MetroHealth, Explorys use Huge Patient Database to Revolutionize Medical Research
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Posted by: Bernadette Rensing
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.