Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

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OSU-CHS News > 2015

Nov. 5, 2015

OSU-CHSI using database to find clues to improve rural health care delivery


With the assistance of a massive database containing electronic medical records from more than 50 million patients and hundreds of hospitals collected over a 14-year span, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Systems Innovation is uncovering novel ways to enhance health care delivery in rural Oklahoma.

“The database is a treasure trove for OSU as it provides a broad spectrum of rich clinical, laboratory, pharmacy and billing data that, to my knowledge, is unmatched,” said William Paiva, Ph.D., executive director of OSU-CHSI. “The Cerner Health Facts database is an integral part of our mission to improve operational, clinical and financial outcomes in health care through the use of descriptive and predictive analytics.”

Neal Patterson, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, Mo, recently donated the database to the Center for Health Systems Innovation. Patterson is an Oklahoma State University alumnus.

The database is one of the largest HIPAA-compliant relational databases in existence. Billions of pieces of data with information about patient encounters, admission types, billed charges, clinical outcomes, medications and more can be transformed into charts and graphs that reveal areas where improvements are needed.

“It helps us identify opportunities to better deliver health care to rural and Native American populations,” Paiva said. “The purpose of the database is twofold. First, we can use the data to support us in health care delivery innovation. And second, the data will identify issues within the current care delivery system and enable us to focus on changes that need to be made.”

A team of analysts mine the data to generate valuable insight such as identifying patients who are more at risk for certain diseases and conditions or are more likely to respond to certain types of therapy. The system also enables users to break down patient encounters by race, gender, age, severity of illness, time sequences, medication interactions and much more.

The data is stripped of identifying markers and validated. Unlike clinical studies, information extracted from the database comes from real-world clinical encounters with millions of patients.

“That is the power of the Cerner Health Facts database. The breadth and depth of the patient information within the system enables us to see the larger picture,” Paiva said. “We at OSU are fortunate to have access to such a dynamic tool to aid in our focus to improve rural and Native American primary care.”

CHSI is headquartered at OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa with operations on the Stillwater campus. The organization utilizes the expertise of the OSU Spears School of Business, OSU Center for Health Sciences and academic and commercial partners throughout the U.S. for business and clinical innovations.

For additional information about CHSI or the Cerner Health Facts database, visit http://chsi.okstate.edu/ or contact the office at osuchsi@okstate.edu or 918-582-1972.

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