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Seedbed for Research

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, September 13, 2012
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UW Health represents the academic healthcare entities of the University of Wisconsin-Madison: UW Medical Foundation, the 566-bed UW Hospital and Clinics, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, American Family Children's Hospital, and UW Carbone Cancer Center.

The open-source software powering I2B2 is utilized by 60 large academic medical centers, including UW Health, which were awarded Clinical and Translational Science grants by the National Institutes of Health, Tachinardi says. I2B2 accelerates the process of copying parts of electronic health records into deidentified data sets so researchers can more easily identify interesting phenotypes within the data, he adds.

"Curating information is a very expensive part of our business, regardless of being a research or clinical organization," Tachinardi notes. For instance, simple data types such as gender become complicated given the growth in transgender population.

"In the research world we're already used to living with those complications. But the clinical world is just starting to learn about them right now," Tachinardi says.        

This article appears in the September 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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