Posts for the month of May 2012

HERON: Marion release increases UHC and medication data

The Marion release adds ICD-9 codes for both procedures and diagnosis, in addition to increasing year range to include 2009-2012 for UHC data. Inpatient and outpatient medication orders are now available. Marion release also includes two bug fixes: searching with the exclude limit now returns the correct results and password issues no longer make the system hang.

Since February 2012, search performance is slower than expected in HERON.  We are working to resolve this issue (#1069).

HERON Marion Contents Summary

This month, our tour of rivers and lakes in Kansas honors Marion County Lake, which has, unfortunately, been overcome with blue algae.

The HERON repository contains approximately 725 million real observations from the hospital, clinics, and research systems:

Observation Patients Source Go-Live Snapshot Issues
Demographics 18.1M 1.91M
KUH Billing (O2 via SMS) 1980s Apr 2012 various*
UKP Billing 2000 Apr 2012
9.5K 9.5K Frontiers participant registry Jun 2009 Apr 2012
183K 183k Social Security Death Index 1962 Apr 2012
Diagnoses (IDC9) 19.8M 607K
KUH/O2/Epic Nov 2007 Apr 2012 various*
UKP Billing 2000 Apr 2012
Medications 98M 250K
KUH/O2/Epic Nov 2007 Apr 2012 various*
Nursing Observations 468M ?
KUH/O2/Epic Nov 2007 Apr 2012 various*
Lab Results 73.5M 260K
KUH/O2/Epic 2003 Apr 2012 various*
Procedures (CPT) 9.9M 547K
UKP Billing 2000 Apr 2012
Specimens 29.4K 2.92K
KUMC Biospecimen Repository ? Apr 2012
Cancer Cases 9.2M 63.1K
KUH Cancer Registry 1950s Apr 2012 labels*
Hospital Quality Metrics 3.04M 53.8K
University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) N/A Apr 2011
All 725M

Beta Disclaimer

We are providing this early access to obtain feedback from you, the research community. While we are actively working on validating the data loaded into the system with hospital and clinic technical staff, there may be problems with our translation of data from our source systems (HospitalEpicSource and ClinicIdxSource) into HERON.

Please email us at if you discover information you believe may be erroneous.

We are actively working on enhancing the types of data included. Stay tuned to our roadmap to track progress toward upcoming releases.

Various Issues Still Apply

Keep in mind the issues noted in the original HERON beta notice, including:

Enhancements and Problems/Defects/Issues Addressed in this Release

No results

Outstanding Problems/Defects/Issues

Health of the Public poster session shows time-saving benefits of Informatics Tools

The most recent Health of the Public (HOP) student poster session in April provided another glimpse into student research at KUMC. I am continually impressed by the hard work of these students to create a project, collect data, analyze the data, and present within four weeks. The best part of the HOP poster sessions, for me, is speaking with the students to learn how they employ our informatics tools, what worked or didn’t, and seeing the impact of our tools on student research in general. In this session, the majority of the posters mentioned REDCap, and a few highlighted HERON. Many students praised our tools and in particular, the time saved in collecting and analyzing the data. Each poster session presents new questions regarding public health, new ways in which the data is collected and analyzed, and an increased role for informatics tools. I am looking forward to seeing what the next poster session in October holds.

Want to swim in Big Data? We are seeking summer interns

The Division of Medical Informatics, in the Department of Biostatistics, at the University of Kansas Medical seeks highly motivated individuals with a passion for software development, scientific discovery, and improving healthcare.  We are offering a paid student intern position for students in engineering and science to develop software and systems to support clinical and medical informatics research.  Our environment and topics include:

·         our clinical data warehouse which contains over 600 million facts for over 1.9 million patients

·          integrating statistical analysis and machine learning with data warehousing

·         understanding the impact of electronic medical records on patient care

·         clinical trial management systems and integration of biospecimens to support personalized medicine

·         developing methods for increasing clinical research participation in the community.

You will gain experience working in a software engineering environment using open source technologies.


Desirable skills include:  Experience programming a higher level language (C, C++, Java) and with scripting languages (Python). Proficiency with Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel). Experience developing in a LINUX/UNIX environment and working as part of a team using code management systems (ex: Subversion, Hg). Experience developing relational database driven applications (Oracle, MySQL), database design and SQL.   Experience programming dynamic web pages (such as JSP, PHP, Drupal, or cgi script based). Client side scripting experience with Javascript. Apache web server administration, and LINUX or UNIX system administration. Experience in knowledge discovery in databases (KDD) and data mining is also desirable: especially data preprocessing and transformation and frameworks for analysis. Previous experience in or knowledge of medicine, biology, and healthcare systems.


To learn more about what medical informatics is doing, visit: and our blog


If you are interested in a position, please forward your resume and a cover letter to: rwaitman@…