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News & Press: PM&R News

MetroHealth, Explorys use Huge Patient Database to Revolutionize Medical Research

Wednesday, September 05, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Bernadette Rensing
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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Large databases of electronic medical records hold great promise for medical research. In theory they can provide doctors access to huge amounts of anonymous patient data, allowing large-scale population studies without the cost and hassle of patient recruitment, review boards and staff training.

Now, a team of data experts at MetroHealth Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic Innovations spinoff company Explorys has shown just how powerful such medical records can be: In three months, they've replicated a major medical study that took a Norwegian team 14 years to research and report. And they've done it at a fraction of the cost, with a sample about 40 times as large.

The local effort, led by MetroHealth Chief Medical Informatics Officer Dr. David Kaelber, was possible because of Explorys' database of 14 million electronic medical records gathered from 12 major health systems.

Explorys began collecting the records, which were in many different formats, onto a single platform in 2009. The goal was to standardize the records in a safe and privacy-protected manner so that the health systems involved could use it for patient care and research, said Dr. Anil Jain, senior VP and chief medical information officer at Explorys.

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