Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Behavioral Data from CDC

2009 SMART BRFSS Data and Prevalence Tables Now Available
2009 BRFSS Maps Now Available
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Logo
The CDC's Behavioral Surveillance Branch in the Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, is pleased to announce the joint release of the 2009 SMART BRFSS data and prevalence tables and the BRFSS Maps. This marks the first-ever joint launch of SMART and Maps data, as well as the earliest launch ever for either SMART or Maps.
SMART BRFSS (Selected Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area Risk Trends from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) began with the analysis of data from the 2002 BRFSS. It now includes data from 2002 through 2009, with prevalence estimates for more than 200 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas (MMSAs), as well as many counties within those areas. As with the past data, the Web site includes the data sets and prevalence tables for MMSAs and counties, as well as pre-set Quick View charts which compare county, MMSA, and state data for seven select risk factors in an easy-to-print PDF format.

There are seven additional MMSAs with data available for 2009, including Evansville, IN-KY; Fort Wayne, IN; Gallup, NM; Heber, UT; Lawrence, KS; Manhattan, KS; and Pascagoula, MS.

BRFSS Maps is a system that allows users to visualize the prevalence estimates, making them more accessible to a variety of audiences.  Users can choose to map the entire country, or to zoom in on a region or state, including the MMSAs within that area.  Users can also download GIS data files.

The SMART BRFSS data and prevalence tables are located at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/brfss-smart/index.asp.

The BRFSS Maps are located at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/gisbrfss/default.aspx.

For more information, please contact Lina Balluz, Sc.D., M.P.H. at 770-488-2466 or lib7@cdc.gov.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Webinar series on the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)

 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project logo, celebrating 20 years of powerful data

Register Now for the HCUP Databases and Tools Webinar Series!

AHRQ will be hosting a two-part webinar series on the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) databases, products, and tools.  Registration is now open for the Fall 2010 HCUP Webinar Series. There is no registration fee to attend.

The first one-hour session will introduce health services and policy researchers to the HCUP databases and related resources that can enhance their research studies by providing a general overview of the HCUP databases.  This webinar will be offered on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 2:00 PM  EST.

The second one-hour session will be offered on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM EST. This webinar will focus on the HCUP products and tools, with particular emphasis on HCUPnet, our free online data query system.

Registration information is available here.  For additional questions, please contact HCUP User Support at hcup@ahrq.gov.  

Monday, August 16, 2010

NIH Application help on-line

The NIH has a new web page full of tips and tricks for negotiating the process (and paperwork!) of a grant application. Lots of useful stuff:



Clinical Research Oriented Workshop (CROW) Meeting: Aug 11, 2010

Present: Abby Crocker, Amanda Kennedy, Rodger Kessler, Ben Littenberg, Charlie MacLean, Connie van Eeghen

1. Round Table: New short term plan for CROW meetings:
a. Thursdays at noon, no agenda, BYOL, FRED in Given Courtyard, starting Sept 16
b. Fridays at 11:00, with agenda, starting Sept 3
c. Ben to send out an invitation to all CTS students on CTS blog

2. Connie’s Discussion: How to set up a qualitative assessment that can be repeated for each case study in her study, allow for cross case comparison, and be focused on her dependent variables

a. Notes are limited as this was an active work group and when Connie talks she doesn’t write much. My apologies if I left something out; let me know.
b. Definitions were discussed:
i. Two independent variables are similar: Financial Resource Availability and Management Support. We agreed that the second can include the first but in this case will refer not to financial support but other forms of support (philosophy, style, personal interactions, etc.)
ii. Two dependent variables are similar: Clinical Effectiveness of QI Outcomes and Useful as related to the QI process. We eventually agreed that the term “useful” is independent of work performance and clinical outcomes; it relates to the personal perception that the process “felt good.”
c. The work group sorted the utterances taken from the interviews and surveys during the first case study. The utterances were sorted into predetermined headings that matched the dependent variables. Utterances that did not match these variables were sorted into new categories, but not labeled. The process took ~20 minutes, in part because the utterances had been sent to participants ahead of time to preview them.
d. The group discussed the fact that they were missing the context of the questions that stimulated these utterances and debated whether seeing the questions would inform or distract from assessing the utterances. We decided that, as a new exercise, Connie will prepare a Word document with the questions (grouped by dependent variable) and the utterances listed under each question that they correspond to. The work group will receive this document ahead of time and create their own themes from these utterances, sending them back to Connie to collate the themes. These themes will be the focus of the next work group meeting, to determine what themes were commonly noticed or uniquely different from each other.
e. To test this process out, Connie will take the questions and utterances related to one dependent variable in one Word document and trial the “preview” process with Amanda, Ben, and Charlie. We will sort out the themes at the Aug 25 workshop.
f. Thanks to everyone who participated; it was extremely helpful!

