Informatics Research Seminar: Systematic evidence Development and Implementation through Rapid Learning Cancer Care

January 11 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Amy Abernethy, MD
Presented from Duke University

Broadcast Link: Seminar




Compelling public interest is propelling national efforts to advance the evidence base for cancer treatment and control measures and to transform the way in which evidence is aggregated and applied. Substantial investments in health information technology, comparative effectiveness research, health care quality and value, and personalized medicine support these efforts and have resulted in considerable progress to date. An emerging initiative, and one that integrates these converging approaches to improving health care, is “rapid-learning health care.” In this framework, routinely collected real-time clinical data drive the process of scientific discovery, which becomes a natural outgrowth of patient care. This session will preview what a rapid learning system might look like, using a patient-reported outcomes approach as an example.


Amy P. Abernethy, MD, a medical oncologist, is a tenured associate professor in the Duke University Schools of Medicine and Nursing and director of the Duke Cancer Care Research Program (DCCRP). With over 250 publications, Dr. Abernethy is an internationally recognized expert in health services research and delivery in patient-centered cancer care, especially pain, symptom management and palliative care. She directs a prolific research program (DCCRP) which conducts patient-centered clinical trials, analyses, and policy studies; all DCCRP studies make use of, and simultaneously contribute to the development of, an integrated data system that coordinates diverse datasets, leverages novel information technology for patient-reporting of symptoms and other concerns, informs future studies, and facilitates patient education and patient-provider communication. As a part of her focus on health policy, evidence synthesis, and comparative effectiveness research, particularly within the areas of oncology and palliative care, Dr. Abernethy is Co-Chair and Co-Principal Investigator of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC), an appointee to the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum, President-Elect of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, on the Board of Directors for the Personalized Medicine Coalition, and Co-Principal Investigator of a NIH-funded faculty development (K01) program in comparative effectiveness research at Duke. Within the American Society of Clinical Oncology, she is on the Advisory Board for the Rapid Learning System for Cancer, the Clinical Guidelines Committee, and the Provision Clinical Opinion Committee for Palliative Care. Dr. Abernethy participates integrally in current high-level national and international discussions about reforming the evidence development system, presenting a model for a rapid learning cancer clinic that coordinates clinical and research functions to better serve patients’ needs in an evidence-driven, cost-effective, and patient-centered manner.