Improving health through innovations in informatics
We conduct research on analytics and software in healthcare.
Current Research Projects
The Clinical Decision Support Lab
The Medical Office for the Twenty First Century (MOXXI)
The MOXXI project is a computerized system to manage medications and electronically write prescriptions. The goal of the research project is to study the impact of these new technologies on quality of care delivered and on patient outcomes.
Optimal management of prescription medications is an increasingly complex challenge. In order to ensure the best and safe treatment of their patients, physicians and pharmacists must keep their knowledge about medications and their use up-to-date. Today there are:
More than 33,000 drug interactions
More than 6,500 prescription drugs that are counter-indicated in the presence of certain illnesses
More than 3,500 prescription drugs that can cause allergic reactions. The goals of the project are to determine whether the MOXXI system can prevent undesirable drug-induced effects by testing
An electronic prescription module, including therapeutic intent, in order to reduce errors in the prescription, transcription, and delivery of medications.
A therapeutic advisor, to rapidly detect drug interactions and ineffective treatments.
A module for the follow-up of drug treatment adherence.
The Surveillance Lab
The Population Health Record (PopHR) is an informatics platform that uses existing epidemiological and public health knowledge to integrate multiple clinical and administrative data sources to provide a coherent view of the health of populations. Users of the PopHR can develop detailed portraits of the health status and healthcare utilization patterns for a population, monitor various health indicators to detect temporal and spatial variations in disease activity, and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions on population health. The platform provides representative information in near-real time with high geographical resolution, thereby assisting public health professionals, clinicians and the public in diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making. At the same time, the PopHR provides a platform for advancing research in public health informatics and disease surveillance.
*The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The Cancer Care Quality Lab
Distress Among Senior Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer in Quebec: A Study of Psychotropic Drug Use During the Cancer Care Trajectory
Improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer have significantly improved survival rates that it may be considered a treatable disease. These gains in survival benefits have largely shifted the focus of cancer care from needs during the acute (or active) phase of the disease to needs arising during survivorship. It is suggested that cancer treatment may lead to psychological morbidity but there are few studies focusing on senior breast cancer patients, an at-risk population with additional comorbidities. This study describes the consumption of psychotropic medications during the cancer care trajectory in a cohort of senior women from Quebec. Specifically, this study will help develop a global understanding of psychosocial distress along various key time points (baseline, active care, and survivorship) in the breast cancer care trajectory.
The Cancer Care Quality Lab
Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy in Breast Therapy in Breast Cancer: A Novel E-Health Approach in Optimizing Treatment for Seniors (OPTIMUM Study)
Adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) is a low risk, easily administered treatment making it an ideal strategy to reduce the impact of disease in women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Despite the considerable survival benefits associated with AET treatment, non-adherence rates of 20% have been reported in trials. This rate may be greater in seniors as older women are often underrepresented in such studies. The integration of e-health tools such as (MOXXI) represents a unique opportunity to address challenges in the delivery of care for older women diagnosed with breast cancer. This study will evaluate the ability of a patient-specific, MOXXI-based, e-health tool (OPTIMUM) that integrates real-time analysis of administrative claims data and provides point- of-care risk assessment to care teams in optimizing breast cancer treatment by increasing AET adherence and persistence in patients aged ≥ 65 years.
Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
PopHR paper a notable paper at the 2017 AMIA conference
Our PopHR paper was one of the Notable Papers in the AMIA Finalist Year in Review Papers section at AMIA’s November 2017 conference…
Scalable Data Integration for Disease Surveillance
The Scalable Data Integration for Disease Surveillance (SDIDS) is a web-based platform designed to enable the integration and analysis of data across multiple scales to support global health decision-making. SDIDS incorporates a semantic framework to consistently represent heterogeneous data from multiple sources, as well as tools to facilitate the integration process and to supports visualization, analysis, and sharing of these data. SDIDS also offers a programming interface allowing external applications to request standardized data and compute numerous health indicators. We have developed a prototype application that demonstrates how SDIDS can be used to integrate malaria surveillance data collected by multiple organizations in Uganda.
The MOXXI system is an integrated solution created for primary care physicians. The electronic prescribing and computerized drug management system provides personalized care suited to a patient’s specific needs and ensures that his/her drugs are managed safely and effectively. The MOXXI system is designed to help physicians and pharmacists deliver the best care possible by providing them with the information they need about their patients’ health and medication. This unique system provides physicians with the list of their patient’s medications and health problems which help them decide the best treatment for the patient’s profile. The MOXXI system provides specialized decision support tools, developed and supported by research results, which deliver effective and safe prevention and management of disease. Features of the MOXXI system include:
RightRx is a computer application that facilitates electronic medication reconciliation for hospital clinicians at all transitions of care. The aim of the software is to help reduce the risk of ADEs and hospital readmissions.
This is accomplished through:
Optimizing the accuracy of medication histories. This unique opportunity is made possible thanks to the established “real-time” link to the Quebec health insurance agency (RAMQ).
Facilitating efficient and accurate reconciliation at the time of admission, transfer, and discharge by an automated integration of data from hospital and community-based pharmacy information systems including side by side alignment of community and in-hospital medications.
Communicating changes made during hospitalization with the community pharmacies and physicians, so that prescriptions for drugs that are discontinued because of adverse effects or ineffective treatment do not continue to be filled.
The PopHR is a web-based, ontology-driven software application that enables its users to create a comprehensive view of the population health by providing fast and easy access to a variety of data from health and non-health sources. The system supports intelligent analysis and visualization of these data in the context of existing knowledge about the determinants of health. Focused on improving decision-making related to the planning and evaluation of population health interventions, the PopHR addresses common limitations of existing web portals for population health information through the following features
Automated computation of health indicators from regularly updated high-resolution data sources
Natural language interface enabling free-text queries
Semantic framework that incorporates a body of epidemiological knowledge to reveal meaningful links between multiple health indicators and support the development and evaluation of population health interventions
Risk Calculator (RC)
Risk Calculator (RC) is a web based application that can create a patient profile and estimate their dosage-related risk of injuries associated with the use of low, medium and high-potency opioids. The aim of the software is to help reduce the risk by suggesting drug-dosage alternatives.
The application incorporates a sophisticated graphical user interface featuring a thermometer as a visual representation of the current likelihood of fall, with a change in colour to indicate the modifiable portion of the risk. The thermometer also displays the impact of the change in risk for suggested alternative drug scenarios.
Designed as a scalable and highly modular application it can be used as a standalone application requiring only a web browser and internet connection or it can be used as a service by third party applications, such as web based EMR(s).
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