Douglas S. Bell

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Adjunct Research Scientist
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in health services, University of California, Los Angeles; M.D., Harvard Medical School; B.A. in biochemistry, Case Western Reserve University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Douglas S. Bell is an adjunct research scientist at the RAND Corporation and associate professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Bell is a general internist and a researcher focusing on uses of information technology in redesigning health care. His early research on features of electronic prescribing systems demonstrated wide variance among these systems and helped to motivate current certification processes for electronic health records. Bell has subsequently led a series of studies to evaluate advanced electronic prescribing data standards and to explore how the uptake and use of electronic prescribing can be achieved in community practices. He is also leading a new initiative funded by the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to advance clinical decision support technology. Bell's other current projects are addressing online education for physicians and in semantic interoperability of clinical performance measures. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Faculty Physician Scholar and he served on the Google Health Advisory Council during the design of their online personal health record.

Bell received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School; completed a medical informatics fellowship in the Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; and received his Ph.D. in health services research from UCLA.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

Recent Projects

  • Advancing clinical decision support technology
  • Use of electronic referrals to improve the outpatient primary care-specialty care interface
  • E-prescribing implementation tools for physician offices and pharmacies
  • Pilot testing advanced standards for e-prescribing, including standards for drug identification (RxNorm), formulary and benefit information, medication histories, and patient instructions

Selected Publications

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, "Cordasco KM, Asch SM, Bell DS, Guterman JJ, Gross-Schulman SG, Ramer L, Franco I, Leatherwood C, Elkayam U, Mangione CM.," The design and randomized-controlled evaluation of a low-literacy medication education tool for safety-net hospital patients., 2009

Wang CJ, Patel MH, Schueth AJ, Bradley M, Wu S, Crosson JC, Glassman PA, Bell DS., "Perceptions of standards-based electronic prescribing systems as implemented in outpatient primary care: a physician survey.," Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 2009

Retention of learning after an online tutorial: An educational trial among resident physicians, "Bell DS, Harless CE, Higa JK, Bjork EL, Bjork RA, Bazargan M, Mangione CM.," Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2008

Evaluating the technical adequacy of electronic prescribing standards: results of an expert panel process., "Bell DS, Schueth AJ, Guinan JP, Wu, S, Crosson JC.," Proceedings of the AMIA Annual Symposium, :46-50, 2008

Crosson JC, Isaacson N, Lancaster D, McDonald EA, Schueth AJ, DiCicco-Bloom B, Newman JL, Bell DS, "Variation in electronic prescribing implementation among twelve ambulatory practices," Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(4):364-71, 2008

Terrence Shaneyfelt et al., "Instruments for Evaluating Education in Evidence-Based Practice: A Systematic Review," Journal of the American Medical Association, 296(9), 2006

D. S. Bell and M. A. Friedman, "E-Prescribing and the Medicare Modernization Act: Paving the On-Ramp to Fully Integrated Health Information Technology," Health Affairs, 24(5), 2005

C. J. Wang et al., "Functional Characteristics of Commercial Ambulatory Electronic Prescribing Systems: A Field Study," Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 12(3), 2005

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: American Medical News; United Press International