Richesson to teach AMIA/DCHI 10X10 Distance Learning Course

The Duke Center for Health Informatics and Rachel Richesson, an associate professor in the Duke School of Nursing and noted informaticist, will be teaching an online course, Data Standards for Learning Health Systems, for 10 weeks, starting on September 17, 2018.

The course is part of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 10×10 Virtual Courses program.  A key part of this program is offering curricular content from existing informatics training programs through online, virtual classes.

The course will explore the concept of learning health systems and closely examine the specific data standards required to support the data exchange and re-use in this context. Students will have an opportunity to define a clinical question and the various standards that can support the application and evaluation of evidence in a health care setting.

Visit the AMIA website for more information, including cost and online registration

Supporting the Precision Medicine Ecosystem: Integrating Discrete Molecular Data into EHRs Using Current HL7 Messages

Manuel J Gynias
CEO, GenomOncology

W. Scott Campbell, MBA, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska

Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 10:00am — 8065 Hock Building — 2424 Erwin, Durham, NC


The rate of molecular discovery and increased treatment options for cancer patients continues at a
breakneck pace. As a result, there is an increase in expectation that health care providers can deliver
precision therapies to treat the patient. However, it is well documented that the volume of new
information exceed a provider’s ability to stay informed of all new development, and the current methods
of managing genomic data in the EHR is not conducive to support the provider in this area. To address this
issue, investigators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in collaboration with software
developers at GenomOncology have developed and implemented a method to represent genomic data
captured in the molecular laboratory and communicate this data using existing health information systems
technologies and Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) mandated standards.
The approach employed by UNMC uses the HL7 version 2.x laboratory results message standard in
combination with newly developed SNOMED CT content, the Human Genome Variation Society
nomenclature and the variant tiering system proposed by the Association of Molecular Pathology, the
College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists. The result is a functional
and scalable solution to communicate complex molecular data about a patient and their tumor to the EHR
in a fashion that can be readily accessed by clinical decision support algorithms, patient surveillance
applications and data analytic processes available in current EHR environments.
Dr. Campbell and Manuel Glynias will discuss the methodology and technical solutions in place at UNMC, as
well as, present multiple uses of the data that are exposed using this newly developed method of managing
molecular data.

Informatics Research Seminar: Computational Approaches to Patient Stratification

Speaker: Kimberly Robasky  PhD
Presented from UNC-CH

Broadcast Link: Seminar


Some estimates place the cost of bringing a drug to market at one billion U.S dollars and hence reducing the cost and length of clinical trials can indirectly lower healthcare costs. One source of clinical trial failure, lack of efficacy and safety, could be mitigated through decision support for patient stratification.  As part of the NIH-funded Biomedical Data Translator project, we are integrating multiple, previously disparate datasets, which is empowering investigators with new tools for data-driving patient subtyping. For example, through the Data Translator project, we can combine clinical records with exposure data in support of powerful models for classification. We have implemented supervised and unsupervised machine learning models on these data for predicting patient outcomes according to exposure in order to better understand patient disease and response.


Dr. Robasky earned her Ph.D. from Boston University on fellowship From George Church with Harvard’s Department of Genetics. She has 10+ years of experience in architecting and delivering sustainable software systems, and spent several years as a scientist and product developer for a sequencing lab owned by Quintiles. Dr. Robasky joined the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) in the fall of 2016 and holds adjuncts to both the Department of Genetics and the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Robasky is a contributor to the NIH Biomedical Data Translator and NIH Data Commons Pilot programs.

Informatics Research Seminar: The RISE Registry– How Compiling Clinical Data Might Improve Medical Care

Speaker: Megan Clowse, MD
Presented from Duke University

Broadcast Link: Seminar

At Duke, all seminars live or broadcast will be held in Hock Auditorium from 4-5 pm.


In this seminar we will discuss the American College of Rheumatology’s RISE Registry, a registry of electronic medical record data pulled directly from clinical visits.  In just a few years, this Registry has pulled together larger datasets than ever seen in Rheumatology, but is the data useful and can it improve care?


