Sept. 24, 2009 | Use of technology to improve data-gathering and sharing in clinical research put the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) among the nation’s most innovative users of technology, according to the annual ranking by business technology magazine InformationWeek.
UAMS was ranked No. 23 in the 2009 InformationWeek 500 list revealed Sept. 14 at an awards ceremony during the InformationWeek 500 Conference in Monarch Beach, Calif. The publication ranked UAMS for the second consecutive year.
In the past year, UAMS began implementing information technology tools for participation in the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG), a network for connecting teams of cancer and biomedical researchers. The tools are intended to streamline the data-gathering process involved in clinical research and allow participating cancer centers to share that information more easily.
“Through this initiative, UAMS is using technology to save our researchers precious time and allow them more time for work that could lead to new medical treatments for patients from Arkansas, across the country and even around the world,” said Kari Cassel, UAMS chief information officer. “We are thrilled this hard work by our information technology team has been recognized by Information Week.”
The UAMS IT research team developed and is in the pilot phase of implementing numerous Web-based clinical research tools. The tools cover each phase of research, including patient registration, a study calendar and event tracker to allow centralized collection, management and reporting for clinical trials.
Prior to this IT initiative, UAMS clinical trials were managed independently and data management was not centralized. In some cases clinical trials were previously managed with paper records, making it more difficult for large-scale trials outside the research institution. With the Web-based system, clinics and patients around Arkansas will have access to ongoing trials, thus improving access to new cancer treatments as they are being studied.
The caBIG initiative in the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute also was recognized earlier this year as a world leader in the development and use of caBIG technologies at the caBIG Annual Meeting on July 20-22 in Washington, D.C., which drew about 1,400 attendees. As one of only seven cancer centers honored at the meeting, the Cancer Institute received the National Cancer Institute’s Delivering Results Award designated for a project that addresses specific research questions using caBIG applications, caGrid and data available for sharing.
Earlier this year, the Hospitals & Health Networks magazine of the American Hospital Association publication named UAMS Medical Center as one of the “100 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems” for its use of technology.
UAMS Medical Center is one of only nine organizations in the United States to be named seven times to the “Most Wired” list in its 11-year history, and is the only hospital in Arkansas to be recognized in 2009.
InformationWeek has identified and honored the nation’s most innovative users of information technology with its annual listing, now in its 20th year, and has tracked the technology, strategies, investments and administrative practices of America’s best-known companies. The list is unique among corporate rankings because it spotlights the power of innovation in information technology, rather than simply identifying the biggest IT spenders.
Additional details on the InformationWeek 500 can be found online at www.informationweek.com/iw500/.
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a new 540,000-square-foot hospital, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,652 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com.