Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Free Course in Healthcare Data Analytics Offered by OHSU

I am pleased to announce that the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE) of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is offering a free continuing education course, Update in Health Information Technology: Healthcare Data Analytics, to physicians, nurses, other healthcare professionals, and health informatics/IT professionals. Registration is available at

This course is made freely available via a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) that I described in a previous posting last year. The grant requires us to have 1000 individuals complete the course by June 2017. The full updated ONC Health IT curriculum will also be made freely available in 2017.

Although the course is open to all healthcare professionals and health informatics/IT professionals, physicians will additionally be able to obtain continuing medical education (CME) credit through OHSU. For physicians certified in the new Clinical Informatics Subspecialty, Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (LLSA) credits towards American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) Maintenance of Certification Part II (MOC-II) requirements for the subspecialty are also available.

The course consists of 14 modules that are estimated to take about 18 hours to complete. The course is completely online, and consists of lectures and self-assessment quizzes. References to further information are also provided. Those completing the entire course (viewing all of the lectures and completing the self-assessment quizzes) and evaluation form will receive a Certificate of Completion from OHSU. Physicians will be able to claim 18 credits of CME or (for those certified in Clinical Informatics) MOC-II. (We are not able to offer OHSU academic credit for the course.)

The course will be offered 6 times in overlapping two-month blocks starting in October 2016. Because of the anticipated large enrollment, the entire course will need to be completed during one block in order to receive the Certificate of Completion and CME/MOC-II credit. If the course is not completed during the block, participants can re-enroll in a later block. The course will only be offered for free through May 2017.

The first step in taking the course is registering at Each participant will be asked to provide some basic information, including name, employer, and email address. (All data will be kept confidential by OHSU, with the exception of confidential reporting to ONC.) After registration, participants will be sent login information to OHSU's Sakai Learning Management System. After completing all of the modules and the self-assessment quizzes, each participant will need to complete the evaluation form. He or she will then be sent via email a PDF Certificate of Completion. (Physicians will additionally be sent certifications for CME or MOC-II credit after completing additional evaluation information.)

Within the Sakai system, each module will provide an overview of learning objectives, one or more lecture segments (in MP4 format, viewable on both computers and mobile devices), optional additional materials, and a self-assessment quiz of 5-10 multiple-choice questions. (Those seeking CME or MOC-II credit must achieve a correct rate of 70% to pass; each quiz will be able to be taken up to 5 times.) Sakai will also provide an interactive forum for those having questions or comments about the materials. Due to the anticipated large enrollment, we will encourage participants to interact and answer questions among themselves, with OHSU teaching assistants bringing in course faculty as needed.

The 14 modules of the course include the following:

  • General Health Care Data Analytics
  • Extracting and Working with Data
  • Population Health and the Application of Health IT
  • Applying Health IT to Improve Population Health at the Community Level
  • Identifying Risk and Segmenting Populations: Predictive Analytics for Population Health
  • Big Data, Interoperability, and Analytics for Population Health
  • Data Analytics in Clinical Settings
  • Risk Adjustment and Predictive Modeling
  • Overview of Interoperable Health IT
  • Standards for Interoperable Health IT
  • Implementing Health Interoperability
  • Ensuring the Security and Privacy of Information Shared
  • Secondary Use of Clinical Data
  • Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing

The OHSU course faculty include:

  • William Hersh, MD, Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology
  • Vishnu Mohan, MD, MBI, Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology
  • David Dorr, MD, MS, Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology
  • Peter Graven, PhD, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Karen Eden, PhD, Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology

The MOC-II credit is important for the new subspecialty, with those who are board-certified needing to obtain a certain amount to re-certify in 10 years. The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) has already developed MOC-II activities, largely through its meetings, but will also have online offerings as it implements its learning management system. They will also offer MOC-IV credits in the future.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Kudos for the Informatics Professor - Summer 2016 Edition

It has been a busy but enjoyable summer for me, with the opportunity to give invited talks at a number of international locations as well as at some international conferences closer to home. I also had some publications released and carried out a number of teaching activities.

