Clinical Informatics and Biostatistics

Description and Strengths

The increasing amount and variety of data warehoused in the electronic health record provides opportunities to transform unstructured data into information that can be used to improve patient care. Fellows in our program can participate in the effort to turn data into knowledge by working with experienced population health scientists and clinical informaticists at RUMC and CCHHS: Carlos Santos, an informatics lead for the Institute of Translational Medicine; Michael Lin, a Healthcare Epidemiologist and investigator with the CDC-funded Chicago Prevention and Intervention Epicenter; and William Trick, Director of the Collaborative Research Unit at Cook County Hospital and co-Principal Investigator of the Chicago Prevention and Intervention Epicenter. Collectively, they have expertise in using large observational data for research, epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology and comparative effectiveness research.

Research Excellence

Fellows can work with RUMC and CCH mentors in developing informatics-driven investigations. Examples of past and current research projects include:

  • Using computer informatics to improve the reliability of hospital infection surveillance
  • Co-development of the XDRO registry (XDRO.org) with Illinois Department of Public Health to change the way healthcare facilities communicate with each other regarding patients’ history of antibiotic-resistant organisms
  • Use of clinical decision support to improve C. difficile testing
  • Use of large administrative data to determine the epidemiology of opportunistic infections after solid organ transplantation
  • Use of large administrative data to assess medication overuse in kidney transplant recipients
  • Use of large administrative data to determine the outcomes of COVID-19 infection in immunocompromised hosts

RUMC is a participant in the Chicago Area Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Network (CAPriCORN).  The University of Chicago and RUMC have partnered to establish the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) which creates the infrastructure needed to speed up the time from research discovery to bedside patient care. RUMC clinical informatics faculty participate in the ITM by improving data sharing across institutions and providing courses in Informatics and SAS coding at the Rush Graduate College.