Adam Sharp, MD, MS

Emergency Physician, Investigator - Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California - Department of Research & Evaluation


Adam L. Sharp, MD, MS, is an emergency physician and research investigator for Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) region, a $24B health system with 15 hospitals, 168 medical offices and over 4.2 million members. As a scientist with the Care Improvement Research Team in the Department of Research and Evaluation, his work embeds research methods and rigor into improving patient care. His clinical practice as an Emergency Physician is based at the Los Angeles Medical Center, a 528 bed, tertiary referral hospital for KPSC.

Dr. Sharp is a graduate of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, where he was an academic all-conference basketball player and member of the 1998 Final Four team. In medical school he served as Class President before residency training at Indiana University. There he was a Chief Resident before being selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan. There he received a Master’s of Sccalifornience in Health and Health Care Research.

Dr. Sharp aims to improve the effectiveness and affordability of health care. His research has identified gaps in health care quality and the effect of health reform. It has described the impact of quality improvement interventions on patient outcomes and care efficiency. His work has improved antibiotic stewardship, emergent care of ischemic stroke, appropriate use of diagnostic CT imaging and the acute evaluation of chest pain. He is a physician champion at KPSC working to identify and address social determinants of health. This work facilitates patient screening for social needs and has collaborated to improve community partnerships addressing identified needs. Dr. Sharp hopes to blend his clinical and leadership experience with his research expertise to implement efficient health care practices to promote happy, healthy lives.

Areas of Focus

  • Implementation of evidence based healthcare
  • Clinical decision support
  • Social determinants
  • Health services research
  • Acute unscheduled care

Current Work

I have been working at KPSC on a pilot program with Health Leads to screen, refer and connect high utilizer patients with needed social services. My work has been to understand the prevalence of social needs in this population as well as to evaluate the potential health and affordability benefits for such programs. Additionally, I worked to implement a clinical decision aid (HEART) into routine ED practice in Southern California to improve acute chest pain management and understand the harms, costs and benefits. This work is currently funded by an R01 from NHLBI collaborating with Ben Sun, MD MS (OHSU) and Rita Redberg, MD (UCSF).

I am also working to identify opportunities to improve diagnostic accuracy. Specifically, through identifying patients and symptoms who may be at high risk for missing a heart attack or stroke during an emergency department encounter. This work has been in collaboration with David Newman-Toker (Johns-Hopkins) and Ketan Mane (KP Mid-Atlantic).

Most recent publications:

  • Improving antibiotic stewardship: a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial.
  • Sharp AL, Hu YR, Shen E, Chen R, Radecki RP, Kanter MH, Gould MK.
  • Am J Manag Care. 2017 Nov 1;23(11):e360-e365.
  • PubMed: 29182356 | The American Journal of Managed Care: Free Article
  • Low-value antibiotic prescribing and clinical factors influencing patient satisfaction
  • Sharp AL, Shen E, Kanter MH, Berman LJ, Gould MK.
  • Am J Manag Care. 2017 Oct;23(10):589-594.
  • PubMed: 29087630 | The American Journal of Managed Care: Free Article
  • Implementation of the Canadian CT Head Rule and Its Association With Use of Computed Tomography Among Patients With Head Injury.
  • Sharp AL, Huang BZ, Tang T, Shen E, Melnick ER, Venkatesh AK, Kanter MH, Gould MK.
  • Ann Emerg Med. 2018 Jan;71(1):54-63.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2017.06.022. Epub 2017 Jul 21.
  • PubMed: 28739290