Megan E.B. Clowse, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology, Duke School of Medicine.   Associate Director, Duke Forge.  Director, Duke/DCRI RISE Data Analytic Center. Director, Duke Autoimmunity in Pregnancy Registry
Dr. Clowse is a rheumatologist with a clinical and research interest in reproductive health.  Since she began her fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2002, she has pursued clinical research that would identify the optimal management approaches for rheumatic diseases, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, during pregnancy.  As the Director of the Duke Autoimmunity in Pregnancy Registry, she has cared for and studied over 450 pregnancies in women with rheumatic disease over the last decade.  She is now an international leader in Reproductive Rheumatology, speaking to rheumatologists and obstetricians world-wide about improvements in management.  In this role, she was the primary organizer for the 9th International Conference on Pregnancy, Reproduction, and Rheumatology in San Diego in 2016.  She is currently a member of the Core Leadership team for the development of the inaugural Reproductive Health Guidelines for the American College of Rheumatology.

Dr. Clowse earned her Master’s in Public Health, with an emphasis on Population and Family Health, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her medical degree from Vanderbilt Medical School.  She completed her Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital before joining the Duke faculty in 2005.

Dr. Clowse is now the Associate Director of Duke Forge, bringing her clinical and clinical research expertise to this data-analytics team.  She is also the Director of the Duke/DCRI RISE Data Analytics Center and a long-term member of the American College of Rheumatology’s Research and Publications Committee.

Informatics Research Seminar: Health Information System Improvement in Low-and-Middle Income Countries

Speaker: Manish Kumar, MPH, MS
Presented from UNC-CH

Broadcast Link: Seminar

At Duke, all seminars live or broadcast will be held in Hock Auditorium from 4-5 pm.


While there has been a growing emphasis on Health Information Systems (HIS) strengthening and measuring how they contributes to improved health outcomes, there is limited understanding of factors affecting HIS improvement at different stages of its development. The Monitoring and Evaluation to Assess and Use Results (MEASURE) Evaluation Phase IV is a USAID-funded five-year (2014-2019) project. MEASURE Evaluation’s mission is to contribute to better health for people living in low-income countries by assisting governments and health institutions to generate and use information to change what doesn’t work and to scale up what does. This seminar will review the five stages of improvement together with associated domains/sub-domains and discuss attributes defining  HIS improvement at different stages of HIS development.


Manish Kumar, MPH, MS, is the Senior Technical Specialist for Health Systems Strengthening in the MEASURE evaluation Project at the University of North Carolina. His work focuses on providing technical and capacity-building support for implementation of the Data for Accountability, Transparency and Impact Monitoring (DATIM) System of PEPFAR in more than 50 developing countries. He is currently also a PhD student in the Carolina Health Informatics Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a member of the Digital Health and Interoperability working group of the Health Data Collaborative, an inclusive partnership of international agencies, governments, philanthropies, donors and academics, with the common aim of improving health data.

Informatics Research Seminar: Advanced Analytics Adoption at UNC Health Care System: A Case Study

Speaker: Polly Mitchell-Guthrie, MBA

Presented from UNC-CH

Broadcast Link: Seminar

At Duke, all seminars live or broadcast will be held in Hock Auditorium from 4-5 pm.


UNC Health Care is one of the state’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, providing a full spectrum of health and wellness programs at hundreds of care locations across the state.  Enterprise Analytics and Data Sciences (EADS) is a new department at UNC using an innovative operating model and new technologies to create a place where our world-class care can be driven by insights gained through our enhanced capabilities of data and analytics. This session will demonstrate how a large healthcare system realized a vision for becoming a data-driven organization by adopting advanced analytics as a strategic imperative to support value-based healthcare.  A case study will be presented to illustrate.


Polly Mitchell-Guthrie, MBA is the System Director of Analytical Consulting Services within Enterprise Analytics and Data Sciences at the University of North Carolina Health Care System. Previously she was Senior Manager of the Advanced Analytics Customer Liaison Group in SAS’ Research and Development Division, where her team served as a bridge between R&D and external customers and internal SAS divisions. Before that she was Director of the SAS Global Academic Program, leading SAS’ outreach to colleges and universities worldwide to incorporate SAS into their teaching. Polly began her career at SAS in Strategic Investments and later served in Alliances, after working in the nonprofit sector in philanthropy and social services. She has an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also received her BA in Political Science as a Morehead Scholar. She has held several leadership positions within INFORMS, a professional association, serving as the Chair and Vice Chair of the Analytics Certification Board and Secretary of the Analytics Society.


The Informatics Research Seminar Series is sponsored by Duke University and a collaboration with UNC-Chapel Hill, NCCU, UNC-Charlotte, and ECU. This series explores key areas in Health Informatics and include research results, overview of programs of research, basic, applied, and evaluative projects, as well as research from varied epistemological stances.

