Interviews to gain perspectives of youth without psychosis or mania. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2022 Jun 12;13591045221105197. doi: 10.1177/13591045221105197. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Lapham GT, Matson TE, Carrell DS, Bobb JF, Luce C, Oliver MM, Ghitza UE, Hsu C, Browne KC, Binswanger IA, Campbell CI, Saxon AJ, Vandrey R, Schauer GL, Pacula RL, Horberg MA, Bailey SR, McClure EA, Bradley KA. Comparison of medical cannabis use reported on a confidential survey vs documented in the electronic health record among primary care patients. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 May 2;5(5):e2211677. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.11677. PubMed

Green BB, Anderson ML, Cook AJ, Ehrlich K, Hall YN, Hsu C, Joseph D, Klasnja P, Margolis KL, McClure JB, Munson SA, Thompson MJ. Clinic, home, and kiosk blood pressure measurements for diagnosing hypertension: a randomized diagnostic study. J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Mar 3. doi: 10.1007/s11606-022-07400-z. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Carrell DS, Cronkite DJ, Shea M, Oliver M, Luce C, Matson TE, Bobb JF, Hsu C, Binswanger IA, Browne KC, Saxon AJ, McCormack J, Jelstrom E, Ghitza UE, Campbell CI, Bradley KA, Lapham GT. Clinical documentation of patient-reported medical cannabis use in primary care: toward scalable extraction using natural language processing methods. Subst Abus. 2022;43(1):917-924. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2021.1986767. PubMed

Coleman KF, Krakauer C, Anderson M, Michaels L, Dorr DA, Fagnan LJ, Hsu C, Parchman ML. Improving quality improvement capacity and clinical performance in small primary care practices. Ann Fam Med. 2021 Nov-Dec;19(6):499-506. doi: 10.1370/afm.2733. PubMed

Palazzo L, Hsu C, Barnes DE, Figueroa Gray M, Greenwood-Hickman MA, Larson E, Dublin S. Patient and caregiver perspectives on a tool to increase recognition of undiagnosed dementia: a qualitative study. BMC Geriatr. 2021 Oct 26;21(1):604. doi: 10.1186/s12877-021-02523-0. PubMed

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. Acad Pediatr. 2021 Sep-Oct;21(7):1142-1150. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2021.06.014. Epub 2021 Jul 2. 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 May 3;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

 

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.

KPWHRI In the Media

Dr. Clarissa Hsu on creating and implementing the community resource specialist role

Lessons learned deploying community resource specialists at KP Washington

Healthcare Innovation, July 25, 2022