Population Informatics

Active Population Informatics Projects

The Carolina Center for Health Informatics (CCHI) is a practice-based and research unit within Emergency Medicine. CCHI staff are involved in several different grants and oversee the continuing development and maintenance of the North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT) in collaboration with the NC Division of Public Health.

The Integrated Cancer Information and Surveillance System (ICISS) provides a prospective data linkage between metrics of cancer incidence, mortality, and burden in North Carolina and data sources at an individual and aggregate level that describe health care, economic, social, behavioral, and environmental patterns.  ICISS is led by faculty from the School of Public Health’s Departments of Health Policy and Management and Epidemiology, in collaboration with investigators form the School of Medicine. ICISS is a central component of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Outcomes Research Program.  More

Innovative Methods Program for Advancing Clinical Trials (IMPACT) aims to improve the clinical trial process. Funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) IMPACT program consists of five projects covering: innovative clinical trial design and analysis; missing and auxilary clinical trial data; post-market surveillance and comparative effectiveness; pharmacogenomics and individualized therapy; discovery and analytics of dynamic treatment regimes.  More

Faculty in the Department of Health Policy and Management are collaborating with UNC Faculty Physicians’ Department of Practice Quality and Innovation on several projects involving implementation of electronic health record (EHR) system modifications and quality improvement initiatives within ambulatory settings in the UNC Health Care System. To date, three projects have been completed: (1) assessing organizational capacity (i.e., human and technology resources and clinical processes) for demonstrating “meaningful use” (MU) of the EHR as defined by the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs (Shea et al., Health Care Management Review. 2013, PMC3674222); (2) assessing perceived readiness for demonstrating MU (e.g., willingness to change work practices for MU, ability to perform MU objectives, departmental support for MU); and (3) identifying practice setting characteristics associated with providers’ success in demonstrating MU.  These projects have utilized data drawn from UNC Health Care administrative systems and the Carolina Data Warehouse for Health as well as interviews and surveys with providers and staff.

Funded by the University Cancer Research Fund, investigators from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management and UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have designed an electronic system, called the Patient-Reported Symptom Monitoring (PRSM) System, for capturing and reporting patient-reported data to be incorporated in clinical care activities at the NC Cancer Hospital.  The PRSM System will screen and monitor cancer patients for symptoms or changes in severity of symptoms like pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety in real-time to enable healthcare providers to provide better quality of care.  Thus, this system will involve and empower cancer patients in their own care by communicating their experiences and perspectives on their health status, and will help providers focus their attention on their patients’ most problematic symptoms.  Currently, the investigators completed the design of the electronic system and patient evaluation of the questionnaire using cognitive interviewing methodologies.  The investigators are completing a usability study that examines performance and ease of use of the PRSM System from both the perspectives of the patients and care givers.

The Population Informatics Research Group applies informatics, data science, and computational methods to the increasingly large digital traces available to advance public health, social science, and population research.

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