Informatics Research Seminar: Machine Learning: For Robust and Redefined Data-Driven Decision Making

Speaker: Michael Kosorok, PhD
Presented from UNC-CH

Broadcast Link: Seminar

The Informatics Research Seminar Series is sponsored by Duke University and a collaboration with UNC-Chapel Hill, NCCU, UNC-Charlotte, and ECU. This series explores key areas in Health Informatics and include research results, overview of programs of research, basic, applied, and evaluative projects, as well as research from varied epistemological stances.

An overview of how data science and big data have become relevant to biomedical research will be presented, including the roles of machine learning and statistics in data-driven decision making and precision medicine and the potential pitfalls of “big data hubris.” Several ongoing projects using machine learning for precision medicine will be described, including work on patient-derived xenograft mouse models for cancer, type 1 diabetes, and alcohol dependency. Sequential multiple assignment randomized trials (SMARTs) for precision medicine research will also be introduced.

Michael R. Kosorok, PhD, MS is the W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor and Chair of Biostatistics, Professor of Statistics and Operations Research, and Member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests are in biostatistics, data science, machine learning, and precision medicine. He has authored over 130 peer-reviewed journal publications and two books, one on the theoretical foundations of biostatistics (Introduction to Empirical Processes and Semiparametric Inference, 2008, Springer) and one, co-authored with Erica E.M. Moodie, on current data science methods in precision medicine (Adaptive Treatment Strategies in Practice: Planning Trials and Analyzing Data for Personalized Medicine, 2016, ASA-SIAM). He is an honorary fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

For a complete seminar schedule, visit the DCHI website:


CEU Credit:

In support of improving patient care, the Duke University Health System Department of Clinical Education and Professional Development is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), to provide continuing education for the health care team.

Duke University Health System Department of Clinical Education and Professional Development designates this live activity for 1 Credit.


Duke:  Hock Auditorium – Hock Plaza 2424 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705
UNC-Chapel Hill:  Health Science Library, Room 227
NCCU-Durham:  Room 364, James E. Shepard Memorial Library
UNC-Charlotte:  Fretwell 126
ECU-Greenville:  Health Sciences Building, Room 1355

Parking at Duke:

A printed, bar coded parking pass is required for entry to and exit from the garage. Parking passes must be requested at least 48 hours in advance of the seminar.  Email  to request a parking pass. The pass will be emailed to you in PDF format and must be printed for scanning at the gate. The system will not scan bar codes from smartphones.

After parking, proceed to the 4th Floor of the parking garage and exit across the driveway to enter the building lobby.  Sign in at the desk; take the elevator down to the ground floor to Hock Auditorium.  (Exit left off the elevator and walk down the hall, the auditorium will be on your right.)



Interested in keeping up with timely news from Duke Center for Health Informatics?

Visit our website often!

Informatics Research Seminar: Carolina Data Warehouse for Health

Speaker: Emily Pfaff, MSIS
Presented from UNC-CH

Broadcast Link: SEMINAR 


Completing a successful data-driven clinical research study must account for the fact that healthcare data is plentiful, complex, and often messy. While this will likely always be true, thoughtful data modeling and data warehousing techniques can help untangle healthcare data and enable clinical discovery. Moreover, the advent of “common” data models in the field of clinical informatics enables such research to incorporate data not only from the investigator’s home institution, but from multiple healthcare institutions across the country. However, as data-driven clinical research studies increase in number and scope, it is also essential to look beyond technical concerns to consider regulatory, governance, and patient engagement as factors in the overall success of the field.


Emily. Pfaff, MIS, is the Administrative Director for Informatics and Data Science for the NC TraCS Institute. She holds a Master’s in Information Science, a graduate certificate in clinical informatics, and three Epic certifications (Clarity Inpatient, Research: Clinical Tools, and Research: Billing). She has expertise in healthcare data structures, SQL, data warehousing, electronic health records, clinical data research networks, data security, and HIPAA and other data regulations. Ms. Pfaff currently oversees data analytics, research data management, and web development for the CTSA, and is heavily involved with data security, data sharing, and data governance efforts within the university, the UNC Health Care System, and across institutions. Through public presentations and teaching graduate courses, she also serves as an “informatics ambassador” to the UNC campus (faculty and students), as well as TraCS partners and collaborators.


The Informatics Research Seminar Series is sponsored by Duke University and a collaboration with UNC-Chapel Hill, NCCU, UNC-Charlotte, and ECU. This series explores key areas in Health Informatics and include research results, overview of programs of research, basic, applied, and evaluative projects, as well as research from varied epistemological stances.