Richesson to teach AMIA 10×10 Virtual Course

The Duke Center for Health Informatics and Rachel Richesson, an associate professor in the Duke School of Nursing and noted informaticist, will be teaching an online course, Data Standards for Learning Health Systems, for 10 weeks, starting on January 23, 2017.

The course is part of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 10×10 Virtual Courses program.  AMIA’s goal is to train 10,000 health care professionals in applied health and medical informatics within 10 years. A key part of this program is offering curricular content from existing informatics training programs through online, virtual classes.

The course will explore the concept of learning health systems and closely examine the specific data standards requied to support the data exchange and re-use in this context. Students will have an opportunity to define a clinical question and the various standards that can support the application and evaluation of evidence in a health care setting.

Visit the AMIA website for more information, including cost and online registration

Tenenbaum Selected as New Fellow of American College of Medical Informatics

staff with the Duke Translational Research Institute pose for a group photo and some individual portraits

Jessica Tenenbaum, PhD(link is external),  Assistant Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics, will be inducted into the American College of Medical Informatics on Nov. 13, 2016. She is one of 23 new fellows elected by peers this year.

ACMI is a professional society of elected Fellows from the United States and abroad who have made significant and sustained contributions to the field of medical informatics and who have met rigorous scholarly scrutiny by their peers. Incorporated in 1984, ACMI dissolved its separate corporate status to merge with the American Association for Medical Systems and Informatics (AAMSI) and the Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care (SCAMC) when AMIA was formed in 1989. The College now exists as an entity within AMIA, with its own bylaws and regulations.

The College originated in 1984 when five pioneers in informatics, including Ed Hammond, MD, director of the Duke Center for Informatics, decided to establish an honorific society to recognize expertise in biomedical Informatics. Today, there are nearly 300 Fellows.

Informatics Research Seminar: Data Integration Framework for the Identification of Complex Disease Subtypes

November 2 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm

Speaker: ClarLynda Williams-DeVane
Presented from NCCU

Broadcast Link: Seminar



The focus of this seminar is on the use of computational systems and analytics in research, specifically how research can impact and change health care and knowledge of disease. The journey from data science research to applied health sciences can be complex. Methods to capture data in the laboratory setting for future data integration and how multiple domains of data (algorithm development, modification, and application) concerning health are aggregated will be discussed.



ClarLynda Williams-DeVane, PhD, completed her doctorate in bioinformatics at NC State University. She is an assistant professor of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), and also directs the Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Computational Chemistry Core at NCCU. Appointed a BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s health) scholar at NCCU/Duke University, Dr. Williams-DeVane is focusing her research on women’s health.  She is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop a Translational Systems Science for Disparate Cancer Research (TSSCDCR) system for the capture of Breast Cancer and Melanoma Data in Genetically Engineered Murine Models (or Mouse Phase 1 Unit).


Informatics Research Seminar: Looking Beyond Patient Portals: Patient Engagement via an Online Breast Cancer Survivorship Tool

October 19 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Akshat Kapoor, PhD
Presented from ECU

Broadcast Link: Seminar



The presentation will discuss alternative means of engaging and empowering patients using personalized e-health apps. The design, development and the usability and acceptance evaluation of an online breast cancer survivorship app will be presented. In addition, the potential value and benefits of integrating patient reported outcomes and quality of life measures with an online, interactive breast cancer survivorship care plan will be discussed.

Speaker Bio

Akshat Kapoor, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Services and Information Management at East Carolina University. Prior to earning his PhD in Biomedical and Health Informatics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he received an M.S. in Bioinformatics from Marquette University, His research focuses on improving patient engagement via use of innovative technologies, such as apps, social media, and interactive educational resources, to aid patients in the self-management of their medical conditions. His research emphasizes how healthcare organizations can innovate and effectively engage patients and communities in playing an active role in their own health.

