The Biomedical Informatics Resource (BMIR) has a dual role of providing information services to support clinical and translational research, as well as conducting original informatics research on the nature of research processes and how information services can improve their efficiency. Our broad goals are to use informatics services and research to:
- Facilitate translation of basic science knowledge into clinical studies
- Reengineer the conduct of clinical studies
- Support translation of scientific knowledge into clinical practice
What information services are provided?
Informatics services include installing and maintaining technology to support communication among users (e.g. web conferencing) and sharing of data acquired through tools used in C/T research (e.g. trial management software). Service staff skills include traditional technology areas such as system administration, database management, web design, electronic data interchange and data coding standards, as well as user-oriented skills such as training and providing system support. In addition, we offer special consulting services in bioinformatics, specifically, in the areas of sequencing and microarray analysis.
Web Portal: This is the single, central entry point for all activities related to clinical and translational research. Users can obtain access to information about the full range of services, knowledge and tools provided by various resources, which includes information about experts who may be consulted for help. Among the portal's interactive features are
- A form to enable users to express their needs and request services.
- Columbia University Scientific Profiles (CUSP), a research networking tool that can be used to search for collaborators.
MedGenomics: This is a multi-tiered software application that, in turn, can generate various flavors of web-applications for biomedical research data management. This software is targeted at biomedical researchers who have a need to collect and analyze large volumes of disparate data-types (genetic, medical, epidemiological, clinical et cetera) and would wan't use an existing custamizable product rathern than developing a new functionality rich application
Clinical Data Warehouse: The clinical data warehouse managed by Dept of Biomedical Informatics is a reflected version of the clinical database, designed to support clinical trials and a variety of management reporting functions. The clinical database is optimized for access to current information on a specific patient, whereas the warehouse allows queries and produces reports that summarize data across sets of patients, providers, or other organizational entities (such as clinical departments, wards, or clinics). We will assist researchers in obtaining de-identified data for their clinical research
What informatics research is conducted?
We conduct research on reengineering clinical and translational research. We use information and technology as interventions to alter patterns of work and communication and to study changes in practice as their use diffuses into the research community. The subjects of our research are the various stakeholders participating in research: investigators, coordinators, subjects, providers, patients, statisticians, technicians, administrators, sponsors, monitors and regulators. We describe patterns of communication and information exchange among stakeholders, develop information systems that support interdisciplinary collaboration, analyze patterns of workflow, and make interventions to improve best practices. We develop general methods for improving research across the biomedical research spectrum, for example, providing clinical investigators access to basic science data (e.g., sequence or microarray analyses), or providing health practitioners access to clinical science data (e.g., scientific evidence relevant to their patients).
Who is doing this work?
Faculty conducting informatics research, with their core discipline indicated:
- Suzanne Bakken, DNSc RN, FAAN, Nursing and Biomedical Informatics, Co-Director, Biomedical Informatics Resource
- Chunhua Weng, PhD, Biomedical Informatics, Co-Director, Biomedical Informatics Resource
- Rita Kukafka, DrPH, MA, Biomedical Informatics and Public Health
- J. Thomas Bigger, MD, Medicine and Pharmacology
- Richard Friedman, PhD, Biomedical Informatics
Staff providing information services:
- Feng Liu
- Richard Steinman
- Sylvia Trembowelski
- Alex Zolotnikov
What is an example of how this resource would be used?
- Investigator contacts an informatics consultant (BMIR), who uses the data warehouse to determine the availability of potential research participants.
- Investigator uses the directory of experts to connect with potential co-investigators.
- Investigator finds statistical consultant (DBR), who assesses sample size and number of centers
- Clinical Trials Network identifies recruiting sites.
- Regulatory consultant identifies IRB issues and referrals to appropriate staff members (RKSR).
- Administrative consultant facilitates administrative and financial reviews and development of contract (CTO).
- The clinical trials management system (Velos) helps in development of data entry forms, event scheduling, etc.