wiki:CTSA Vandy Review

KUMC HICTR CTSA Informatics Strategy Notes with Dan Masys and Paul Harris from Vanderbilt June 17, 2010 Russ Waitman

Aim 1. You have to have a portal. Was novel before, not now. So, just having one won't put you over the top. eIRB will be a strength.

Portal usage: who clicks what. Funding is the biggest piece. The funding search tool was developed by office of research at the dean's level.

  • not sure how much it's used. Costs vandy something to keep up to date.

Portal developed in house in CTSA group.

  • dedicated one FTE for 12months.
  • major strengths is that it was built as an informatics project with research support services input (research support services is not IRB, it's ex-clinical research coordinators, the human force, job now is to work as liason's between researchers, don't farm out the portal because the portal needs to be nimble and tightly coupled with the researchers and research coordinators.)
  • Office of Research Support Services
  • UCSD had no such office to help researchers
  • need at least one person (Vandy started with 3 FTE and adds more as they add projects, has ~10). Very strong for a proposal. Catalyze the speed of research. Especially for junior faculty. Very hard for them without someone to lead them by the hand.
  • even proposing one person is key. Senior research nurse at least. Make it easier for investigators.
  • Wherever the Office of research support services people are, make sure they are best friends with the informatics folks.
  • Mount Sinai said they were going to label everything with ontologies and was overly ambitious. It's crashing and burning.

eFinance: not interesting. Just mention as facilitating clinical trial budgeting for junior investigators. Show it as a service to help scientists. eIRB: reviewers just check it off. No innovation points. Get minor points for competence. If VELOS has open architecture to make things reusable it’s a semi-win. Don't have to fill out same info on 25 forms. In general, IRB software can be tricky:

-South carolina thought VELOS has a simple minded view of eIRB.

  • Vandy threw away Imedress
  • others are adopting clickcommerce now
  • synergy is showing inclusion rules for various studies.


  • Could be a plus for expansion, especially as it helps the researcher submit their request and then the rest of the team manage.

-- "Portfolio Management" - help put resources towards projects to reduce barriers but also track effort.

  • track what gets spent. Automating return on investment.
  • goal: generate a study report card.
  • see the dashboards around the real time report cards for requested funding. "All Nancy Brown's projects" All Clinical Pharmacology's projects.

Dan: have a viewable set of value add functions for the investigator but also help automate bean counting for HICTR. So, the tools have to be very investigator supportive and supportive to the research team.

  • burgers served functions and reports should be real-time.

-real time management dashboards are considered innovative.

HICTR participant registry

  • bonus points if you can feed forward into research
  • multiple studies may be fine. We'll make the connection but burden is on the investigator.
  • as part of consent at Vandy where you have one visit they also have domain knowledge of who's on what study using starforms in EMR.
  • burden is really on the investigator. Scientific review committees for NCI competing for the same class of patients issue, creating a priority. But, they are all funded by NCI core group so NCI can call the shots. Soft squshy outside of cancer. Doesn't happen very often.

Researchmatch has had good work on the regulatory side as much as the technical informatics. Telling the tool who's on what study. Hopkins didn't want to let researchers to say what patients are on what studies. We need that data that the patient is in on a trial. They got pushback from IRBs.

Issues: ResearchMatch? hides from people that the patient is already in a study. Don't want to reveal sensitive info..

  • are their competing cardiology/diabetes groups.


If you have a small informatics operation, investing in ontology linking is not a big gain. What's more useful, would be investing resources in taking the data repository to support the research community. Researcher never complains that the glucose is not LOINC.

  • everybody has an i2b2 warehouse
  • but looking to be able to support it at the researcher level.
  • really spending people to help researcher figure out how to get the data.
  • need the consultant.
  • but i2b2 is a plus. Propose we will enhance it in Kansas with an add on called Toto.

-- Our recent CPT story (using NLM UMLS to add procedure codes) is good.

  • showing the data coming on board is good. And also the terminology brought in, very good.
  • If you focus resources on nursing observations, not too good.

Tell the researcher how they benefit, Ex: categorization of medications. ACEI, Arrhytmia. What can't be done.

