UT Southwestern Computing Center Fuels Clinical Innovation and Public Health Research: Newsroom
UT Southwestern launched a two-year Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) program last year through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
DALLAS – August 01, 2022 – Leveraging its extensive expertise in biomedical informatics, data science, and clinical sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center is aggressively expanding its involvement in clinical informatics, which aims to harness the power of big data to improve patient care and public health.
Christoph U. Lehmann, MD
The Center for Clinical Informatics (CIC) at UTSW was established in 2019 to facilitate collaboration, mentorship, and networking opportunities to develop, implement, and evaluate clinical informatics solutions for health care providers, as well as train practitioners in the field. Led by Christoph U. Lehmann, MD, who was recruited from UT Southwestern to guide efforts, CIC grew to include seven members and about two dozen affiliate faculty, launched a monthly symposium this provides updates on health information technology and welcomed the first students of a new Master of Science program in health informatics. CIC is also a founding member of the Texas Health Informatics Alliance.
“As a healthcare system, we generate data as a by-product of patient care. This data can be leveraged to develop innovations for the healthcare system that can be applied in the clinical setting and measured. That’s what clinical informatics does,” said Dr. Lehmann, recently appointed senior associate dean of clinical informatics. “We are beginning to move beyond just developing machine learning models and are actively working to implement these models using appropriate care, ethical considerations, and human oversight. We want our clinicians to benefit from our knowledge and enable them to better care for their patients,” added Dr. Lehmann, Willis C. Maddrey, MD Distinguished Professorship in Clinical Science.
Eric Peterson, MD, MPH
Eric Peterson, MD, MPH, vice provost and senior associate dean for clinical research, said UT Southwestern has made significant progress in clinical informatics in a short time across the institution.
“Under Dr. Lehmann’s leadership, the Center for Clinical Informatics quickly became known for its innovative research in clinical informatics and related fields, the Master of Science in Health Informatics was developed and launched, and a new fellowship program started this summer,” said Dr Peterson. , Professor of Internal Medicine and Adelyn and Edmund M. Hoffman Distinguished Chair in Medical Sciences. “In his new role, Dr. Lehmann helps researchers leverage the electronic health record and other data sources for research and helps propel UT Southwestern to become a national model for data democratization and innovative interventions. .”
The Center’s faculty and staff focus their collaborative efforts on a wide range of endeavors and research, including:
Yet everyone agrees that there is much more to be done in this burgeoning field.
“For many clinicians and researchers, being able to access data and modify electronic health record functionality for specific needs is a daunting task,” Dr. Lehmann said. “To reduce barriers to entry and democratize access to data, we have created an IT Coordination Office that helps researchers and clinicians analyze their needs; estimate effort; help prioritize projects for implementation; then offer expert support from multiple teams, including bioinformatics, clinical informatics, research informatics, data warehousing, information resources, and population and data sciences. By using agile development techniques, we envision a substantial increase in translational research projects and innovative changes in patient care. »
Clinical informatics will be integrated into the research and teaching programs of UT Southwestern’s newest school, the Peter O’Donnell Jr. School of Public Health, which plans to welcome its first students next year. Analytical and modeling techniques, for example, can be used to predict disease progression, complications, readmissions, and outliers in cost of care for large-scale studies such as the longitudinal Dallas Heart Study. (now known as the Dallas Hearts and Minds Study); assess the risk of cardiovascular disease among various populations; improve cancer screening in large health systems, especially among the underserved; and to study the impact of COVID-19 in communities.
The new school, which received unprecedented support in March with a $100 million gift from the O’Donnell Foundation, will advance broader public health through research and by addressing the need for a workforce. broader public health work. The first new school established at UT Southwestern in more than 50 years, the O’Donnell School of Public Health will leverage the research strengths and experience of UT Southwestern’s three existing schools as well as previous investments in research and public health interventions. The school will launch its master’s program in public health in the fall of 2023, followed by doctoral programs the following year.
“Not only was the CIC invited to plan the new School of Public Health, but we are already considering developing courses in public health informatics,” Dr. Lehmann said. “We look forward to working with the students the new school will attract, as they will enable us to develop new areas of research and expertise.
Previously, the CIC helped establish the two-year period Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) program at UTSW administered through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciencesas good as a two-post fellowship program in clinical informatics that began in July.
“One of the important missions of the Center for Clinical Informatics is the development of a skilled workforce that can assist in this effort,” Dr. Lehmann said. “We welcomed our first MSHI cohort in August 2021. Our goal was to enroll 10 students, and we surpassed it by enrolling 16 students.”
The The MSHI program enhances learners’ academic experiences while providing students with the interpersonal, cognitive, analytical, and applied skills necessary to thrive in the field of health informatics, a discipline at the interface of health care and technology. Taking advantage of on-campus training opportunities, learners explore the best ways to create and deliver knowledge to clinicians and patients when and where it is needed by innovating, optimizing and changing care processes and providing safeguards. to protect patients, systems and providers.
The Department of Pediatrics Two-Year Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program is open to physicians who are American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certified or board-eligible in one of the ABMS major specialties. Fellows will be exposed to didactic and rotational training and a variety of computing settings and subspecialties, including pediatrics, pathology, imaging, and laboratory computing. Faculty and fellows will conduct computational investigations across the spectrum of biomedicine, including research in clinical informatics, bioinformatics, pharmacogenomics, translational informatics, personalized medicine, clinical decision support, and computational informatics. Fellowships include rotations at four sites – Parkland Hospital, William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Children’s Medical Center Dallas – as well as exposure to two vendor electronic health record systems (VistA, Epic).
About UT Southwestern Medical Center
UT Southwestern, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes and includes 26 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 14 researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Full-time faculty of more than 2,900 are responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and committed to rapidly translating scientific research into new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in more than 80 specialties to more than 100,000 inpatients, more than 360,000 emergency room cases, and oversee nearly 4 million outpatient visits annually.