Informatics Research Seminar: Building Informatics Capacity/Translational and Pragmatic Research: Does Going Fishing Lead to Drinking and Driving?

February 3 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Russ Waltman, PhD
Presented from UNC-C

Broadcast Link: Seminar



Academic Medical Centers require informatics capacity to 1.) support clinical and translational research as outlined by the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program and 2.) advance aspirational goals of a learning health system. This service capacity also provides a base for informatics research. Established informatics data capture and integrated data repository infrastructure for CTSA designation has provided the basis for linking CTSA institutions to participate in PCORnet, the national Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. PCORnet unites health care delivery systems and centers with groups of activated patients to create interoperable data and regulatory capabilities to support observational studies and prospective clinical trials nationally. I will provide analogies for our informatics journey since 2010, highlight the development and capabilities of PCORnet such as the ADAPTABLE aspirin study, and reflect on how information infrastructure may have historical analogs in the development of our nation’s transportation system.


Speaker Bio

Russ Waitman, PhD is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Director of Medical Informatics, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Analytics at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Waitman received his B.S. from Washington University in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation, he served in the United States Air Force as a Medical Service Corps officer and received training in Health Services Administration and Clinical Engineering. Subsequently he received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and conducted research applying neural networks, rule induction, and knowledge discovery methods to critical care and perioperative environments.

In 2002, Dr. Waitman took a faculty position with the newly formed Department of Biomedical Informatics in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and led their Computerized Provider Order Entry Project, “WizOrder.” During this time, the team expanded WizOrder’s advanced decision support capabilities to meet the clinical needs of the Pediatric and Neonatal ICUs, the Emergency Department, the Psychiatric Hospital, and developed applications for enterprise-wide medication reconciliation and real-time adverse drug event surveillance. He furthered Vanderbilt’s commercialization imitative with McKesson Corporation by leading the effort to successfully merge the project with its commercial offspring, Horizon Expert Orders, and also oversaw deployment of the other McKesson inpatient clinical systems for nurse documentation (Horizon Expert Documentation) and bar-code medication administration (AdminRx), Since arriving at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2010, he has worked with colleagues across the schools and campuses to establish a strategy for clinical and translation research informatics for Frontiers (link to ), the Kansas and Kansas City NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award. A key component was working with the University of Kansas Physicians and the University of Kansas Hospital to establish a master data sharing agreement and oversight process so they could jointly create an integrated data repository, HERON, based on the NIH funded i2b2 platform. This led to KUMC as the leading institution for the PCORnet ( Greater Plains Collaborative Clinical Data Research Network ( Dr Waitman leads the network and now serves as Chair for the PCORnet Data Committee that oversees PCORnet’s data network, advancing informatics and research data innovations that support PCORnet’s goals. His research interests are clinical decision support, knowledge discovery, and creating information environments to support personal health, research and patient safety. To learn more about Medical Informatics and Enterprise Analytics, visit


To learn more about our research and development including the open source software related to medical informatics and HERON, visit