Shira H. Fischer

Photo of Shira Fischer
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

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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Shira Fischer is a physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on health information technology research and policy. She recently published two papers on the uptake of telehealth in the wake of COVID-19. She has done work for HHS on entry-level workforce in health care and on the evidence base for Project ECHO, an effort in which specialists use videoconferencing to train generalists to increase access and capacity in health care. She has also done work for HRSA on a project to integrate housing and medical data for patients with HIV and was involved in another large CMS contract working to standardize reporting from post-acute care settings, focusing on medication reconciliation.

Fischer holds an M.D. and Ph.D. in clinical and population health research from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, an M.S.Sc. in clinical informatics from Harvard Medical School, and a B.A. in biochemistry from Harvard College. She also holds an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital.

Selected Publications

Fischer SH, Shih RA, McMullen TL, et al. , "Standardized assessment of medication reconciliation in post-acute care," J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022

Predmore Z, Fischer S, "Electronic Health Data Quality and Population Health Management Algorithms," Popul Health Manag, 2021

Fischer SH, Rose AJ, McBain RK, Faherty LJ, Sousa J, Martineau M, Evaluation of Technology-Enabled Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building Models: Materials for a Report to Congress, RAND Corporation (RR-2934), 2019

Fischer SH, Uscher-Pines L, Roth E, Breslau J, "The Transition to Telehealth during the First Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from a National Sample of Patients," JGIM, 2021

Uscher-Pines L, Bouskill KE, Sousa J, Shen M, Fischer SH. , Experiences of Medicaid Programs and Health Centers in Implementing Telehealth, RAND Corporation (RR-2564), 2019

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

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), 2010

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

Recent Media Appearances



  • Therapist Heather Guinn conducts a virtual session with a patient via telemedicine, April 22, 2020, photo by MaCabe Brown/Courier & Press/Reuters

    Patients Log On to See Their Own Doctors During the Pandemic

    Telehealth use has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Can this form of high-quality, low-cost care be maintained over the long term? As discussion of post-pandemic policies begins, lessons from patients' use of telehealth will provide valuable guidance.

    Jan 7, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • A ventilator that was modified to be used simultaneously by two patients at the Aga Khan university Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, April 9, 2020, photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

    Innovations During COVID-19: Silver Lining or Threat to Patient Safety?

    We still don't know what works best to treat COVID-19. Some of the ideas and innovations are outstanding, but they are, so far, untested. There is an urgent need to evaluate ongoing innovations to learn what works and what doesn't, and what may have costs that are acceptable only under crisis conditions.

    Jun 1, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • The Care19 mobile app, developed by the State of North Dakota to assist in contact tracing during the global outbreak of the COVID-19, April 24, 2020, photo by Paresh Dave/Reuters

    Should Communities Be Concerned About Digital Technologies to Fight COVID-19?

    Personal smart devices offer an unprecedented opportunity to identify, track, map, and communicate about COVID-19. But apps could pose privacy and security concerns.

    May 13, 2020 Inside Sources

  • 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