3. Next Fellows Meeting(s): Wednesday, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., at Given Courtyard Level 4
a. Aug 18: Rodger: questions on study designs
b. Aug 25: Connie: qualitative assessment work group, trial #2
c. Sept 3 (NOTE: FRIDAY SCHEDULE STARTS): No topic yet
d. Future agenda to consider:
i. Rodger: Mixed methods article
ii. Future: Review of different types of journal articles (lit review, case study, original article, letter to editor…), when each is appropriate, tips on planning/writing (Abby)
iii. Future: Informed consent QI: Connie to follow up with Nancy Stalnaker, Alan Rubin will follow up with Alan Wortheimer or Rob McCauly
iv. Kairn will ask a librarian to join us for selected issues

4. Fellows document – to be reviewed in the future. We trialed Wednesday meeting times, which started May 5, 2010 and continued until August 25, 2010.

Recorder: Connie van Eeghen

VA Cyber-seminars

MARK your calendars for these cyber seminars in SEPTEMBER 2010!
VA HSR&D CyberSeminars

MARK your calendars for these cyber seminars in SEPTEMBER 2010!
Tuesday, September 14, 12:00pm ETQUERI Implementation Research
Health Systems Evidence – Evidence to Support Policymaking and Management (Part 1)
by Lori Greco, MHSc
Kaelan Moat, MSc.

Wednesday, September 15, 2:00pm ETHERC Health Economics Seminar
Use of Outpatient Care by Medicare-eligible Veterans
by Matt Maciejewski, Ph.D.

Tuesday, September 21, 1:00pm ETVIReC Clinical Informatics Seminar
Computerized Interventions to Improve Prescribing Practices
by Sylvain DeLisle, MD, MBA

Monday, September 27, 12:00pm ETSpotlight on Evidence-based Synthesis Program
Safe and Effective Anticoagulation in the Outpatient Setting
by Hanna Bloomfield, M.D.
Brent Taylor, Ph.D.

For more information on these and other HSR&D
Cyber Seminars see the Cyber Seminar catalog online.
Questions? Email cyberseminar@va.gov

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fall Schedule for CCTS Education

Here is the schedule for the Fall 2010 semester. In addition to courses, we will continue to have seminar on Fridays at noon. Fellows' Workshop will move to Fridays at 11:00 starting in September. 

Starting September 16, we'll be experimenting with a new activity on Thursdays at noon: Free-form discussion. All faculty, fellows and students are invited to meet in FRED (S457) to talk about whatever topics are pressing that day: science, health care, careers, grants, art, music, whatever. BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch). No reservations and no agendas. Ben and Amanda will do their best to be there and all are welcome.
  • Mondays 12:50 - 3:50 p.m. CTS 310: Conducting Clinical and Translational Research
  • Tuesdays 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. CTS 320 Analyzing Clinical and Translational Research
  • Wednesdays 12:50 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. CTS 301: Designing Clinical and Translational Research 
  • Wednesdays 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. CTS 395: Introduction to Biomedical Informatics 
  • Every other Thursday 12:50 - 3:50 p.m. CTS 305: Cell to Society
  • Thursdays 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Free-form Discussion (no agenda - just talk) (S457)
  • Fridays 11:00 - 12:00 p.m. Workshop in Clinical Research (CROW) (S457)
  • Fridays 12:00 - 1:15 PM Seminar in CTS (S359)
I'm looking forward to a great year - thanks!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Re: New Research awards from Fletcher Allen Health Care

Dear Colleagues,  
I am pleased to announce that Fletcher Allen, working with the UVM Medical Group Research and Education Committee, will be awarding $100,000 to support investigator initiated research.  This comes as a direct result of your feedback and supports Fletcher Allen's strategic goal to "excel in research in partnership with UVM with emphasis on strategically selected areas". 
The Research and Education Committee has developed an application form for the awards with the following targeted goals in mind:    
·        Align the academic missions of Fletcher Allen and the UVM College of Medicine 
·        Foster multidisciplinary and multi-departmental research projects/collaboration
Detailed information and application instructions can be found on the Medical Group's website:
If you have any questions concerning the suitability of proposed projects or budgetary items please contact Dr. Robert Hamill.  Thanks in advance. PT
Paul Taheri, M.D., MBA
President of the Faculty Practice - Fletcher Allen Health Care, University of Vermont
Patrick 318
111 Colchester Ave.
Burlington, Vermont  05401
Phone - 802.847.5986
Fax -     802.847.5677

