by Carol Bova Hill, PhD
Brian Smith, MD, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Chief, Division of Quantitative Sciences, Pediatrics, is the PI of a study titled “Accelerating Adoption of Comparative Effectiveness Research in Premature Infants” that includes data on approximately 900,000 infants who were admitted to 350 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICUs) between 1996 and 2012. The primary aims of the study are to improve short- and long-term outcomes in very low birth weight infants by increasing human milk feedings and reducing exposures to harmful therapeutic agents. The study is nearing completion. Its strategy included longitudinal analysis of de-identified EMR data from the Pediatrix Medical Group research data warehouse, supplemented with geospatial coding data, in parallel with educational activities and directed communications to sites that did not meet acceptable compliance with feeding and treatment guidelines.
The data warehouse is a rich resource for studying outcomes within the NICU; additional secondary analyses are being pursued. This collaborative effort includes researchers from the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), University of North Carolina, Pediatrix, Rush (Chicago), and Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (Michigan). Multiple papers from the effort are under development. Carol Hill, PhD (Clinical Research Informatics), James Topping (Bioinformatician in Clinical Research Informatics), and Mary Williams (Clinical Data Specialist) are providing informatics support.