Health Services Research

Opportunities for getting involved in health services research continue to grow in the Division of Rheumatology at UCSF. Several investigators are looking at health outcomes, quality of care, and projects aimed at improving patient-doctor communication.

Patricia Katz, PhD:

Dr. Katz’s research for the past decade has focused on redefining the measurement of disability in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus to include more of the everyday activities that people value, as well as examining the impact of such disability on psychological well-being and quality of life. More recently her research has focused on looking at the impacts of obesity and physical inactivity on disability in these same populations. As a result of that work, she is also examining the impact of obesity and physical inactivity on other health outcomes among individuals with RA and lupus.

Mary Margaretten, MD:

Dr. Margaretten's primary research interest involves investigating the causes of depression in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Her long-term goal is to develop an intervention to treat depression in patients with RA.

Gabriela Schmajuk, MD, MS:

Dr. Schmajuk is an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF and the San Francisco VA Medical Center, Co-Director of the UCSF Quality and Informatics Lab (, and core faculty in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy. She is a practicing rheumatologist and physician scientist in the Division of Rheumatology with training in epidemiology, outcomes research, and quality improvement and expertise in clinical informatics. Her research focuses on using “big data” and health information technology (IT) to identify and improve gaps in quality and safety in the care of patients with rheumatic diseases. Her research program has been continually federally funded, and she am currently PI for an R01 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R01HS025405) and the principal investigator for a Data Analytic Center for the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) RISE registry. Key areas of focus include developing, validating, and implementing quality and safety measures locally and nationally; health services research to identify and systematically address gaps in health care for patients with rheumatic conditions; and creating health IT solutions, including new electronic health record (EHR)-enabled dashboards and workflows, to drive improvements in clinical care.

Jinoos Yazdany, MD, MPH:

Jinoos Yazdany's research focuses on improving the quality of health care delivered to patients with chronic rheumatic diseases. Although recent therapeutic advances in rheumatology have greatly improved the outcomes of these once disabling and sometimes fatal diseases, many patients have not benefited from these innovations. Dr. Yazdany's research program aims to improve health outcomes and ensure equity in health care delivery for patients with rheumatic disease through the development, application and implementation of quality measures. Using a combination of clinical and health services research, her work tackles three key issues facing health care delivery in rheumatology: 1) a paucity of health care quality measurement tools; 2) lack of data about whether patients are receiving high quality, evidence-based care; and 3) unknown prevalence and impact of unnecessary or inappropriate health care services. She is co-Chair of the American College of Rheumatology's (ACR) Quality Measures Subcommittee, a member of the ACR's Quality of Care Committee, co-Chair of the ACR's Choosing Wisely Initiative and also serves on the Health Professional Council of the National Quality Forum.

Edward Yelin, PhD:

Dr. Yelin’s research is focused on the reasons why members of racial and ethnic minorities and those from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds with systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis have poorer access to care and poorer outcomes. His work emphasizes the impact of changes in the health care system in the U.S. as well as changes in the economy on the disadvantaged. Research conducted in collaboration with his colleagues Drs. Jinoos Yazdany and Jennifer Barton focuses on the effect of the interaction between health care providers and persons with SLE and RA as a cause of disparities in outcomes. Lastly, together with his colleagues Drs. Lindsey Criswell, Patricia Katz and others, Dr. Yelin will be continuing his work as part of the Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center (MCRC)