  • a technical liaison who helps the researcher know the ins and outs of the data.
  • seven different versions of glucose

Drug hierarchies. Don't step in the hole that we are terminology editors. We don't want to be content maintenance. We would want to be all ETL driven. -- can't have much of a human task

  • we appreciate we can do a pretty good job algorithmically, we can't do it perfectly without human review but we think we'll be pretty close.

T2 Aim 4

  • tried to get UT Memphis CTSA based on HIE.
  • no CTSA has an HIE of substance.
  • if I could align it.

Dan and Paul: National goal isn't needed. Focus hard on how we will become fantastic for kansas and missouri. Out of this, we may develop great contributions. Tie into other national initiatives.

  • do a really good job for Kansas and KCMO.

What's unique is we’re in KCMO. IDEA state is a strength.

What we provide to the national consortium, we expect to harvest group insights and apply in an idea state. We will be competent at how to create and maintain a repository.

Convert an existing telemedicine network into a tele-research network, that would be very strong. Especially with cancer. Circuit research nurses.

  • find partnering information with Hays.
  • need plausible letters of support.
  • Can telemedicine facilitate remote Trials in Hayes?
  • structured record keeping.
  • add a tie in of CRIS to Telemedicine.
  • senior research nurse or nurse presenters in Hays work with senior nurses here

do the educational outreach.

  • how could they be leveraged for research and we could MEASUREMENT is key. We can propose to do all kinds of things but can we measure it.
  • recruitment out in the community and promote research match in the community.
  • library may be too narrow. Too anachronistic.

Having people out in the field and the trust model is huge.

State work: support real live researchers if we linked state data.

  • get the best reviews where we are clearly going to add an understandable research benefit.
  • within that, it's all about who's willing to work with us.
  • get the buy in from the researchers to tell us exactly how they would do it.
  • focus down on some specifics.
  • CTSA is a small investor in this effort. Provide expertise, key funding is from KHPA.

Cerner's existence as a structural advantage is good. It's best portrayed as a real already demonstrated research need that we can now meet. Have a scenario of how we would use it today.

  • if we had a special discount rate it would be viewed as a strength, but only if we can sell what we will do with it.


  • UC Irvine struck out 3 times because they only had bioinformatics.
  • IF we do it, and have things we think investigators will actually use.
  • make sure you can tell the story.


  • mention it exists. Put a picture of how they fit in there. Seminars.
  • weave them into the drug discovery section.
  • rational drug design.
  • ok to mention that CBI exists but not funded by the grant.
  • CTSA is a glue layer to bond people together, ok

Do studios with individual experts. Pay them $150 for a consult.

  • people really will engage.

FTE size, ok to be small on bioinformatics. Got to do what you think will make the most sense for translational research needs.

Be realistic on what's supported.

Education - drop it. Put it into the other pieces.

  • put education into the portal, the warehouse, or say we'll participate in the MSCR, Put it in the overview of the program content and how we'll participate in other sections which describe the educational part. We focus on building tools.
  • don't assume everyone will get a PhD in informatics.
  • teach investigators just enough informatics to get their research accomplished.
  • don't prominently feature educational components outside current researchers. Enhance existing trust relationships. Education as a research goal is suspect.

-- There is cynicism that you'll convert people into researcher; more effort on making community networks open to research. We're doing the last mile and 10%.

-Don't outsource the portal. Needs to be in the CTSA informatics team

  • Need the logging measure as you go.
  • CMS system light weight.

In the spirit of CTSA, treat all ideas w/ null hypothesis that it won't reduce barrier to research

  • huge part of the evaluation piece of the CTSA

Your rate limiting step is 15 pages. Have to pick your stories. Paul and Dan can help say if it flows.

  • don't over promise.

Don't go too deep on the portal. Just a screenshot. Go deep on the research repository and our knowledge. The telemedicine part and community would be great. No CTSA has piggy backed on a telemedicine network.

Everything we put in there must make sense to a researcher in Kansas today.

Last modified 10 years ago Last modified on Aug 19, 2010 8:31:25 AM