Policy Change: Health Informatics as a Profession

The U.S. Federal statistical system, coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), consists of 13 principal statistical agencies that collect data as their primary mission. OMB has established several classification systems to coordinate Federal statistical activities. The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is one of these classification systems. All Federal agencies that publish occupational data for statistical purposes are required to use the SOC. The SOC reflects the occupational structure of the U.S., classifying all occupations in which work is performed for pay or profit in the public, private, and military sectors. All Federal agencies that publish occupational data for statistical purposes are required to use the SOC; State and local government agencies are strongly encouraged to use this national system to promote a common language for categorizing and analyzing occupations. (For more information:

To reflect changes in the economy and in the nature of work, the SOC is revised periodically. OMB has recently asked for public comment on the Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee’s (SOCPC) recommendations for revising the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). One of the SOCPC’s recommendations is the inclusion of a new code for “health informatics” as an occupation. Their definition, however, combines Health Information Technology, Health Information Management, and Health Informatics Specialists and Analysis. AMIA has responded to the SOCPC with recommendations and a request to separate the three as distinctly different occupations. The Duke Center for Health Informatics is one of 36 signatories on the AMIA letter.

The review and revision is to be completed by the end of 2016 and released for use beginning in reference year 2018.

Informatics Research Seminar: Fixing the “Garbage In” Dilemma Through Transformation of Clinical Workflows (aka Structured Reporting)

October 5 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: James Tcheng, MD
Presented from Duke University

Broadcast Link: Seminar




There is a longstanding tradition in medicine that values verbose, prosaic documentation of clinical encounters, which is more often than not imprecise and incomplete, particularly from the perspective of computation. This hampers the ability to use the information in performance assessment, clinical decision support, metrics reporting, and other data-requiring analyses. Cardiology procedures are particularly data intensive. The potential for data in key cardiology procedures in addition to the standard documentation parameters requires tens of thousands of data elements. From an analytics perspective, the many sources of data are key for understanding both individual and population health outcomes while improving institutional and operational efficiency.

A formatted report generated via a structured reporting process accomplishes the goal of capturing clinical information as data, but structured reporting is only slowly being adopted despite prior recommendations and endorsements. This presentation will describe the structured reporting paradigm and identify the stakeholders (and their respective roles) that must contribute to successfully adapt structured reporting in health care.

Speaker Bio

James E. Tcheng, MD, is a Professor of Medicine and a Professor of Community and Family Medicine (in Informatics) at Duke University. He is a practicing interventional cardiologist and is faculty in the Duke Center for Health Informatics, the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and the FDA-sponsored Medical Device Epidemiology Network (MDEpiNet) Coordinating Center. He serves as Director of the Duke Cardiovascular Databank, is Chair of the Informatics and Health IT Task Force of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and is a member of the ACC/AHA Task Force on Clinical Data Standards. His current work focuses on harmonizing the informatics of clinical and operational definitions for cardiovascular concepts across academia, FDA, the life sciences industry, professional societies, and standards organizations, to improve the capture, communication, interoperability, and analysis of healthcare information.

Richesson is Awarded Grant from NLM

Rachel Richesson, MS, PhD, MPH, FACMI
Rachel Richesson, PhD, MS, MPH, FACMI

Rachel Richesson, PhD is an associate professor in the Duke School of Nursing and has been awarded a grant for her NIH R15/National Library of Medicine proposal entitled: “Quantifying System and Data Readiness for Automated Clinical Decision Support”.



Automated clinical decision support (CDS) tools (e.g., provider alerts and reminders, or context relevant treatment information), embedded within electronic health record (EHR) systems, have been shown to improve provider compliance with practice guidelines and improve patient outcomes. The routine use of automated CDS is a fundamental component of the national healthcare reform strategy endorsed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, and two presidents. Once an organization identifies a clinical “practice gap” and corresponding CDS application, such as a provider alert, a number of technical and social issues must be addressed to ensure that the CDS intervention fits well in current work flows, is acceptable to providers, and functions as intended. At present, there is no guidance for potential CDS implementers on how to align their local data structures with the patient data “input” requirements of formal algorithm-based guidelines, nor is there a model to quantify the readiness of an organization of the resources that will be needed to integrate different CDS applications into local EHR systems. This proposed research will quantify the alignment of CDS data requirements (“inputs”) with EHR data structures, the quality of the data collected, and provider preferences. We propose to combine these metrics into a feasibility assessment for CDS implementation that can be used by organizations to prioritize CDS projects and by disease advocacy organizations and professional societies to identify CDS opportunities with the broadest potential for implementation and impact.