4 questions with Rush CIO Dr. Shafiq Rab

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Dr. Shafiq Rab, CIO of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, uses his background in public health to inform his IT vision. Dr. Rab, who completed his medical degree and internal medicine residency at Karachi, Pakistan-based Dow Medical College, had his interest in public health piqued during one of his first physician jobs. While treating an urban squatters settlement in Pakistan, he worked with non-governmental organizations to address the infant mortality rate, mainly by bringing clean drinking water to its residents. "That's how I got involved in healthcare," he says. "And I remain committed to healthcare.


Biden says big data is key to fight against cancer

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The way Joe Biden tells it, the fight against cancer is in great measure a big data problem. In remarks at an oncology convention in Chicago this week, the vice president delivered a message of open data and interdisciplinary collaboration as keys in the search for better cancer diagnosis and treatment. Biden took the occasion to announce the public availability of the Genomic Data Commons, a repository of the anonymized genomic and clinical data of some 12,000 cancer patients that will open the door for researchers to analyze a broad collection of tumor genome sequences. "It is our hope that Genomic Data Commons will prove pivotal in advancing precision medicine, where physicians attempt to tailor therapies to specific characteristics from a particular patient's cancer," Biden said. "Our aim and the aim of Genomic Data Commons is for researchers to have information at their fingertips about the relationship between abnormalities or mutations of genes and clinical outcomes."


Biden unveiling public database for clinical data on cancer

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Vice President Joe Biden is unveiling a public database for clinical data on cancer on Monday that aims to help researchers and doctors better tailor new treatments to individuals. Overseen by the National Cancer Institute outside Washington, the Genomic Data Commons starts with genomic and clinical data for 12,000 patients. "Increasing the pool of researchers who can access data and decreasing the time it takes for them to review and find new patterns in that data is critical to speeding up development of lifesaving treatments for patients," Biden said in a statement. Biden planned to announce the database during a visit to the University of Chicago, the White House said. The database has emerged as the most tangible component of Biden's cancer "moonshot," a push in his final year in office to double the pace of cancer research toward a cure.


LIVE from RSNA 2016: Rasu Shrestha, M.D. on Machine Learning and Other Paths to the Future Healthcare Informatics Magazine Health IT

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Rasu Shrestha, M.D., the chief innovation officer at the Pittsburgh-based UPMC health system, serves as the chair of the Informatics Scientific Program Committee at the Radiological Society of North America. In that role, Dr. Shrestha has led the discussions that have created the official theme each year for the past two years, for the imaging informatics content at the annual RSNA Conference. Last year, the theme was 3D printing; this year, it is machine learning. Dr. Shrestha took out time on Nov. 29 during the frenzy of activity at RSNA 2016, being held at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, to speak with Healthcare Informatics Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland, about the current state and future prospects of radiology practice and of imaging informatics. Below are excerpts from that interview.


Artificial intelligence is helping physicians move the bar on clinical value -- Here's how

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Clinical documentation is key to demonstrating value in outcomes-based medicine. Complete documentation helps to validate patient outcomes by reflecting the severity of a patient's medical condition, sharing key data with subsequent caregivers and optimizing claims processing and reimbursement. Although clinicians may think they are writing excellent clinical notes, physicians' unfamiliarity with ICD-10 coding often means their notes fail to meet heightened standards for specificity. When this happens, patient outcomes might not accurately reflect the quality of care provided, and may even negatively influence provider performance scores. "Once the final [patient] bill is established and sent out, that becomes what the rest of the world sees about the care you provided for that patient," Anthony Oliva, MD, vice president and CMO at Nuance, said during a discussion April 18 at Becker's Hospital Review's 8th Annual Meeting in Chicago.