"Gone fishing" could have read the sign outside Russ Waitman's office on October 29. Dr. Waitman, who is the Director of Medical Informatics, gave a talk that day about data, information and creating a learning healthcare system. The researcher, as described by Dr. Waitman, is a fisherman, looking to land the right data to answer a hypothesis. A clinical information system is a tank stocked with diagnoses, demographics, observations and treatments, and an integrated set of information systems creates a hatchery for discovery and expanding knowledge.
Dr. Waitman was describing an initiative for which he would later receive a $7 million Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant: The Greater Plains Collaborative. It was one of three PCORI grants awarded to KU Medical Center faculty. The collaborative will establish a new network of nine medical centers in seven states committed to building a data set from electronic medical health records that will be used to contribute to new research in the fields of breast cancer, obesity and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease).
The Greater Plains Collaborative is just one of the many ways KU Medical Center is applying technology and knowledge to engage minds and lead healthcare.
As an institution that relies on data to effectively teach students, to conduct sound research and to efficaciously treat patients, it makes sense that leaders at all levels make data-driven decisions in managing the medical center. Through the efforts and support provided by Enterprise Analytics and Information Resources, we have and we continue to develop systems and reporting to do just that: make well informed decisions supported by data.