EHR Matters

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Lindsay Pine discusses good news for health IT research supporters, details about The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, and other announcements.

Category: EHR Matters
Date: November 16, 2009
Views:5,052 views

Hello, I’m Lindsay Pine and this is EHR Matters for Friday, November 6th. There is good news for those in support of health IT research: The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) provided the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with the ability to create the Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research. The NIH will fund over 200 grants for research in specific challenge areas that will impact biomedical or behavioral science and/or public health. Challenge areas focus on specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies, data generation, or research methods. This was a competitive grant; the NIH received more than 20,000 applications. All awardees were notified by September 30, 2009. Additional Recovery Act funds have also been allocated to NIH through grant funding for comparative effectiveness research (CER). Projects receiving these funds will need to meet a specific definition of CER: “a rigorous evaluation of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients.” Such research may include the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data used for outcomes data. One announced recipient of the NIH research grants is Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente has been awarded more than $54 million dollars to conduct health research using Kaiser Permanente's extensive electronic health record database. As one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans, Kaiser Permanente has the largest civilian electronic health record database in the world. John H. Cochran, MD, executive director of The Permanente Federation, sees major opportunities to improve healthcare delivery; he says "Kaiser Permanente believes that through evidence-based research and health information technology we can change how personalized health care is delivered." Academic institutions have also been awarded NIH grant funding for research purposes. Through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), NIH has awarded three contracts for pilot projects to improve informatics support for researchers conducting small-to medium-sized clinical studies. These projects will help researchers better communicate and aid in the discovery of new treatments for diseases.?The two-year contracts, totaling about $4 million, were awarded to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, the University of Washington in Seattle and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. The Case Western Reserve University project will develop Physio-MIMI, an informatics infrastructure for collecting, managing and analyzing diverse data types across institutions. The University of Washington project will develop a mechanism allowing researchers at three large, geographically distributed medical centers to easily access large shared data sets. They will extend Harvard University's i2b2 software architecture to support cross-institution searches, which will provide model policies and procedures to advance multi-institutional sharing of clinical data for research. The Vanderbilt University project will extend the capabilities of the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) system that provides research teams with an easy workflow to rapidly develop secure, Web-based applications for collecting, managing and appropriate sharing of clinical study data. All of these NIH funded research projects will make electronic health data useful to a significantly greater number of studies and facilitate national and international research collaborations. I’m Lindsay Pine and this has been EHR Matters- Thanks for watching

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