William Hogan, M.D., above at UAMS’ Primary Data Center, has put UAMS at the national forefront by leading the establishment of a system that makes all electronic medical records readily available for research.
Jan. 16, 2013 | The de-identified medical records from about 200,000 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Family Medical Center patients are now part of a new database that is enabling meaningful new research and supports continuing patient care improvements at UAMS.
The additional records from the six regional primary care clinics give UAMS nearly 1 million patients whose de-identified medical information is available for research at its Enterprise Data Warehouse. The number is expected to surpass 1 million in the next few months.
As a result, UAMS is among the first in the United States to offer electronic health record data for research on a statewide scale, said William Hogan, director of the UAMS Translational Research Institute’s (TRI) Comprehensive Informatics Resource Center (CIRC).
“Having this data from every region of the state gives us complete coverage of the UAMS clinical enterprise, and it puts us in rare company nationally” said Hogan, who is also chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics in the College of Medicine.
The Data Warehouse standardizes existing electronic medical records data so that individual patient cases can be tracked efficiently across UAMS clinical systems. It provides access to inpatient, outpatient, lab and registration records systems while complying with the federal patient privacy law known as HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The Data Warehouse offers a rich source of medical information that will allow researchers to advance their understanding and treatment of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
Electronic access to easily sortable epidemiologic information will benefit researchers striving to turn basic science discoveries into new medical treatments. It opens the door to new realms of translational research, such as comparative effectiveness research, which can help doctors provide more targeted treatments for individual patients.
The data will also be used to help UAMS more accurately assess the quality of its patient care programs and improvement initiatives. For example, it will allow UAMS to ensure that patients who need vaccinations are receiving them.
Established in the fall of 2011, the Data Warehouse was a priority for the UAMS Translational Research Institute, which has been funded since 2009 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). The Translational Research Institute supports UAMS scientists by providing resources that improve research efficiency and help produce tangible improvements in health and health care.
The Data Warehouse has involved collaboration among the Translational Research Institute, the Biomedical Informatics Division and UAMS Information Technology.