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fwd: Register for Sept 15 HCUP Data Users' Workshop at AHRQ

  Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project logo, celebrating 20 years of powerful data


Register for AHRQ's September 15 HCUP Data Users' Workshop

Registration is now open for the HCUP Data Users' Workshop: Working with HCUP Databases.  This one-day course, sponsored by AHRQ, is designed to teach health services researchers how to use databases and software tools from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).  The workshop will take place Wednesday, September 15 from 9 am - 4:30 pm at the AHRQ headquarters in Rockville, MD.

Participants will work with actual data from HCUP's state databases.  HCUP databases comprise the largest collection of publicly available, multi-year hospital care (inpatient, emergency department, and ambulatory surgery) data in the United States, with all-payer, encounter level information beginning in 1988.  Instruction will also be given on the use of HCUP software tools to facilitate analysis of administrative data.  HCUP databases and tools enable research on a broad range of health research and policy issues at the national, state and local market levels, including cost and quality of health services, medical practice patterns, access to health care, and outcomes of treatment.

The workshop is oriented toward intermediate-level data users and/or people who are already familiar with HCUP.  Computers will be provided and instructor-lead programming examples will be presented in SAS.  Familiarity with SAS is desirable but not required – all SAS programs will be provided.


It is recommended that prior to the course, participants refresh their knowledge of HCUP by taking the HCUP online overview course.  New users should gain further HCUP experience prior to the course by registering for one or both of two HCUP webinars being offered on Sept 1 and 8 (additional information available here).


A full description of the September 15 HCUP Data Users' Workshop, registration form, and logistical information are available on the HCUP User Support Website by following links under What's New or on the HCUP Calendar - Events. There is no charge for the HCUP Data Users' Workshop.  Please register early as space is limited.  If you have questions, please email hcup@ahrq.gov.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) · 540 Gaither Road · Rockville MD 20850 · 301-427-1364

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CROW meeting time

Hi everyone-
Thanks for the great REDcap demo yesterday - it looks like a very useful database tool! I'm looking forward to Connie's disucssion next week. I am wondering if during that meeting we can also think about changing our meeting time for the fall semester? I am teaching a course that is scheduled during our regular time slot.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Clinical Research Oriented Workshop plan for this Wednesday - REDCap Demo

Hi All,

Just wanted to provide some background for tomorrow's REDCap demo that will be provided by Diantha Howard.

REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a software toolset and workflow methodology developed at Vanderbilt University for electronic collection and management of research and clinical trial data. UVM has joined the REDCap Consortium and offers both applications (REDCap and REDCap Survey) to UVM/FAHC researchers. More information can be found at the following Web sites:


The attached article also provides additional details:
Harris PA, Taylor R, Thielke R, Payne J, Gonzalez N, Conde JG.
Research electronic data capture (REDCap)--a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support.
J Biomed Inform. 2009 Apr;42(2):377-81.

The CCTS Informatics Unit is aiming to start providing REDCap Training Sessions to investigators in the coming months and would like to pilot this session with the CROW group. Any feedback regarding the content and format afterwards will be appreciated.

Hope to see you there!



Monday, August 2, 2010

Fwd: Informatics Grand Rounds - Fall 2010 Schedule and Mailing List

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Liz Chen" <liz.chen@uvm.edu>
Date: Aug 2, 2010 3:41 PM
Subject: Informatics Grand Rounds - Fall 2010 Schedule and Mailing List
To: <INFORMATICS-GR@list.uvm.edu>

Welcome to the Informatics Grand Rounds mailing list! This list will mainly be used to post announcements about upcoming events.


Monthly presentations will resume in the Fall on Tuesdays 4-5 PM in the UVM/FAHC Medical Education Center Room 300 with the following schedule of speakers:

September 14
David Cochran, MD (Vermont Information Technology Leaders [VITL])

October 5
Craig Jones, MD (Vermont Blueprint for Health)

November 2
Marianne Burke, MLS, AHIP (Dana Medical Library, University of Vermont)

December 14
Richard B. Colletti, MD (Department of Pediatrics, University of Vermont College of Medicine and Vermont Children's Hospital, Fletcher Allen Health Care)
Keith Marsolo, PhD (Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati)

This schedule can be found on the following Web site, which also includes links to presentations from the inaugural session on June 29:


If you wish to be removed from this list, you may send an email to listserv@list.uvm.edu with the following command in the body of the message:

unsub informatics-gr

If there are others who may be interested in subscribing, please feel free to forward this message and they may send an email to listserv@list.uvm.edu with the following command in the body of the message:

sub informatics-gr your_name_here

where "your_name_here" should be replaced with your first and last name (e.g., sub informatics-gr Mary Smith)

Alternatively, please feel free to contact me anytime to be removed/added from the list or with any questions/comments about the Informatics Grand Rounds.