My talks began with leading a roundtable discussion at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2016 Conference in Portland, OR. The title of the roundtable was, Clinical Informatics Certification for Physicians & Non-Physicians, and I provided a history and overview, and led a discussion of future directions, for the new clinical informatics subspecialty for physicians

Later in July, I ventured to Pisa Italy, where I gave the Keynote Talk at the Medical Information Retrieval (MedIR) Workshop, which was part of the ACM SIGIR 2016 meeting. Entitled, Challenges for Information Retrieval and Text Mining in Biomedicine: Imperatives for Systems and Their Evaluation, my talk described the challenges for search and text processing systems in the biomedical domain for computer science researchers.

In early August, back in Oregon, I delivered the Keynote Talk at the Joint International Conference on Biological Ontology and BioCreative at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. My talk, Information Retrieval and Text Mining Evaluation Must Go Beyond “Users”: Incorporating Real-World Context and Outcomes, discussed the challenges of evaluating search and text processing systems in the biomedical domain for bioinformatics researchers.

Later in August I was in a different part of the world, Thailand. Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has a growing international collaboration there in partnership with Bangkok Dusuit Medical Services. I delivered Grand Rounds at their flagship Bangkok Hospital. The title of my talk was, Overview of Clinical Informatics Activities in the US. I provided an overview of clinical informatics activities in the US, including adoption of electronic health records and the new clinical informatics subspecialty for physicians.

Also on that trip I was one of the keynote speakers at the HIMSS AsiaPAC 16 Conference in Bangkok. My talk was entitled, Advancing Digital and Patient-Centered Care Requires Competent Clinicians and Informatics Professionals, and I described the knowledge and training needed for optimal use of digital health systems for patients by clinicians and informatics professionals.

Finally on that trip I spent a day leading a workshop on various clinical informatics topics at Phuket International Hospital. Even better was getting to spend a weekend in that lovely beach city (see below)!

I also had release of some published papers this summer. One was a Technical Brief (hardly brief at over 60 pages!) prepared for the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) Effective Health Care Program on Telehealth: Mapping the Evidence for Patient Outcomes From Systematic Reviews. Another was a publication describing early experiences with clinical informatics fellowships for physicians in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

I also carried out a substantial amount of teaching this summer. As I have every summer, I directed and taught in the AMIA Clinical Informatics Board Review Course. Next year is the last year of the “grandfathering” period that allows physicians to become board-certified without formal clinical informatics fellowship training, although a proposal has been put forth to the American Board of Preventive Medicine to extend that period for another five years. We will see what their decision is in November.

I also brought to a close the four-month long introductory online course I had been teaching to clinical informatics leaders at BDMS (see above) in Thailand. We spent a couple days at Bangkok Hospital reviewing course content, presenting papers, and preparing for course projects that will be presented when this group visits OHSU in November.

That trip also took me briefly to Singapore, where I led the in-person session at the end of the i10x10 course under the rubric of the Gateway to Health Informatics Course. This was the 15th offering of the course dating back to 2009.

Upon returning from Thailand and Singapore, I gave a lecture to new first-year OHSU medical students like I did last year entitled, Information is Different Now That You’re a Doctor. I enjoy giving this lecture to new medical students and describing the many ways that information is different now that they are becoming professionals, everything from seeking best evidence to maintaining professional behavior with highly private information, especially on social media.

I will also be doing some teaching in the next couple weeks for federal organizations, namely the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Program. The NLM teaching involves giving the introductory lecture that kicks off their week-long in-residence biomedical informatics course. The BD2K teaching will involve giving a webinar in the year-long BD2K Guide to the Fundamentals of Data Science Series. My overview lecture will focus on data management, indexing, and retrieval.

There will be more talks, publishing, and teaching this fall, so stay tuned!