Shira H. Fischer

shira Fischer
Associate Physician Policy Researcher
Boston Office


M.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School; Ph.D. in clinical and population health research, University of Massachusetts Medical School; M.S.Sc. in clinical informatics, Harvard Medical School; B.A. in biochemical sciences, Harvard College


Shira Fischer is an associate physician researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focus is health information technology research and policy. She is currently working on a project to integrate housing and medical data for patients with HIV and is involved in another large CMS contract working to standardize reporting from post-acute care settings, focusing on medication reconciliation. She recently helped design a roadmap for the Chilean Ministry of the Economy for health information technology planning in that country and completed an evaluation of a pharmacy intervention to improve medication adherence and outcomes in complex patients.

Fischer has experience designing and running focus groups and interviews as well as analyzing large datasets. Her thesis focused on a mixed-methods evaluation of laboratory monitoring of high-risk medications in the ambulatory population and HIT interventions to improve monitoring rates.

Prior to graduate school, Fischer worked at the Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC. She holds an M.M.Sc. in clinical informatics from Harvard Medical School, an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a degree in biochemistry from Harvard College.

Selected Publications

Fischer S, Rose A, "Responsible e-Prescribing Needs e-Discontinuation," JAMA, 2017

Uscher-Pines L, Fischer S, Chari R., "The Promise of Direct-to-Consumer Telehealth for Disaster Response and Recovery. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine," Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 2016

Fischer, S. H., Tjia, J., Reed, G., Peterson, D., Gurwitz, J. H. and Field, T. S., "Factors Associated with Ordering Laboratory Monitoring of High-Risk Medications," J Gen Intern Med, 2014

Fischer, S. H., Field, T. S., Gagne, S. J., Mazor, K. M., Preusse, P., Reed, G., Peterson, D., Gurwitz, J. H. and Tjia, J., "Patient Completion of Laboratory Tests to Monitor Medication Therapy: A Mixed-Methods Study," J Gen Intern Med, 28(4):513-21, 2013

Fischer, S. H., Tjia, J. and Field, T. S., "Impact of Health Information Technology Interventions to Improve Medication Laboratory Monitoring for Ambulatory Patients: A Systematic Review," J Am Med Inform Assoc, 17(6):631-6, 2010


  • A doctor recording information with a patient

    Beyond Medication Reconciliation: The Correct Medication List

    Primary care clinicians are expected to reconcile a patient's medications at every visit. In practice, this has failed to have a demonstrable effect on patient outcomes. What is needed is not merely a reconciled list, but the correct list.

    Apr 21, 2017 The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Doctor using a tablet computer

    Responsible e-Prescribing Needs e-Discontinuation

    Implementation of electronic prescribing has been a big success in health information technology. But most e-prescribing systems don't allow electronic cancellation of orders. Adding this feature could help reduce medication errors.

    Feb 7, 2017 The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • An aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured on a leaf in San Jose, Costa Rica, February 1, 2016

    Electronic Health Records: Yesterday's Ebola and Today's Zika

    Electronic health records in U.S. hospitals are not yet prompting for screening questions related to Zika virus. Why? The existing system is too slow to respond and when it does, it finds itself chasing the past.

    Feb 18, 2016 The Health Care Blog

  • Female doctor with laptop PC

    Paying for Telemedicine

    Telehealth, delivering health services and information via technology, holds great promise. But more information is needed to determine what works and what doesn't.

    Sep 3, 2015 The RAND Blog