Elizabeth S. Chen, PhD
Associate Director of Biomedical Informatics
   Center for Clinical and Translational Science
Assistant Professor
   Department of Medicine - General Internal Medicine
   Department of Computer Science

University of Vermont
89 Beaumont Avenue, Given Courtyard N311
Burlington, VT 05405

Tel: 802.656.8286
Fax: 802.656.4589
Email: liz.chen@uvm.edu
Web: www.uvm.edu/~eschen

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Clinical Research Oriented Workshop (CROW) Meeting: July 28, 2010

Present: Amanda Kennedy, Rodger Kessler, Ben Littenberg, Charlie MacLean, Carole McBride, Connie van Eeghen (via Skype)

1. Round Table: Rodger wanted to know if, after starting a grant, if the staff aren’t hired until later, what happens to the funds? Ben: most grants have flexible funding, such that unspent funds can be rebudgeted to another line item in the project (assuming appropriate expenses, of course). There is usually a 25% limit before reporting is necessary. Money can also be rolled over to the next year and can be asked to extend the project for longer than the grant originally was limited to.

2. Carole’s Discussion: To what degree are the poor outcomes related to pregnancy/childbirth after IVF conception related to the intervention vs. the underlying medical issues?

a. Considered different ways of constructing a study. Issues included:
i. Separately studying the anovulatory subjects as a group
ii. Focusing on one specific intervention
iii. Variations in qualification for IVF
iv. Comparisons between the outcomes of different diagnoses related to pregnancy which were treated by the same intervention
v. High volume of data needed
vi. Comparisons between mothers of the same age (and other characteristics) with different histories of an intervention, although the ability to explain may not be high
b. Next step is to narrow done what can be studied to move in one of the above directions
i. Do the traditional risks apply in the population?
ii. What are the key risk factors for this population?
iii. Differences in geographic/national/cultural populations?
iv. Study the complication rate by treatment.
v. Study the time taken to delivery in good and bad outcome cases, adjusting for interventions: P(obstetric misadventure|conception) = f(time since diagnosis & age & maternal weight & treatment intensity)
1. Depends on a model of toxicity of treatment, e.g. does it wear off over time or is it permanent
2. Analysis by different negative outcomes, e.g. low birth weight
c. Approach: data base request to DBA – ask for unfiltered data; do the filters yourself
3. Amanda’s question: student approach to research
a. Writing a protocol for a physician for which the plan is for paramedics to intubate in the field
b. ED docs to conduct a field based RCT for two different airway procedures
i. Primary outcome: success with ventilation (not yet specified)
ii. Randomize by day of month, e.g. Wednesday codes are procedure A.
iii. Question: can the codes be randomized by day or should they be randomized by event
1. Can be randomized by day but introduces clustering without need; needs to be controlled
2. Risk of non-compliance for paramedics is worth considering
3. Consider randomizing the paramedic, rather than the day
4. Best scenario: identifying the intervention after the decision has been made to intubate
c. Key: the study team needs to know that the flaws in the design gives ammunition to those who decide, once the results are complete, that they are not happy

4. Next Fellows Meeting(s): Wednesday, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., at Given Courtyard Level 4
a. Aug 4: Diantha Howard and Liz Chen: REDCap training (no Connie, Matt) – NOTE NEW LOCATION: 3rd floor (S359)
b. Aug 11: Connie’s qualitative study on quality – members will be asked to perform analysis; slides to be mailed out one week ahead (no Matt). Need to start at 2:30
c. Aug 18: (No Connie)
d. Aug 25:
e. Future agenda to consider:
i. Rodger: Mixed methods article
ii. Future: Review of different types of journal articles (lit review, case study, original article, letter to editor…), when each is appropriate, tips on planning/writing (Abby)
iii. Future: Informed consent QI: Connie to follow up with Nancy Stalnaker, Alan Rubin will follow up with Alan Wortheimer or Rob McCauly
iv. Kairn will ask a librarian to join us for selected issues

5. Fellows document – nothing this time – to be reviewed after trialing Wednesday meeting times, which started May 5, 2010.

Recorder: Connie van Eeghen